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Beauty and the Beast
D: Jean Cocteau (1946) 96m


Definitely not the Disney version and probably one better suited to the adults. Legendary French filmmaker Jean Cocteau remains true to the classic fairy tale by Leprince de Beaumont in this stunning black & white film. A beautiful woman goes to a castle and lives with its beastly owner in order to save her father's life.





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The Princess Bride
D: Rob Reiner (1987) 98m


Romance, comedy, action, adventure… and, of course, plenty of fantasy as well. Based on William Goldman's novel - a lowly stableboy pledges his love to a beautiful woman fit to be a princess and is presumed dead when abducted by pirates. Giants, evil princes and large rodents complicate matters, but true love wins in the end.





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Ever After
D: Andy Tennant (1998) 121m


A nice reworking of the Cinderella story starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston as the evil stepmother. The only downside for fantasy fans is that the magical Fairy Godmother is replaced by the heroine's grit and determination. Still, the presence of Leonardo da Vinci provides a touch of the fantastic in this popular film.





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Sleepy Hollow
D: Tim Burton (1999) 105m


Another of director Tim Burton's superb fantasy films, with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci setting off idiosyncratic romantic sparks this one is sure to please. Set at the turn of the 19th century, stumbling New York constable Ichabod Crane goes to a small town to solve the mystery of a headless horseman thought to be responsible for several decapitations.





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Chocolat
D: Lasse Hallström (2000) 105m


A woman (Juliette Binochet) travelling with her young daughter opens a chocolate shop in a small French town and immediately offends the sensibilities of the locals. Something about her chocolates, however, gives people a whole new perspective on life. Johnny Depp is charismatic as usual as the eminently desirable gypsy river pirate who drops into town.





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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
D: Ang Lee (2000) 120m


Ang Lee's tribute to Hong Kong 'wuxia' films (B-grade martial arts fantasies) is a nice blend of action, romance and social commentary. Set against some stunning ancient Chinese landscapes, Lee examines the social conundrums of his female leads through the search for a mythical sword and some absolutely scintillating choreography.





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Underworld
D: Len Wiseman (2003) 121m


It's the sophisticates versus the underworld punks in this popular action thriller. Drop-dead gorgeous Kate Beckinsale stars as a vampire assassin assigned to polish off as many werewolves as she can find. She falls in love with peacenik werewolf Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman). Not the most inventive plot in the world and only passable acting, but who cares with Beckinsale on board.





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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
D: David Fincher (2008) 166m


The pairing of director David Fincher and Brad Pitt clicks again, this time with an adaptation of an F Scott Fitzgerald story. Following World War I a man is born in New Orleans already in his eighties. He lives out his life aging in reverse and gets lucky enough to find true romance in the fabulous form of Cate Blanchett. Age difference issues make life a bit difficult. Sensational special effects.


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