The FCM Blog-a-thon — What movie(s) will become a Future Classic?

What a brilliant idea! My pal Paula, who’s a confirmed TCM addict, have often wondered what movies from the 21st century would stand the test of time, like CasablancaGone With The Wind or Out of the PastInstead of just mulling those over on her own, she decides to get all of us movie bloggers to join in on the fun. And so the FUTURE CLASSIC MOVIES (FCM) BLOGATHON was born.

So what do we have to do? Well, we get to pick a movie (or more) from 2000 or later, and writes about why they think it will endure to become a Future Classic. 


To me, the key to a film’s endurance has to do with the main subject matter itself, whether its theme will resonate with people no matter what age/era. The reason Casablanca achieved its iconic status and can still be enjoyed by a new generation 70 years later is that the theme of lost love, patriotism and sacrifice are all something we can relate and aspire to, no matter how many years have passed since WWII.

All of these films below are visually stunning, but just like people, looks can only be interesting for so long. It’s the substance and message that makes a movie timeless. 

So with that in mind, here are three that I think has the ingredients to become a Future Classic.

It should be obvious but spoilers may be present in this post,
consider yourself warned. 

Gladiator

If you’ve read this blog for a while you’d likely know I adore this film. It’s the first film that came to mind when Paula invited me, and in my mind, it already IS a classic and I believe generations to come would still appreciate this one even decades from now.

I selected the very same film two years ago for a blog-a-thon called Movies That Makes Going to the Movies Suck as this Ridley Scott masterpiece pretty much launched a trend of swords-and-sandals flicks that threatens to tarnish the original’s legacy. One sign of an enduring film is that some of its quotes are still used even today, but of course that alone won’t make a *classic* if it doesn’t have an engrossing story and fused with a thrilling spectacle of action and memorable performances.

Brain, brawn and heart… there’s not a lot of films that capture all three perfectly, and still manage to impress us visually with its amazing cinematography. Oh, and there’s the soundtrack. I still get chills listening to Now We Are Free, it speaks so beautifully about Maximus’ humanity. Oh I long to see this film on the big screen once again in all its glory.

HUGO

A love letter to the movies, what could be more timeless? At first glance, Scorsese’s first family film seems to be about this 12-year-old orphan boy Hugo Cabret who lives in a railway station. That’s pretty much as much as I know when I went it to see it, so what a joy it is when the film takes us into a journey that ties the boy with a real life French illusionist and filmmaker Georges Méliès.

Loneliness, abandonment, disillusionment are sentiment any of us can relate to as we’ve all felt it at some point of another. No matter how modern technology has evolved, even when we’re able to watch movies via a hologram or what have you, our humanity is what will connect us across generations. And that’s what films do in many ways. That’s why *classic* films shall always have a place in the modern world and years to come. Our great, great grand-kids will still likely be fascinated by how the past generations create the films that  become the medium they enjoy today.

The 1930s world with that marvelous vintage clock where Hugo lives in is absolutely enchanting. There’s something so magical about the way its filmed that captures your imagination. 3D will become old news one day but its charm and heartwarming story won’t likely be lost with the passing time.

[read my Hugo review]

Midnight in Paris

Here’s another one from 2011 that’s also nominated for Best Picture Oscar. I didn’t plan it that way, but I do think both films has that certain everlasting charm, and not only because they’re both set in the city of lights. The fixation with time period of past and present drives the story here and the idea of time travel certainly has a lasting effect in cinema. It’s similar to Woody Allen’s other time travel fantasy The Purple Rose of Cairo, but even more beguiling.

The protagonist Gil is obsessed with a bygone era of the 1920s, so when he’s somehow magically transported to that period at midnight, the *lost generation* looks ever so fresh and as fascinating as ever. We watch in awe just like Gil marveling at its beauty… the car, the clothes, the music… and of course the seemingly immortal personas like Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso… the people in history books that we’ll always treasure for years to come.

What’s more, the predicament Gil faces is something we can all relate to. No, I’m not talking about his obsession with a certain era, but about pursuing his dreams and having the courage to break free from his stifling life to do so.

“Maybe the present is a little unsatisfying because life is a little unsatisfying” – Gil

The message about appreciating one’s life in the present will also resonate well no matter what era one lives in. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that Paris in the rain in the finale, it doesn’t get any more timeless than this.

[read my Midnight in Paris review]


Do check out what other films people think will become a Future Classic.


Well, what do you think of my picks? Feel free to share what movie(s) you think have a long-lasting appeal.

68 thoughts on “The FCM Blog-a-thon — What movie(s) will become a Future Classic?

  1. mettemk

    I would be so happy if Midnight in Paris became a classic in the future! It’s really a great film that I can’t get enough of… both entertaining and profound. A perfect film in many ways.
    I also think that Hugo is going to be remembered in the future, though I don’t know if it has the potential to become a true classic. As for Gladiator… I still have to see that one.

