10 Good Colin Firth Movies

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

10 Good Colin Firth Movies

Colin Firth drives women wild. Maybe it’s his good looks, or maybe it has something to do with his refined British accent. Then again, maybe women are just drawn to his damned fine acting abilities. Regardless of the reason, he’s managed to carve out a career for himself on stage and screen, often playing reserved characters who find love in the most unexpected places.

During the ‘80s, Firth was lumped in with other young UK actors and labeled part of “the Brit Pack.” But while some of these performers have drifted towards television or supporting roles in film, Firth’s star is shining brighter than ever. And even though he was nominated for back-to-back Best Actor Oscars in 2010 and 2011, he maintains a breakneck schedule. From 2007 to 2010, he appeared in sixteen feature films. The following list details ten of his best.

By subscribing to Netflix–America’s leading online rental service–you’ll be able to have all these good Colin Firth movies delivered to your home. You can also take advantage of their streaming service, allowing you to watch thousands of films on your PC or television.

Pride and Prejudice (1995) – While it’s not a feature film, this six-part British miniseries elevated Colin Firth to stardom and drove female viewers wild. Based on the classic Jane Austen novel, the series stars Jennifer Ehle as the witty and somewhat judgmental Elizabeth Bennet and Firth as the aloof and incredibly hunky Mr. Darcy. Romance and misunderstandings ensue, but romance prevails in true Jane Austen fashion. Author Helen Fielding was inspired to write the Bridget Jones novels after viewing the series, and a scene with Firth in a soaking wet shirt has been deemed “one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history.” Male viewers–especially fans of explosions and martial arts–may want to stay away, but women are almost guaranteed to get weak in the knees.

The English Patient (1996) – A tragic tale of love and guilt, all played out against the backdrop of World War II. Ralph Fiennes stars as the title character, a mysterious and horribly burned individual being cared for by a nurse (Juliette Binoche) in an Italian monastery. As the films rolls along, we learn of the man’s tragic past and what led him to his current condition. Meanwhile, a number of characters appear at the monastery, some looking for love and others for revenge. Winner of nine Academy Awards–including Best Picture–Firth appears in flashbacks as a wealthy Brit whose wife’s infidelity drives him to dangerous lengths. Also starring Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Naveen Andrews.

Fever Pitch (1997) – No, this is not the baseball movie starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. It’s actually the film that the aforementioned comedy was based on, with its material adapted from the autobiographical novel by Nick Hornby. Firth stars as Paul Ashworth, a London teacher who’s mental about his favorite soccer team, Arsenal. But when he falls for a newly-arrived teacher (Ruth Gemmell), his romantic life and the fortunes of his football club suddenly synchronize with hilarious and nail-biting results. Co-starring Mark Strong and Stephen Rea.

Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Winner of seven Oscars (including Best Picture), this period romantic comedy centers around destitute playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and his forbidden romance with the daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) of a wealthy merchant. Meanwhile, he works on his latest play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. Filled with a number of characters taken from history, as well as frequent sly mentions of Shakespeare works and lines, it’s a perfect choice for those tired out by the usual paint-by-number rom-coms. Paltrow won Best Actress, Judi Dench won Best Supporting Actress, and Firth rotates between foppish and fiendish as a noble who stands in the way of true love. Also starring Ben Affleck, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, and Imelda Staunton.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) – Since the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries inspired the novel that this film was based on, it’s only appropriate that Colin Firth should take on the role of Mark Darcy, a London lawyer who captures the affection of our heroine, a thirty-something neurotic by the name of Bridget Jones (Rene Zellweger with an impressive British accent). High Grant co-stars as Darcy’s rival and an all-around cad, while the cast is rounded out by Gemma Jones and Jim Broadbent. A witty British rom-com that hits all the right notes and spawned a 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

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Love Actually (2003) – While romantic comedies aren’t my favorite genre, even I was entertained by this charming film from director Richard Curtis. Featuring an impressive ensemble cast and taking place on and around the Christmas holidays, Love Actually follows ten interweaving tales of love, be it platonic, adulterous, or downright passionate. Firth stars as Jamie, a writer who retires to his French cottage following his girlfriend’s affair with his brother. There, he finds an immediate attraction to his Portuguese housekeeper (Lucia Moniz), but neither one can speak the other’s language. The rest of the primarily British cast includes Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, and Billy Bob Thornton.

St Trinian’s (2007) – Released 53 years after the first film adaptation of Ronald Searle’s cartoons, St Trinian’s follows the chaos inside a British school for difficult girls. Talulah Riley stars as the latest transfer to St Trinian’s, a school administered by the eccentric Miss Camilla Dagey Fritton (Rupert Everett in drag). The plot is just as chaotic as the school, with hockey matches, plots to steal priceless art, and homemade vodka being brewed in the science lab. Russell Brand co-stars as a petty criminal named Flash Harry, Gemma Arterton is the school’s Head Girl (middle name: Opposum), and Colin Firth is the Education Minister bent on exposing St Trinian’s for the dysfunctional environment that it truly is. Fans of Firth will no doubt enjoy watching him try to romance a dress-wearing Rupert Everett, all while having his leg humped by a dog who happens to be named Mr. Darcy. American viewers may be left scratching their heads, but anyone living across the pond should have a blast.

Easy Virtue (2008) – Based on the play by Noel Coward, Easy Virtue stars Jessica Biel as Larita Whittaker, an American widow and racecar driver who marries a young Brit (Ben Barnes) on the spur of the moment. When he takes her home to meet the family, Larita immediately experiences friction with her mother-in-law (Kristin Scott Thomas). Her new father-in-law (Colin Firth), however, proves to be something of a kindred spirit. A well-paced social comedy featuring a wickedly over-the-top performance from Scott Thomas, and perhaps the best acting of Biel’s career. Firth is his usual reliable self, playing a once vibrant man trapped in a loveless marriage and haunted by his wartime experiences.

A Single Man (2009) – Firth received a Best Actor Oscar nomination–as well as wins at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards–for his portrayal of George Falconer, a gay British professor living in California during the early ‘60s. Having recently lost his lover in a fatal car crash, George decides to take his own life. The film follows George as he prepares for the end, spending time with his best friend (Julianne Moore), unexpectedly bonding with a student (Nicholas Hoult), and trying to gather the courage to do what he feels must be done. A brilliant piece of acting by Firth.

The King’s Speech (2010) – Firth earned another Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and this time he’s the odds-on favorite to win. He portrays King George VI, a stuttering monarch faced with the task of inspiring the British people during the events of World War II. Feeling the need to take his message of courage and hope to the airwaves, he hires the services of an eccentric Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush). Directed by Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech received a total of 12 Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress).

By the time you read this, Colin Firth will likely have picked up his first Oscar win. So if you’re into award-winning actors, be sure to subscribe to Netflix and watch all the good Colin Firth movies listed above. We do receive a small commission when you join through our website, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps us pay for the costs of running Only Good Movies.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 3:08 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “10 Good Colin Firth Movies”

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April 17, 2012

Leis

What about The Importance of Being Earnest? I really enjoyed it…And Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite with The King’s Speech in a close second.

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