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Michael Sheen
Photograph: Sarah DunnMichael Sheen

Check out Michael Sheen's 10 favorite movies

Joshua Rothkopf

You know Michael Sheen. He's the actor who held his own against the brilliant Helen Mirren as Tony Blair to her Elizabeth II in The Queen. There's an amazing level of craft to Sheen's acting: Check out his David Frost in Frost/Nixon or his deliciously arrogant Brian Clough in The Damned United. And Sheen has terrific taste, too (we were stupefied when we saw that he included a crazy Japanese cult film about teenage girls trapped in a haunted house). When we assembled our beyond-fascinating list of the 100 best movies of all time, we asked 73 of the world's most prominent actors to take part. Below we present Sheen's ballot, with comments from the man himself.

1. A Matter of Life and Death "My favorite 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 "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 "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 "I think Federico Fellini is the master. He self-mythologized 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 "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 toward death and beyond."

6. Raging Bull "Brutal and beautiful. This opened up the possibilities of what film acting could be to me."

7. The Tree of Life "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 "It’s science fiction—but as far away from a summer blockbuster as you can get."

9. In the Name of the Father "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 "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."


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