Last year, to celebrate my birthday, I made a list of 26 movie scenes from 26 years and it turned out wonderfully. And as a sucker for traditions, I decided to revisit this formula for this year, my 27th birthday (god, I’m old), and share 27 characters from the past 27 years that are lovable and/or intriguing, but more importantly, memorable above others!
MARTY MCFLY: from Back to the Future II, 1989
How could you not love Marty McFly!? He is adorable, he is adventures and funny. Besides, Matthew J. Fox is a sweetheart and I pretty much adore all the characters he has portrayed, in movies as well as TV shows.
VIVIAN WARD: from Pretty Woman, 1990
For some reason, Vivian Ward has always stuck with me. It also is impressive for a romantic movie to have a main character working as a prostitute. But Julia Roberts did a great job portraying Vivian and making the audience root for her, and her much deserved happy ending.
GEORGE BANKS: from Father of the Bride, 1991
George Banks is definitely among my favorite movie-dads and mostly because of Steve Martin. There’s just something about him, something lovable that just works, and Banks’ character is especially most memorable among his roles.
MR. BLONDE: from Reservoir Dogs, 1992
There’s just something about torture, accompanied by a great song, that you can’t forget. And Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde had that unforgettable factor t and with that, he also had a very memorable moment in the Tarantino-universe.
MRS. DOUBTFRIE: from Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993
Mrs. Doubtfire is the one to remember! Portrayed by the forever loved Robin Williams, Mrs. Doubtfire is probably one of the funniest man-to-woman transformations I’ve seen but it’s also a great story about being a father.
ANDY DUFRESENE: from The Shawshank Redemption, 1994
Tim Robbins’ Andy Dufresene is an innocent man thrown into a prison where he finds ways to cope with his faith. Not only does he improve the prison life for himself, but does so for others as well. There’s also something amazing about the way he quietly works towards his goal for years. With such a great main character, I’m not surprised The Shawshank Redemption is still #1 in IMDb.
JEFFREY GOINES: from Twelve Monkeys, 1995
Brad Pitt has a knack for characters with unconventional characteristics, and Jeffrey Goines is just one of those kind of character he has portrayed. As far as crazy people go, Jeffrey is definitely the craziest but that’s a good thing!
MATILDA: from Matilda, 1996
Matilda is such a great kid that it always makes me mad that she has such a rough time in the beginning of the movie. Mara Wilson is excellent as little Matilda, a girl who loves to read and is a little special.
DOLORES HAZE: from Lolita, 1997
It is very creepy and strange to see an old man so affectionate towards a young girl, but there’s also something dangerous about Dolores “Lolita” Haze herself. Dominique Swain looks innocent but she is much more than that, and Lolita is definitely one of those characters you never really forget.
DEREK VINYARD: from American History X, 1998
Derek Vinyard is a character that scares the shit out of me. There is a particular scene in American History X that is so awful that it made me cringe and it’s one of the reasons I love Edward Norton so much.
TYLER DURDEN: from Fight Club, 1999
Another stand out performance by Brad Pitt is his Tyler Durden – and what more do I need to say? This character speaks for himself, every aspect of him is awesome and the fact that he is imaginary makes him even more awesome!
BILLY ELLIOT: from Billy Elliot, 2000
Another inspiring child with a passion for dancing is Billy Elliot, portrayed by the lovely Jamie Bell. His character is so likable, and his determination to be good at something, that is not particularly favored as a hobby for boys, is so cool!
HARRY POTTER: from Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, 2001
Continuing with child-characters, I have to mention Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter. For eight movies, Harry Potter was an inspiration for many kids, teenagers and adults which is why his character makes the list without any doubts.
FRANCIS DOLARHYDE: from Red Dragon, 2002
I’m adding Francis Dolarhyde portrayed by Ralph Fiennes to my list of characters because he is the first serial killer I recall to have found fascinating. Though not my favorite, he is still a character that most likely spiked my interest towards serial killers in the first place.
TRACY FREELAND: from Thirteen, 2003
Thirteen is a special movie for many reasons, and Evan Rachel Wood as Tracy Freeland is among those reasons. A sweet girl, turned bad by peer pressure, does questionable things and though the characters feel a little older than thirteen, the point still comes across.
REGINA GEORGE: from Mean Girls, 2004
It’s definitely an odd choice but Mean Girls was the deal back in 2004 and Rachel McAdams as Regina George was among the reasons the movie has become so beloved in the first place. I myself still use some of the quotes from the movie now and then.
HAYLEY STARK: from Hard Candy, 2005
Ellen Page hit all the right spots as Hayley Stark. Her character was such a surprise that I’m still a little surprised. Though not the best movie out there, Stark as a character is definitely among the ones that I will remember years from now.
MIRANDA PRIESTLY: from The Devil Wears Prada, 2006
Villains are always much more fun to watch, and when Meryl Streep is handed a character like Miranda Priestly, the results are stunning. My favorite moment is when Miranda breaks down, and you get to see under the layers she has built for herself.
TED CRAWFORD: from Fracture, 2007
A thriller with a villain like Ted Crawford is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Anthony Hopkins and his Crawford was calculated, calm and creepy all while looking relatively normal.
JOKER: from The Dark Knight, 2008
If there’s a character I love beyond anything else in the world, then it’s Heath Ledger’s Joker! I can’t really explain it, it’s painful really because part of me really believes Ledger embodied Joker so deeply, it drove him towards decisions that were bad for him.
CHARLEY: from A Single Man, 2009
Though the movie doesn’t allow Julianne Moore as Charley shine enough, she is still memorable. The sadness behind that woman is what somehow got to me, and that kind of sadness really breaks your heart.
