50 Reasons Why Donnie Darko Might Just Be The Greatest Film Of All Time

As Richard Kelly’s cult classic Donnie Darko turns 10 years old this year, WhatCulture!’s Adam Lock makes the ultimate case for his favourite film of all time…

Adam Lock

Contributor

Damn writer Gareth Bunkham and his perfect article on 52 Reasons Why Back To The Future Might Just Be The Greatest Film Of All Time. Since that cracking article was reissued last week by WhatCulture!; I have been honoured with the task of proving why, one of my favourite films of all time, a one Donnie Darko, should join this prestigious list, that along with the 80’s sci-fi blockbuster, so far includes;

Ghostbusters,

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho,

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

and Jaws!

 

As Donnie Darko turns 10 years old this year, below are 50 reasons and to all you Darko fans, enjoy:

 

1. Richard Kelly

Writer, director, visionary, Richard Kelly made Donnie Darko what it is today – a magical film that inspires and entertains on every viewing. For a first time filmmaker, the direction and innovation of Donnie Darko is stunning and for a debut feature, highly admirable. I could go on for hours about each little thing that makes Darko so perfect from Kelly’s point of view, but I don’t want to bore you all, here’s a brief list instead, all of which come back to Kelly’s genius.

 

2. The Dinner Table Scene


After those first crackling echoes of thunder (the calm before the storm) and the introduction of Donnie’s family, the dinner table scene soars in. It’s a comical opener, a poignant taster of what’s to come. Real life brother and sister, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal bicker at the table, and the infamous line ‘You can go suck a f*ck’ is uttered. Politics and Donnie’s medical issues slide into the dialogue. It’s a bitter sweet family moment, with laughs a plenty and hooks everyone into the film on first viewing.

 

3. Mary McDonnell

Playing Donnie’s mother with theatrical excellence, it’s an understated role. McDonnell seems to float around the piece, with a very laid back, hippy vibe to her performance, yet there’s real heart in her acting. She stated that the final scene was tough to do, as there was no real pay check to focus on. It’s a great testament to an actress who did it for purely the love of a wonderful script and for the art of cinema itself.

 

4. Frank The Rabbit, An Icon In The Making

We first meet Frank on one of Donnie’s many sleepwalking misadventures; he’s stood by a golf bunker in his grey rabbit suit. The iconic bunny tells Donnie when the world will end and saves him from an aeroplane engine, busy night huh? Yes it’s a crazy plot, but hey you gotta love it. The rabbit continues to appear to Donnie in a dreamlike state, and as you well know the fun just never stops. It’s an artistic dream, a vision which both epitomises the film and signifies anything related to it, a masterpiece of cinema.

 

5. Quotes:

Sam Darko: Why do I have to sleep with Donnie? He stinks.

Donnie Darko: When you fall asleep tonight, I’m gonna fart in your face.