    1. Hi mettemk, I do hope it will. I mean who wouldn’t want to be transported to such an enchanting Paris (in 3 different eras no less) for two hours? 😀

      Ooooh, please do give Gladiator a watch. It’s not just another swords-and-sandals flick I assure you. There are sooo many great things to appreciate in that film.

  2. I always thought of Midnight in Paris as a mix of The Purple Rose of Cairo (the blending of two different worlds) and Manhattan (a famous city shot gorgeously). But that’s probably just me.

    1. Oh I think you’re spot on there, but adding those historical characters add so much charm to this movie. I can’t believe I pick a film w/ Owen Wilson as a classic but there you have it! 😀

  3. Right with you on Gladiator Ruth. Excellent choice. Just listening to the track as I write this… so beautiful! Not so sure about Hugo but we’ll see. And still waiting to see Midnight in Paris.

    1. He..he.. I’m like a broken record with Gladiator, I just love that film so much! And the soundtrack too, I bought it right away after I saw the film. Hope you get to see Midnight in Paris soon Pete.

  4. Paula

    Great post Ruth! Thanks so much for participating and being my inspiration for the FCM blogathon 🙂 I agree that all of these will be timeless classics because of their resonant messages. Like mettemk above, I have a special fondness for Midnight in Paris tho. It’s crazy to think about people possibly wanting to flash back to now.

    1. Nice job organizing this Paula and what a great idea! You’ll do TCM proud as a fan 😀 Glad you like my picks. Ahah, you’re right, who wants to be transported back to now from the future, but then again, probably that’s what people in the 1920s think too 🙂

  5. The thing all these movies have in common is that they’re period pieces, making them timeless because they’re not set in a contemporary time, thereby making them seem dated in the future. Here are a few other possibilities:

    The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy
    “Million Dollar Baby”
    “Pan’s Labrynth”
    “Kill Bill” volumes 1 & 2
    “Memento”
    “Inception”
    “Transformers”

    Okay, I was just kidding on the last one. But nothing would surprise me.

    1. Yes you got it Jamie, the vintage setting makes it look timeless but I think the message also resonates well w/ people no matter what year they see it in. Oooh I totally agree w/ LOTR trilogy, yes that’d still be awesome to watch decades from now. I don’t mind even seeing those on the big screen again. Um, I don’t know about Kill Bill and Transformers, especially the latter, I’d think it’d get dated even a few years from now.

      1. “Transformers” was a joke. In fact, the movie was a joke. As for “Kill Bill,” the whole style was copied from the cheesy ku-sploitation flicks of the ’70s, so it already has a somewhat timeless quality to it. In its own way, it’s a fantasy since it’s so over the top that it’s not possible to look at it in a realistic manner and kind of exists in its own genre. It has so many fans that it’s somewhat of a cult film (films?), and I expect it to take on a mythic quality in generations to come.

        1. Hey glad you agree the whole Transformers movie is a joke! 🙂 Ah now that you put it that way, I guess I’d agree that Kill Bill could be considered a classic. I like the first one but haven’t got around to seeing the sequel yet. For sure it’s reached cult status already by now.

  6. Fun blogathon.
    I agree on Gladiator but Haven’t seen the other two so I can’t say much there.

    I think The Matrix will also be a future classic…no doubt about it.

    And I agree with Jamie there…The Lord of The Rings!! who will ever forget that amazing trilogy?

  7. Agree about Gladiator just because the theme and setting of the movie is so timeless. On the other hand, I’m not sure about Hugo and even less about Midnight in Paris. You know I love the latter but it’s such a lightweight movie that I doubt we will be talking about it the way we do of, even other Woody Allen movies such as Annie Hall and Manhattan.

    1. He..he.. I knew you’d like my Gladiator pick 😉 I think a movie doesn’t have to be super deep to be considered a classic. Midnight in Paris is lighthearted but not lightweight or fluffy.

  8. PrairieGirl

    I sure hope you’re right about Hugo, it’s a film I was happily surprised by. Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo will always rank much higher for me than his Midnight in Paris. And I do like Gladiator, it’s certainly the best of that genre, but is one I’m happy to see just once, unlike you, Flixy! ;-D

    1. I’m glad I saw Purple Rose of Cairo because of your recommendation, Becky, but I was much more charmed by Midnight in Paris. Ahah, well I’m glad you even saw Gladiator so I don’t expect you to see it more than once 🙂

  9. Wonderful selection of film, Ruth. Perfect for Paula’s first blogathon. You know I remain a big fan of Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’. It was an instant classic in my book when I first took it in (more on that later), and I think it represents one of the statuettes that was robbed of him by the vaunted Academy. Believe it or not, I’ve still not seen ‘Midnight in Paris’ [note to self, be sure to update Netflix queue]. Well done, Ruth!

