Five Favorite Films

Toni Collette's Five Favorite Films

The Acclaimed Actress Reveals the Film She Watched Repeatedly After Having Her Appendix Removed (as a Childhood Prank).

by | August 19, 2016 | Comments

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Photo by Getty Images / John Sciulli / Stringer

A cornucopia of marvelous roles in film (The HoursAbout a BoyThe Sixth SenseGlasslandKrampus) and TV (United States of TaraHostages) has garnered Toni Collette a bounty of well-deserved awards and acclaim from critics and audiences alike. In the new film Imperium — opening today in limited release — she teams with Daniel Radcliffe and Nestor Carbonell in a drama inspired by real events about an undercover agent who tries to take down a white supremacist terrorist group. As a performer in various genres (with a musical career to boot), Collette clearly has influences from all around. Here we have her Five Favorite Films — in her own words –to shed some more light on her professional and personal journey:


Harold and Maude (1971) 84%

I love this film and can watch it over and over. Hal Ashby is one of my favorite filmmakers. Both the lead characters are so unique and their pairing even more so. The thing that I love about it the most is Maude’s incredible sense of freedom and her direct influence on Harold. Death awaits us all, and it’s easy to shrink in that knowledge, but she teaches him to embrace life and be himself and choose to be positive and open. Their connection is so lovely and inspirational. This film tackles life, death, and everything in between in the most entertaining way.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) 93%

A modern classic. So original and exciting to watch. The premise itself is like a science fiction story, except that it is all very human and emotional. I think it’s Jim Carrey‘s best and most relatable performance. Kate [Winslet] is always amazing, but here she gets to do something she’d never done before. She’s so scattered and passionate and real. It’s heartbreaking because it’s about heartbreak and vulnerability and the inability to navigate through it all, which is, of course, an essential part of the human experience. It’s entirely unique, from an original voice, and that, in itself, deserves applause. The music is brilliant also.

The Sound of Music (1965) 84%

There is an embarrassing story flying around about me faking appendicitis when I was eleven years old. Sadly, it’s true. The upshot of the experience is that whilst I was in hospital my parents bought a beta VCR player. So on the way home after being released, we stopped at a very small garage (or gas station) which had a few shelves of movies. There were no video stores yet. We hired The Sound of Music for two weeks and I watched it repeatedly, several times a day, while I recovered. Needless to say, I know every word and love it dearly. I guess I love the way the family slowly embraces Maria. She has such a good heart, and it finds the perfect home. How do you solve a problem like Maria?!

Breaking the Waves (1996) 85%

OK look, I have only seen this film once and I will never watch it again. But the effect it had on me was so profound that it kind of shifted things creatively inside me. I went to the cinema one night in London with two very good friends when I was 24. It blew me away. It’s so raw and so poetic at the same time. Emily Watson was sublime. I came out of the theater in a daze and the three of us wandered around the streets of Soho for hours not quite knowing what to do with ourselves. I literally didn’t sleep all night. I just lay there in my hotel room reliving the story. Even now I can see the bleak color palette, the camera moves, and Emily’s naive face. Lars Von Trier is a genius. Every film he makes is so honest and powerful.

Terms of Endearment (1983) 88%

It’s basically my perfect movie. Character driven with phenomenal performances, so idiosyncratic, and funny as hell, as well as achingly sad. The ideal combination of comedy and tragedy. I adore Shirley [MacLaine] and Jack [Nicholson] together. I love them, full stop. It’s the most satisfying tearjerker ever made because the lows are so beautifully balanced with gorgeous, swelling highs.


Imperium opens today in limited release.

Tag Cloud

The CW Martial Arts First Look Chernobyl Acorn TV cults Lionsgate Netflix Mindy Kaling 24 frames dramedy based on movie quibi Britbox Cosplay elevated horror Red Carpet adventure TNT Pirates ABC Shondaland WarnerMedia Showtime Spring TV RT21 social media IFC Films Lifetime FX Hulu zero dark thirty aliens mockumentary cats festivals Biopics Disney Channel Rom-Com doctor who PaleyFest History Winter TV ESPN Crackle TV Land Ellie Kemper CBS book psychological thriller Countdown streaming Animation Nickelodeon Nominations DirecTV Best and Worst DGA natural history Epix Walt Disney Pictures Freeform Mudbound witnail President Starz Drama Adult Swim binge Warner Bros. police drama Pride Month American Society of Cinematographers kids Thanksgiving mutant Spike teaser Rocketman crime ghosts Cartoon Network VH1 USA Network Comics on TV Oscars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tarantino Reality Competition robots Pop Family Syfy Horror politics historical drama 2018 Valentine's Day Kids & Family DC streaming service BBC Binge Guide Vudu Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Winners golden globes Mary Poppins Returns boxoffice Emmy Nominations revenge TruTV TIFF New York Comic Con spinoff serial killer Holidays Lucasfilm Tomatazos SXSW Christmas anthology CW Seed Columbia Pictures Action LGBTQ space Amazon Prime Bravo Dark Horse Comics Trophy Talk zombie YA Universal Apple Esquire E3 Ghostbusters Sundance Now Anna Paquin jamie lee curtis diversity Sneak Peek Set visit Schedule 2016 Comedy Central Awards Tour CNN Toys Character Guide Sci-Fi FXX comiccon NYCC war Certified Fresh Disney streaming service Heroines true crime children's TV TLC Superheroe DC Comics discovery singing competition See It Skip It crime drama movies Brie Larson Pet Sematary crossover Comic Book VICE MSNBC sitcom 21st Century Fox game show romance science fiction E! Musicals Spectrum Originals Rock casting Paramount sequel DC Universe San Diego Comic-Con Grammys Captain marvel ABC Family disaster Star Wars Country Box Office Food Network biography transformers spy thriller zombies facebook comic USA HBO cinemax Emmys OWN Interview NBC BET Amazon Prime Video award winner period drama technology IFC Infographic Western docudrama Awards TV cars vampires SDCC CBS All Access Superheroes TCA APB hist 007 National Geographic MTV Paramount Network strong female leads composers MCU AMC BBC America dragons finale Trailer Tumblr psycho YouTube Red political drama SundanceTV Film The Arrangement Reality GIFs Mary Tyler Moore Mystery Premiere Dates Cannes A&E unscripted Video Games LGBT ratings green book harry potter TCA 2017 X-Men thriller Stephen King Women's History Month El Rey CMT Comedy sports Creative Arts Emmys animated FOX Masterpiece Super Bowl television nature Photos richard e. Grant Fox News spider-man 2019 Rocky Extras GoT Polls and Games Teen Song of Ice and Fire Calendar theme song Ovation TBS blaxploitation Opinion Marvel PBS miniseries tv talk dc crime thriller Star Trek HBO Max RT History adaptation YouTube Premium toy story Elton John Pixar supernatural Quiz what to watch Fall TV Marathons Disney ITV Nat Geo Logo Shudder series WGN GLAAD 20th Century Fox Podcast Election Mary poppins Fantasy Writers Guild of America Watching Series travel 2015 cooking justice league Film Festival Sony Pictures medical drama Amazon Trivia Black Mirror Year in Review Music cops Summer 2017 45 Sundance dceu TCM talk show anime Musical The Witch