Welcome back to the weekly Top 10 list. Each week we come up with a topic, go create our separate lists, and then come together to create a top 10 consensus. This week with us locked in our homes and The Hunt coming home to on-demand now in an unprecedented move, we decided to countdown ten films about class. Films that look at the rich and the poor and the dynamics between them. Let’s see what we got!
Starting off the list is a film by Bong Joon-Ho, a director you will probably see more of on this list. His film Snowpiercer starts us off with a flick that takes us to a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is on a high-speed train. The metaphor here is very apparent where the rich ride in the front and the poor ride in the back, eating bugs and scraps to survive. The poor eventually rebel and work their way up the train to fight for equality. It is the definition of this list and was bound to have a spot.
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
At number nine we have a more prolific film in The Wolf of Wall Street. I know how great this movie is, it is one of my personal favorites. It is so low because I don’t think people look at this as a film about class but more about greed. We see just how much the rich can take advantage of us and how too much can collapse on them. If it were about quality, it would be much higher up on the list.
8. The Big Short
At number eight we have The Big Short. A film about the housing crisis and how a collapse in the economy affected those from the middle class down. It hurt those who aren’t rich tremendously and sent us into a recession. Adam McKay captures the buildup to this so well and explains these terms that seem complicated in the most digestible way possible. McKay transitioned from comedy to politics so well and I hope he continues down this path.
7. Trading Places
Number seven is a film about two people who switch in Trading Places. Here we see an investor and con artist switch places in society as part of a bet. Eddie Murphy is one of the biggest comedic talents of all time and paired up with Dan Aykroyd, it was prime for comedy. This is a breezy, fun comedy, but this type of scenario was done better with a film later on this list.
6. Pretty Woman
In at number six is what might be the most well-known definition of a film about class with Pretty Woman. A lower-class escort takes a job with a wealthy man to stage a fake relationship. You take two people from two different ways of living and put them together and you are bound to discover something about yourself. That at the end of the day, we are all people, regardless of how much money we have.
5. The Pursuit of Happyness
Starting off the top five is The Pursuit of Happyness. The story about a man who has it all go wrong for him and struggles to make ends meet, just like many people go through today. He loses his apartment, his wife, and his investment does not pay off, so he has to hunt for help, all while trying to support his son. This is a heartbreaking film and Will Smith is brilliant in it. It shows how a man can have everything and then lose it all the next day and it is a situation that we all want to avoid in our lives. Glad it got recognized on this list.
At number four we have one of the largest movies of all time in James Cameron’s Titanic. What is so fascinating about this film is he has taken this large disaster of an event to make a film about and masked it with a love story about class. How someone rich can fall for someone poor because of who they are as a person. This film has both story and spectacle and it is done so well that it is no secret why this film became the biggest of all time when it came out and still resonates today.
3. The Florida Project
In at number three is a film that focuses primarily on the poor and their struggle in society with The Florida Project. The thing that sets this film apart from the rest is that they show the struggle through the eyes of children. That youthful innocence that believes anything is possible in the world, meanwhile their parents are dealing with circumstances they could never understand. This film is so honest and pure that pulls no punches and hits you in the heart when things really settle in. More people need to see this one.
Just missing out is a very recent film that tackles this issue. That film being Joker. Joker took the world by storm last year by becoming the rare R-rated film to gross a billion dollars. On the surface, this is a comic book movie but beneath it there is a story about the class system. Throughout his journey there are clashes between rich and poor, all starting with Arthur murdering Wall Street guys and becoming a symbol for an uprising. The clash takes it to the extreme with society crumbling and shows us what dynamics like this could lead to.
Finally, in at number one is the film that has dominated the conversation these past couple months in Parasite. Parasite made history by becoming the first foreign-language film to win best picture and it rightfully deserved it. The film follows a poor family that latches onto a rich family and slowly starts to integrate themselves into their home. Who are the villains in this? The answer may surprise you. Once again, Bong Joon-Ho has made a story about class that we can all resonate with, and I’m sure it’s not the last time he tells this story.
Well, there you have it! The Top 10 films about class. There are a bunch of recent films on the list since it has been a common theme for films of late considering the struggle that class systems have today. What does your list look like? Let us know below and we will see you next time with another Top 10.