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Michael Sheen’s ten favourite films

By
Dave Calhoun
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We’ve been asking famous actors to share their most-loved films with us – the movies that most turn them on as filmgoers. Today, it’s the turn of the brilliant British screen and stage actor Michael Sheen. You probably know him from playing Tony Blair in ‘The Queen’, Aro in the ‘Twilight’ movies or David Frost in ‘Frost/Nixon’. We last saw him on the big screen in this year’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’, opposite Carey Mulligan.

We can tell you one thing: Mr Sheen knows his movies. Here are his top ten films, with comments from the man himself… 

1. A Matter Of Life And Death (1946)

'My favourite film since I was about 12. Romantic, disturbing, beautiful, strange and challenging. One of the most extraordinary opening scenes of all time. Deceptively simple and truly groundbreaking.'

2. Apocalypse Now (1979)

'Total immersive filmmaking. Soaked in mythology and obsession, Francis Ford Coppola leaves it all on the screen. It turned my head upside down and inside out. I discover something new each time I watch it.'

3. Blue Velvet (1986)

'David Lynch changed the world for me and this was the first of his films that I saw. No one has inspired me in relation to what is possible in art more than him.'

4. 8 1/2 (1963)

'I think Federico Fellini is the Master. He self-mythologised his dreamworld into a personal wonderland on screen. Every film he made has something breathtaking and beautifully disturbing in it.'

5. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

'This is a film that has seemed to change over the years for me. It terrified me as a child, then later it spoke to me about the sacrifices of artistic vision and later again about a spiritual journey towards death and beyond.'

6. Raging Bull (1980)

'Brutal and beautiful. This opened up the possibilities of what film acting could be to me.'

7. The Tree Of Life (2011)

'Terrence Malick is at his most ambitious in this film. Fusing the spiritual and the familial, he explores man’s place in the universe in one of the most beautiful films ever made.'

8. Stalker (1979)

'It’s science fiction – but as far away from a summer blockbuster as you can get.'

9. In The Name Of The Father (1993)

'Daniel Day-Lewis showed me you can lose yourself so completely and give yourself so totally to the story that to praise the performance can seem a betrayal of what has been achieved.'

10. House (1977)

'Writer/director Nobuhiko Obayashi developed ideas for this film with his young daughter. And it’s totally mental! It's impossible to describe, and it’s not for everyone, but I love it and so does my daughter. It’s wildly inventive, funny, scary and genuinely disturbing at times. Utter brilliance.'

You can explore the 100 best movies ever made – as picked by leading actors including Michael Sheen – here.

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