Top ten films

1. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (97 minutes) G

Ernst Lubitsch made many great films, but this 1940 "workplace comedy," set in a small Budapest gift shop, is uniquely gentle and extremely touching. James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan lead the ensemble cast as colleagues who can't stand each other in person but carry on an unknowing flirtation by post. 35-millimetre print. ACMI, today and tomorrow, 11am. Seniors $6, carers free.

2. THE WIZARD OF OZ (98 minutes) G

Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow, Bert Lahr works himself into a tizz as the Cowardly Lion, and everyone is off to see the Wizard, striding down the Yellow Brick Road in glorious Technicolor. A classic that every generation deserves to see on the big screen. 35-millimetre print. Astor, tomorrow, 2pm. Double bill with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

3. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (115 minutes) PG

Audrey Hepburn is the essence of faux-bohemian chic as Manhattan party girl Holly Golightly in this beloved 1961 comedy-drama, directed by Blake Edwards and based on the novella by Truman Capote. Much like its heroine, the film is stylish, whimsical, prone to drastic shifts in mood and transparently phoney yet enchanting all the same. Digitally projected. Astor, today, 7.30pm. Double bill with Roman Holiday.

4. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (104 minutes) M

Gene Hackman stars as "Popeye" Doyle, an unlovely but dogged cop trailing a gang of drug smugglers through New York City, in William Friedkin's classic 1971 thriller. All these years later, Friedkin's jolting, kinetic style – with its undertones of absurdism and horror – still puts the Bourne series in the shade. Digitally projected. Astor, tomorrow, 7pm. Double feature with The Hustler.

5. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (107 minutes) PG

A group of schoolgirls head out to the famous Victorian picnic spot and find themselves faced with eternal mystery in Peter Weir's 1975 period piece, deliberately designed as a riddle with no answer. Russell Boyd's cinematography may be too "pretty" for some tastes, but modern Australian art cinema starts here. 35-millimetre print. ACMI, today, 4pm. Tickets $6 or less.

6. THIS IS 40 (134 minutes) MA

Judd Apatow's output as writer and director is wildly uneven, but at best there's a fair amount of insight mixed in with the profanity and the fart jokes. This spinoff of his 2007 hit Knocked Up is a love letter to his real-life wife Leslie Mann as well as a candid look at the trials and tribulations of middle age. General.

7. WEEKEND (97 minutes) MA

Two young men (Tom Cullen and Chris New) hook up at a Nottingham club then slowly get to know one another in this finely acted low-budget romance from British writer-director Andrew Haigh – a frank report on urban gay life in the 21st century, and a demonstration that lust and tenderness can go hand in hand. Rooftop Cinema, today, 9.30pm.

8. MONSTERS INC (96 minutes) G

This 2001 computer-animated fantasy adopts the reassuring premise that monsters are more scared of children than the other way round. Now in 3D, it remains one of the cleverest storytelling experiments to emerge from the Pixar studio – a workplace comedy in Halloween costume, flowing seamlessly from farce to pathos and back again. General.

9. TRAINSPOTTING (94 minutes) R

Danny Boyle's 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel is oddly energetic for a film about heroin addiction – but there's still plenty of scabrous humour, as well as the definitive Britpop soundtrack. The young Ewan McGregor leads a crew of up-and-coming Scottish stars, with Kelly McDonald as his under-age love interest and Robert Carlyle as the psychopathic Begbie. Digitally projected. Shadow Electric (Abbotsford Convent), tomorrow, sundown (around 8.40pm).

10. YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (98 minutes) M

Woody Allen's gloomy 2010 comedy of love and betrayal sets out to prove that truth and beauty are worlds apart. Anthony Hopkins is unusually vulnerable as a divorced London businessman hoping to regain his lost youth; the impressive cast also includes Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts and Lucy Punch as the kind of gold-digging floozy Allen not so secretly adores. Cinema Nova.

The story Top ten films first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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