    1. Thanks Michael, though your in-depth write-up puts mine to shame, ahah. Yes, instant classic is not an exaggeration I think w/ Gladiator. I do hope the studio would re-release it on the big screen for its 20th anniversary or something. Hope you enjoy Midnight in Paris!

  10. What an awesome idea for a Blogathon. Love your choices, I don’t know about Hugo but I’d say Gladiator is on its way to become a classic for sure.

  11. I’m going to have to be controversial here and say that I’m not Gladiators biggest fan. As a visual spectacle it astounding but I thought some of the acting (particularly Oliver Reed) was hammy and the dialogue dreadful. In fairness, I’ve not seen it since it’s release and I will be watching it again soon, so please dont be too harsh on me 🙂
    I’d go for The Lord of the Rings and the awesome Memento.

    1. He..he.. are you getting back at me for my comment about the Coens? 😉 Well I’m going to say the same thing Mark, to each their own. I LOVE the dialog and I think Reed gave a fine last performance. It’s ok if you don’t like it though, again we can’t always agree on every film. I agree about LOTR and I wish I had put that down on my list!

      1. Lol. Not at all Ruth. I didn’t mean to come across as tit-for-tat. I respect your opinion. I often comment on people’s love for Gladiator. It seems to be a recurrent thing I post. Maybe, I’ll really need to watch it again, sooner rather than later. It’s been that long that my opinion of it might have changed. Or maybe, I just enjoy being the odd one out. 🙂

        1. Ha..ha.. I’m just kidding, Mark. Hey my blog is always open for people with differing opinions, I mean if we always agree on everything it’d be a boring blogosphere 😀

  12. My personal pick is Magnolia…. although the characters are a bit caricatured in order to express all that happens in a 24 hour period, the themes themselves transcend time. A hodge-podge of estranged families, the seeking of connection, the need to belong & simply trying to get through life are things that affect us all as humans!

    1. Hi Kimber, welcome to FC. Sorry but Magnolia is still on my to-watch list but given how many people adore it, I think you’re not the only one making that pick.

  13. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Great choices!

    How did I know that you would offer at least one ‘Blood, Sand and Sandals’ film on your list? Outside of ‘Spartacus’, the obvious choice is ‘Gladiator’.

    ‘Hugo’ is fine offering. Full of childlike wonderment and incredibly well detailed prop, set and CGI work. The film still reminds of the Disney film from the 1960, ‘Emil and the Detectives’. With a huge, overblown cinematic bent.

    I’d thought of adding a Woody Allen film to my list over at Paula’s. Then decided against it, since others would offer up some of his best romantic work. ‘Midnight in Paris’ certainly fills the bill.

    1. Hi Jack! He..he.. well apart from Ben Hur, Gladiator is my fave film in that genre. Glad to hear you like both Hugo and Midnight in Paris. I’m not even a huge fan of Scorsese or Allen but I think they’ve created something magical & timeless w/ those.

      1. jackdeth72

        Ohai, Ruth!

        ‘Hugo’ is one of the most Un~Scorsese film in the directors body of work. Though it is nice to see his homages to Louis Lumiere. The process of making very first generation, turn of the 20th century films laid out. The clockwork cameras, projectors and enormous machines are very cool too.

        I’m a big fan of early Woody Allen. His ‘Midnight in Paris’ has the humor and laughs of ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Manhattan’. And about one tenth of Allen’s signature neuroses to reinforce his story.

        Both films work very well now and will for years to come.

  14. Interesting choices, Ruth. Certainly all films that make one think although three gorgeous films as well. Of the three I’ve a special spot for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

    Aurora

    1. Hi Aurora, glad to see you here! Yes I do think these films are beautiful but certainly not hollow. I don’t think just simply being *pretty* is enough to be considered iconic. Midnight in Paris is just so very enchanting.

  15. Cannot say I disagree with ANY of your choices – well maybe one – HUGO and that is only because I have not seen it. But I can tell it is a masterwork of cinema and will be considered something worth noting if for no other reason than its Scorsese affiliation.

  16. YAY!!! SO glad to see Midnight In Paris in your list here Ruth! You know that I love that film so much! I completely agree. While I don’t hold Hugo in the same regard, it definitely has some fantastic cinematography. And Gladiator?! Well, that sealed the deal to becoming a FCM the day it came out in theaters! 🙂

    A great post here, Ruth. Loved reading it.

    “Strength and Honor!”

