With the Academy Awards approaching, we asked some of our most beloved professors for their all–time favorite films and picks for this year's Oscars.

Gail Shister

 Critical Writing Program

All–time favorite movies:

1. Godfather: "A flawless masterwork."

2. Godfather II: "See above."

3. Streetcar Named Desire: "Brilliant cast; extraordinary writing. I've probably seen it 50 times."

4. The Deer Hunter: "Vietnam comes to small-town Pennsylvania. Devastating."

5. The Last Picture Show: "A quiet, elegant character study set against a dying Texas town in the '50s."  

All–time favorite TV shows:

1. Sopranos: "Nothing like it, before or since. A masterpiece."

2. West Wing: "Aaron Sorkin at his finest. A president you could trust."

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm: "Larry David's neurotic humor was discomforting and irresistible."

4. My So–Called Life: "The trials and tribulations of adolescence, as seen through the eyes of a teenaged Claire Danes. Tragically, only aired one season."

5. Friday Night Lights: "The trials and tribulations of adolescence, as seen through a Texas high school football team and its coach."

1. Transparent: "A drama–comedy with real balls."

2. Law & Order: SVU: "An addiction, I admit it. What are you going to do, arrest me?"

3. Downton Abbey. "Not usually my cup of tea, but it gradually won me over."

4. Last Week Tonight: "John Oliver rules."

5. Orange is the New Black: "Sisterhood behind bars. Who knew?"  

Oscars: (What SHOULD win)

1. Best Picture: Brooklyn

2. Best Director: The Revenant

3. Best Actor: Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs 

4. Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years 

5. Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone for Creed 

6. Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs 

Dr. Caroline Connolly

Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Psychology Department

All–time favorite movies:

1. The Bridges of Madison County"Beautiful and poignant. Just watch it, I promise it's worth it. I thought it was going to be lame too, but you'll be hard–pressed to not ugly–cry."

2. The Graduate: "Dustin Hoffman trapped in the life of an adult, sometimes involving scuba gear. He's so awkward and impulsive, yet women love him? Must be the car."

3. Chocolat (the Claire Denis film about Cameroon, not Johnny Depp): "Beautiful and perfect. Shockingly under-appreciated."

4. Lost in Translation: "It's lovely, and the only time Scarlett Johansson's steadfast monotone is well placed."

5. Annie Hall: "Bittersweet growing pains of a couple and then, ta–da! It ends concisely, which is a rarity for love stories."

6. Donnie Darko: "Because everyone does die alone. In spite of disliking anything fantasy/sci–fi, this pulls it all off, with a soundtrack to boot."

7. The English Patient: "Even without the sound, this is a great movie."

"Wait, nearly everything on my list involves people living as outsiders in their own lives or those who live/die alone. Apparently I am not the optimist I thought I was." (Ed. note: Same...

All–time favorite TV shows:

1. Breaking Bad: "Whoever wrote articles about this on your site did a stellar job."

2. The Sopranos: "A classic."

3. The Wire: "I still manage to make references to this in PSYC001."

4. Forbrydelsen (Danish original version of The Killing): "Not for the faint of heart."

5. 30 Rock: "Tina Fey at her best."

6. The Misfits: "A show about people with superpowers, but no assumptions of a moral compass. It's profane, and it has the most creative story lines on television."

Favorite on–air TV shows:

1. Girls: "Observant and clever. How many self-involved people can you fit in one TV show? Apparently very many! This is genius."

2. Fargo: "Landy as a butcher with a ruminating, self-actualizing wife. How did they not win awards for this?"

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm (on hiatus, may still come back): "No battle is too small, and Larry David picks every one."

4. Peaky Blinders: "Cillian Murphy is amazing in everything. He's a disturbingly violent criminal, but you still root for him. It must be because he's so dreamy."

5. Bob's Burgers: "Silliness in animation! One time, in P.E., I beat a dog at basketball."

Oscar picks: 

"Apparently Spotlight is going to take it all, but I haven't seen it!" 

Dr. Ponzy Lu

Chair of Biochemistry Program

All–time favorite movies: 

1. French Connection: "Maybe because I lived a year in Marseilles."  

3. Eat Drink Man Woman: "I like to eat and am a fan of Ang Lee."

3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: "The knife fight scene — no rules."  

All-time favorite TV shows:

"As for TV, its only positive contribution is the 'instant replay' in football, since then I see no need to attend a live game."

Oscar picks:

"Since I watch at movies at home, I have not seen any of the movies that are on the current list for the Oscars. The one exception is The Big Short, which I saw in a suburban mall. It was interesting but the modern production style is too frenetic and the background sound is too loud for my taste."

 


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