Five Favorite Films

Cynthia Nixon's Five Favorite Films

by | November 18, 2015 | Comments

Cynthia Nixon FFF
Getty Images / Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer

 

Cynthia Nixon has always been easy to find in films or television, with a career spanning decades since her childhood. She currently stars in James White as the main character’s mother Gail, who is suffering from a serious illness. The film takes place in New York, which is also where Nixon was born, and is also a big part of her Five Favorite Films.


The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) 100%

It’s just a nearly perfect film. It has everything. It has humor and suspense. It has danger and emotion. An incredible ensemble cast of the people you’ve heard of and know their name — like Walter Matthau and Jerry Stiller — to the amazing actors who played the characters on the subway train. I think it captures my New York — what I love about New York, what I think New York is — so beautifully. It’s this place of cranky individuals with big personalities who make our city run.  And you’d think it wouldn’t work, but actually, it does, and New York comes through. And all the ways the transit cops, and cops, and mayor, and the citizens, and the people in charge of making the trains go — all of these people amazingly work together. And you know, when the lights go off and the old man who keeps saying, “There’s going to be red lights and it’s going to stop the train,” he’s right. Actually the system works. It lumbers along but actually it works.

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 90%

Well, it has a lot of what makes Citizen Kane amazing; you know, the incredible camera angles and perspectives, and the sense of history — American history — great performances. But to me, it’s a much juicier story.  So it’s from a Booth Tarkington novel — which I’ve never read — and it’s the story of a young man who’s played by Joseph Cotten — who you know is also in Citizen Kane — who will go on to become the man who invents the automobile. But at the time, he is the ruler of our heroine, and he does not win her hand because he’s not a big deal enough — not from her point of view, but from her family’s point of view. Because they are the magnificent Ambersons; they are the richest, most important family in town. And instead she marries someone that she doesn’t love and who’s not as impressive a person. So she takes all that love she doesn’t really have for her husband, and pours it onto her son, who becomes a spoiled nightmarish brat. And it is the downward trajectory of the Ambersons  — as Joseph Cotten’s character, in his ingenuity, makes all these important scientific advances, and he gains money. And the Ambersons spend their money terribly and they’re dissolute.

And all this tragedy ensues — finally, finally, finally at the end. When he’s a baby — when he’s a young boy — he’s so spoiled. And they’re all waiting for the day when George Amberson will get his comeuppance. And finally, everything horrible that could happen to a person happens to him. But by the time George Amberson got his comeuppance, the people who had so longed to see it were no longer around. And in the end, he finally, finally, finally comes to his senses and embraces his mother’s true love and accepts help. It’s just a beautifully told story of star-crossed lovers; but also how when everything is going for you — and you think you’re so great, because you come from people who’ve told you that you’re great — but actually, if you can’t fend for yourself you’re gonna float to the bottom pretty quickly.

Heartburn (1986) 45%

One time when I auditioned for Nora Ephron, I went on and on and on to her about how much I loved Heartburn. And I also love the book that it’s from.

RT: Was she psyched about that?

She was a little puzzled. She didn’t think at the time it was such a successful film. I don’t think she thought it was as funny as it should’ve been. And she said, “Why do you love that film so much? Was someone very, very bad to you?” And I guess it’s sort of true. I guess there was a period of heartbreak in my life that I identified with in Nora Ephron’s character. There’s just something so delicious — and, again, it’s a very New York movie. It’s like a really grown-up movie about love, and motherhood, and betrayal — and marriages that don’t work out, and food, and wanting to be the perfect wife and have the career too. It’s all that stuff, and also just watching Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson together — what could be better than that? And also supporting [cast] — Stockard Channing, and Milos Forman, and Catherine O’hara — all these people who are in the movie are just incredible.

The Band Wagon (1953) 100%

I love The Band Wagon. You just can’t go wrong. Singin’ in the Rain is great. The Sound of Music is great. But I think it is the number one MGM movie musical. It just has endlessly inventive numbers. And everyone in it is great and it’s so witty. Then again it’s very New York. A very New York story. Hollywood actor kind of fallen on hard times comes to New York to revive his career.

Finding Nemo (2003) 99%

Oh, I just love Nemo. Again, it’s just an almost perfect film.

RT: Absolutely. There’s so much poetry in Albert Brooks as a fish.

Oh, and Ellen DeGeneres. Of all the fantastic things Ellen DeGeneres has done — she’s never been better than she’s been in that movie. It is an astonishing performance. Astonishing.  And all those people in the tank, and just the artistry with which they made the movie. And the script is so great — and those turtles — you know those Australian turtles? They’re the best.


James White is now open in limited release.

  • VicioousAlienKlown

    Finding Nemo and Taking Pelham are good choices but the others are pretentious crap actors feel they need to give to not sound too populous.

  • ntvnyr30

    I looked at her list with no expectations and lo and behold she mentioned 2 of the films on my top 30 list: “Pelham” and “Ambersons”. Pelham is an overlooked classic from the 70’s. Why they tried to remake it is a mystery.