    1. We are kindred spirits, man. I know you love Midnight in Paris and you also mentioned Gladiator on your post. I do think there will be a re-release of that one decades from now and you know I’ll be first in line 😀

      Nice touch w/ that salutation, T. Glad you’re entertained by this post 😉

  17. Wow, this is a really neat blogathon idea! I really do hope Midnight in Paris endures; it has so many of the traits and stylistic flourishes that made classic films great, as well as a nice modern twist. Woody Allen’s direction is excellent. One of the best movies of the last twelve years, and certainly a future classic. Well done! 🙂

    1. Hey you’re always welcome to join in, Tyler 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Midnight in Paris, it’s such a stylish and charming film. I do think it just might have a long-lasting appeal.

  18. Ted S.

    I can’t comment on Hugo or Midnight In Paris since I have yet to see either of them. But I think Gladiator might become a “classic” in 20 years or so from now, heck it’s been 12 years since it came out in theaters. Yikes, I’m getting old, I can still remember seeing it for the first time theater and didn’t like it that much. I gave it another shot on DVD and I liked it much more the second time around.

    One film that I think will be considered a classic in 20 years or so from now is No Country For Old Men. Maybe I’m a little bias since I love the film so much but I can see young critics and film fans alike gushing over it in the year 2045. Will it have the same reputation as say The Godfather? I don’t know but we’ll have wait to find out, hopefully I’m still alive by then.

    1. Ahah, yeah it has been 12 years indeed. I do hope they’ll re-release it for its 20th anniversary. I have the BD and hope to rewatch it sometime soon.

      Oh, my friend Mark above has just reviewed ‘No Country For Old Men,’ surely he’d agree with you. It’s not my cup of tea so I’ll probably never see it.

  19. Aw I’m really sad I didn’t hear about this before, would have totally participated. Oh well, I definitely think you’re right on with Gladiator! That movie will withstand the test of time. I personally would have gone for Almost Famous which is my favorite movie. The emphasis on music, regardless of time period makes it a classic.

    1. Hey you can still join in, gurl, just copy and paste that intro and banner from the top of mine. I’m sure Paula wouldn’t mind adding a link to your post 🙂

      Glad to hear you like Gladiator, too. I haven’t seen Almost Famous but I know lots of people love that one.

  20. Gladiator is such a great movie! Ridley Scott has proven he is the master at creating worlds, whether from the past, present or future. As for your other two picks I haven’t seen them yet, but I’ve always been curious about Midnight In Paris. Awesome work, Ruth!

    1. Hi Javier, welcome to FC! Amen about what you said about Sir Ridley, that’s why he’s one of my fave directors. Hope you see Midnight in Paris soon!

  21. Great choice to include Gladiator Ruth. It is a film I haven’t seen for a long while – is there a blu-ray out yet, I might have to get it – and your recommendation makes me want to see it again soon. It is such a visually stunning film but a great central story and character. It is a film I definitely think will stand the test of time.

    1. Oh YES it’s out on Blu-ray already, in fact I have it and still waiting to be watched 🙂 Glad you agree of how timeless it is.

  22. Yeah, I don’t know about Hugo. Midnight in Paris only insomuch as it is part of the Woody Allan filmography. Gladiator is likely, since it was the best and most successful swords and sandals epic we’ve had in some time.

    1. No, feel free to join in. Pls be sure to give my friend Paula credit for the blogathon and use the banner as well. Do let me know when your post is up, I’d be curious to see it 🙂

  23. yaykisspurr

    I love your choices though probably may fav is Gladiator…it already is a classic to my mind. I’d probably add Working Girl to the list for a “girl’s” choice. Cheers 🙂

  24. I believe “O Brother, Where Are Thou?” and possibly even “Ray” may become classics in the future. Without a doubt, “Titanic” will be on that list.

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  26. Definitely agree that Gladiator is already a modern classic. My all time favourite film. I can’t love it enough.

    Like to think The Matrix will be a classic in years to come. It changed the face of sci-fi films.

    The Lion King – it’s a modern Disney classic. Much like Snow White is seen now. Wasn’t it one of the biggest box office hits for Disney too?

    I even think Avengers Assemble will be one of those modern classics. One of those films our grand children will be talking about because it’s just so well loved right now.

    1. Modern classic is right, Jaina. Glad we have share our love for this film. I love The Avengers but I don’t know about it’s classic status though, we shall see I suppose.

  27. Ahhh, I totally missed this blogathon! Bummer. Great choice on Gladiator, Ruth! I watched it for the first time a couple years ago and it was still incredible. I could easily see it holding up many years from now.

    1. Hey you can still participate, Eric! I’m sure Paula wouldn’t mind. Come on, I’d love to read it.

      Glad you love Gladiator too. You just saw it 2 years ago? Well, better late than never 😀

  28. I would love for MIP to become a classic. I think it’s an enchanting film and my favorite from 2011. Gladiator is a classic already, IMO. Almost anything that Chris Nolan or David Fincher have directed in the last decade could very well become a classic soon, I think.

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