Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top 10 Nora Ephron films

Nora Ephron, who died Tuesday of leukemia in New York at age 71, wrote, directed and produced numerous films.

Her greatest hits include several smart, beloved romantic comedies and a classic dramatic thriller.

Here are my favorites.

1. "When Harry Met Sally..." 1989 (writer, producer)
The ultimate rom-com about getting stuck in the friend zone finds Billy Crystal at his best and Meg Ryan at her most adorable. Also features fine performance by Carrie Fisher.

2. "Silkwood," 1983 (writer)
Meryl Streep rocks as a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who has been contaminated, mentally abused and possibly murdered so she won't expose the plant's safety violation.

3. "Julie & Julia," 2009 (writer, director, producer)
Ephron taps Streep again, this time to brilliantly play famed food writer/TV chef Julia Child in this touching, joyous biopic with a twist.

4. "Sleepless in Seattle" 1993 (writer, director)
Tom Hanks and Ryan (adorable again) make sparks fly in this story about what happens when a recently-widowed man's son clandestinely plays matchmaker. 

5. "You've Got Mail," 1998 (writer, director, producer)
Ephrom re-teams with Hanks and Ryan (still adorable) for another rom-com romp that takes its title from some email prompt thingy and, ah, chat rooms, from AOL. The first "e-com"? Maybe.  

6. "My Blue Heaven," 1990 (writer, producer)
Not exactly a "Nora Ephron film," but she wrote this mafioso comedy solo nonetheless, creating one of Steve Martin's most hilarious (and underrated) roles as the gangster with the heart of gold.

7. "Heartburn," 1986 (writer)
Based on her novel of the same name about her marriage to Washington Post/"All the President;s Men" writer Carl Bernstein. Film stars Streep and Jack Nicholson.  

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8. "Michael," 1996 (writer, director, producer)
Likable fantasy film finds John Travolta playing hard drinking, smoking slob Archangel Michael. 

9. "Mixed Nuts," 1994 (writer, director)
Better than critics (or box office numbers) indicate, Christmas comedy stars Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rita Wilson and a young Adam Sandler.

10. "Cookie," 1989 (writer, executive producer)
Ephron's first mafioso comedy is not "My Blue Heave" but it's not bad. Cast features Peter Falk as

Ephron also coauthored, with her sister Delia Ephron, the  play "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," which can be seen at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota.

Writer-filmmaker Nora Ephron dies at 71

—AP Photo is an image released by Warner Bros. Home Video showing actors Tom Hanks, left, and Meg Ryan in a scene from"You've Got Mail." 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't know she wrote "Michael" either. I used to live on the island next door to the guy who William Hurt's character was based upon. He was a reporter from the Enquirer.