Tag Cloud

Mindy Kaling Marvel Creative Arts Emmys TCA Winter 2020 Christmas SXSW TIFF SundanceTV BBC spain robots Oscars Pop TV Trivia Infographic mission: impossible Music comiccon Musicals Mary Tyler Moore anthology Comics on TV psycho anime Fantasy Apple Marvel Television Family canceled First Look Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt comic MSNBC Set visit Dark Horse Comics Pop Mudbound Nominations cinemax canceled TV shows Netflix Christmas movies spinoff dark children's TV Cartoon Network indiana jones TV Land Holidays witnail Rocky CBS All Access Podcast Pet Sematary Year in Review YouTube Premium unscripted toy story Peacock Tarantino Sundance TV green book jamie lee curtis movies Lionsgate talk show Amazon Prime politics Valentine's Day discovery Rocketman Disney blaxploitation cooking Country cancelled television video what to watch See It Skip It X-Men Academy Awards vampires National Geographic FOX Certified Fresh TV renewals cults Acorn TV 24 frames Captain marvel E! Spike Black Mirror mockumentary hist OneApp supernatural zero dark thirty Red Carpet First Reviews all-time Action adventure Adult Swim documentaries BBC America elevated horror Pixar Black History Month based on movie war Travel Channel Trailer disaster game show Syfy Star Wars HBO Go psychological thriller History sports Apple TV Plus films Summer Endgame Masterpiece 007 sitcom Super Bowl Trophy Talk television TLC cars sag awards facebook TruTV hispanic video on demand Mystery adaptation VICE political drama asian-american TV casting BET Awards Disney streaming service Song of Ice and Fire Paramount Warner Bros. Hallmark justice league ratings Cannes USA Walt Disney Pictures 21st Century Fox Lifetime twilight Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Countdown Writers Guild of America free movies MCU indie Universal Marathons Vudu chucky police drama Comedy Central SDCC blockbuster Extras DGA The Arrangement NYCC Nat Geo PlayStation streaming Food Network Quiz 2016 Superheroe ITV Film Festival revenge Avengers 2019 Paramount Network singing competition concert Netflix NBC Comedy 2017 ABC Family reboot scary movies LGBTQ south america El Rey New York Comic Con GoT YA LGBT USA Network Reality christmas movies Holiday romantic comedy Tumblr finale animated RT History doctor who FX Elton John Interview OWN aliens transformers Amazon Studios DirecTV Spring TV Sci-Fi franchise Marvel Studios Animation screen actors guild nature CBS TCA Box Office Western Women's History Month Polls and Games San Diego Comic-Con breaking bad 4/20 Disney+ Disney Plus Epix crossover Opinion parents werewolf halloween GIFs theme song child's play stoner TNT Amazon Prime Video PBS Pride Month true crime dogs ghosts cats Baby Yoda Drama Nickelodeon Hallmark Christmas movies Chernobyl Bravo Turner Classic Movies DC Comics Heroines 45 docudrama period drama universal monsters Turner WarnerMedia Winners sequel critics 2020 Ellie Kemper Biopics ABC Emmy Nominations directors versus crime drama HBO Max Cosplay Spectrum Originals Mary Poppins Returns romance DC Universe Discovery Channel renewed TV shows FX on Hulu dceu Election Awards crime thriller MTV FXX Teen Film Crunchyroll The Witch Pirates medical drama Horror Brie Larson YouTube 20th Century Fox mutant Toys harry potter TCM serial killer Reality Competition Starz TBS Lucasfilm Stephen King series Classic Film binge Anna Paquin joker TCA 2017 foreign BAFTA cartoon technology festivals Lifetime Christmas movies Fox News Best and Worst Apple TV+ stand-up comedy Tubi WGN cancelled TV shows travel Fall TV Superheroes DC streaming service A&E boxoffice Shudder Character Guide 71st Emmy Awards A24 zombies Schedule latino PaleyFest crime satire Hear Us Out criterion Ghostbusters 2015 reviews Freeform Video Games natural history E3 Arrowverse The Purge screenings teaser tv talk Photos Showtime Tomatazos VH1 GLAAD Rock Hulu RT21 Thanksgiving movie Comic Book miniseries dramedy diversity Television Academy cancelled Emmys batman Esquire best richard e. Grant ESPN Premiere Dates President Amazon IFC Films rotten movies we love composers Watching Series independent Musical Sundance Now The CW strong female leads Crackle dc historical drama name the review The Walking Dead Logo BET Binge Guide Sneak Peek spanish language Grammys Martial Arts Ovation YouTube Red golden globes Winter TV Rom-Com documentary cops game of thrones a nightmare on elm street thriller Sony Pictures book social media biography space Awards Tour Star Trek Columbia Pictures BBC One CMT quibi comedies dragons kids AMC CNN Mary poppins Calendar IFC Disney Plus science fiction cancelled TV series zombie American Society of Cinematographers 2018 Funimation Shondaland comics VOD die hard Britbox HBO award winner Kids & Family Disney Channel APB Sundance CW Seed spy thriller spider-man slashers news