Uche Chika Elumelu shares her Top Five Films

Uche Chika Elumelu is a talented actor especially given to the rigours of writing and performance. It’s only normal, given her extensive experience in theatre. Her best films, in her own words in an interview published here, are masterpieces brimming with action, tension, musicality, and drama. Below, I explore Uche’s top five films:

  1. DOUBT

Directed by John Patrick Shanley, Doubt is a drama film based on the Tony Award-winning 2004 stage play of the same name. It’s a faith-probing story about Father Flynn (Dustin Seymour Hoffman), a school teacher accused of paying too much attention to the school’s only black student. The subsequent investigation is led by school head Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) and Sister James (Amy Adams). The film was met with critical acclaim upon release, with special praise reserved for the lead actors. Viola Davis, playing the mother to the supposedly abused black student, was famously nominated for an Academy Award after only 10 minutes and 23 seconds of screen time.  Watch the trailer here.


A tragicomedy film released directed by John Wells and written by Tracy Letts based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast consisting of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch, the film follows a large, dysfunctional family reuniting in the family house when their patriarch (the legendary Sam Shepard) suddenly disappears. For their performances, Streep and Roberts received Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Watch the trailer here.



A science fiction film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It tells the story of Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief with a checkered past who infiltrates the subconscious of his targets for information. He is approached by Japanese Businessman Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) to implant another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious in exchange for the erasure of his criminal history. Regarded as the best film of the 2010s, Inception made a killing at the box office and won several awards. Watch the trailer here.


A 1994 drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont based on the 1982 Stephen King Novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It follows banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over two decades, he befriends fellow prisoner and contraband smuggler Ellis Redding (Morgan Freeman) and becomes vital in a money-laundering operation led by the prison warden. Shawshank is commonly regarded as one of the best films ever made and has been subjected to multiple treatments by scholars and philosophers who acknowledge its thematic heft.  Watch the trailer here.


A 2001 jukebox musical romantic drama directed, co-produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann.  It tells the story of Christian, a young English poet, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress, and courtesan Satine. The final part of Luhrmann’s Red Curtain trilogy, Moulin Rouge typifies the opulence, visual excess, and farcical melodrama commonly associated with the auteur. Watch the trailer here.

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