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Amanda Palazzo's Top Fives

Music
1. Arctic Monkeys - daily life in Sheffield, England, set to indie/garage rock aesthetics - fast, with amazing beats.
2. The Suicide Machines - hardcore punk/ska band with progressive political/social overtones
3. Muse - dystopia/apocalypse/conspiracy themes, amazing guitar riffs, and a singer with crazy falsetto skills.
4. Nirvana - what do you say about Nirvana? It's Nirvana. I guess that's all you really need to say.
5. White Stripes - Jack White is some sort of eccentric musical mad scientist; simplistic music, that combines country, folk, blues, and garage rock.

Film
1. Amelie - My all-time favorite movie. Wonderfully quirky characters, amazing cinematography, beautiful score.
2. Last King of Scotland - this film gave me chills; the acting is extraordinary. Forest Whitaker is almost indistinguishable from Idi Amin.
3. About A Boy - This film has a surprising amount of depth, considering it's a Hugh Grant vehicle. It deals with issues of redemption, acceptance, commitment, and growth. It also has a great score by Badly Drawn Boy.
4. Pan's Labyrinth - Beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
5. Lord of the Rings/Master & Commander - This is a tie; both of these films launched obsessions, in their own right, and I couldn't bear to eliminate one. The geek in me needed to know everything possible about the making of LOTR, and in doing so, has left me in awe of its grandeur. Master & Commander, another great epic film, reenacted 19th century maritime life with an astonishing amount of detail and brought about my interest in sailing/ships.