NINA SAYERS: from Black Swan, 2010
Though I’m still not a big fan of Natalie Portman, I’m a fan of Nina Sayers as a character. The sheer determination of being the best, and doing whatever it takes to be the best, somehow always makes for great characters.
LISBETH SALANDER: from The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, 2011
The reason Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander makes my list not Noomi Rapace is because I liked the US version a little bit more. Partially because Daniel Craig was good on the eye, but it doesn’t matter really, Salander’s character is great on all fronts: on page and on the screen.
KATNISS EVERDEEN: from The Hunger Games, 2012
Sure, Jennifer Lawrence is not my favorite person at the moment, but I can’t deny that her Katniss Everdeen translated well on screen. I loved the book, and I loved the first movie because Katniss was exactly how I had imagined her while reading the series.
SAMANTHA: from Her, 2013
How can I not include a character that doesn’t even exist physically? Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, feels so authentic and most importantly, human, that it’s hard to think of her simply as a program but that’s the beauty of Samantha, the beauty and the horror.
AMY DUNNE: from Gone Girl, 2014
After my second viewing of Gone Girl, I fell in love with Amy Dunne even more than I had the first time around. If a second viewing can bring out so many nuances, imagine what the third can do? Or the fourth? And that’s the beauty of Rosmunde Pike as Amy Dunne – layers upon layers upon layers.
MAD MAX: from Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015
Despite a great year of many great characters from 2015, Tom Hardy brought down the house with Mad Max! Given the lack of words spoken by Max, most of his appeal was delivered physically and more importantly, through facial expressions that were telling us more than words ever could.
Happy Birthday, wishing you a fantastic day. You did a splendid job with this post, really amazing.
Thank you so much for the wishes!
Great feature, great characters, have a great day!
Wait…27 is old??? GET OUTTA HEEEEERE! 🙂 (Happy Birthday)
I know.. 27… I can hardly believe it myself!
Happy birthday! I LOVE all the strong, female characters you have on this list!
Thanks! I was actually surprised how many female characters I seem to have found memorable over the years, though I tend to like male characters more in general.
Happy Birthday! I love this list, you have so many great characters on here.
Thanks! It was actually difficult to pick a character from some of the years, I mean, so years were just filled with memorable characters!
Congruatulations, have a great birthday! And love this list…some of these would probably also appear on my own list
Thank you for the birthday wish! And for such a long list, I’m not surprised we would have some characters in common. 😀
Great list and all the best for your birthday! 27 is not old, you’re just starting out 🙂
27 still feels old to me for some reason. 😀
Love this! Some really intriguing choices here, and so many that I love, too. Tyler Durden, Samantha, Regina George…already iconic!
I’m interested to know what the intriguing choices might be.. there are intriguing characters in here for sure but can’t imagine some of them being intriguing choices.
Happy birthday! So many iconic characters.
Happy Birthday! Also, such a fantastic list!
Thank you so much!
Happy Birthday! 27 is a great age and not old at all. You still have your 30s to look forward to. The 30s have been great. Add 27+10 then you get closer to me! I love your list. I know it’s cliched, but I really do think that Miranda Priestly is my favorite Meryl Streep character. She rocked the hell out of that role.
Thanks! I know that when I get older I think back to my 20’s and think “I was so young” but at the moment, I guess it’s hard to imagine being even older than I am now. 😀
And you know, it might not be cliche because that is the only role she had fun with in a way. Most of her roles are serious, or too overly dramatic, but Priestly was such a great character on paper that it felt so fierce on screen through Streep that I think it was her best work.
Happy Birthday. I like these characters. They’re awesome. BTW, did you hear who is also coming back to the Gilmore Girls revival? Asshat and tool-boy.
Thank you! I KNOW!! I heard, I am happy and excited and now we’d only need Jared to make a quick cameo and Rory would have such a great time with ALL her ex-boyfriends!
How about we just see Logan and Dean beat each other up while Jess just sits back and eat gummi bears with his little sister Doula who says “They’re not good enough for cousin Rory”.
Yea.. but I was a little hesitant after I realized if Lorelai and Luke are together, Jess and Rory are already in a family but a part of me doesn’t care it sounds like a soap opera .. it has to be Jess and Rory in the end!
Happy birthday. I turned 27 in December too. Doesn’t it feel old?! 26 felt just past 25, which was okay, but 27 feels so adult and scarily near 30. I love this feature, you’ve picked some amazing characters. My favourite from the bunch would probably be Tyler Durden, but it’s a tough call.
I know! I feel like 25 and 26 was simply like, okay, 20’s yay.. but 27 already feels so close to 30 that is scary! Durden stands out for sure.. but also so many others,, I think if I had this year to add, I would add Deadpool into this list as well! 😀
Haven’t seen Deadpool yet. Excited for it 😀
It is worth the excitement!
P.S. You’ve made me want to rewatch The Devil Wears Prada – I love Meryl Streep!
Happy birthday, hope you have a fantastic one! Lots of awesome picks here including Amy and Nina and I love your 2015 pick!
Thank you! And I knew you’d love the 2015 pick.. who wouldn’t?! 😀
Happy Birthday! I always enjoy reading your blog <3
Oh by the way, I loved your picks! The Joker,Nina and Samantha!!! They’re just so special and magnetic in their own way.
Thanks for all the lovely words!
Happy belated birthday! So many characters and such a great idea for a post. It’s nice to see George Banks on here. Martin is wonderful in Father of the Bride.
Thank you! George Banks rules!
Happy birthday, and I hope it was fantastic! Great character list!
Happy happy birthday! This is such an amazing post; it should be turned into a blogathon! Loving Pretty Woman and Mean Girls on here!