Danny Boyle has directed some of the most iconic films in the history of cinema. We will bring you some of his most interesting work, which you may or may not be aware of. Boyle was born in Greater Manchester, England, and has directed many films with gritty undertones. The first movie he directed (Shallow Grave) won a BAFTA for Best British film, so he was starting his career with some momentum thanks to the comedy crime film.
Slumdog Millionaire – 2008
You can’t have a list of Danny Boyle’s greatest films and not have this one on it, he won an Oscar for Best Director for the drama in 2008. Boyle received recognition for the film, but it actually won eight Oscars in total, so the whole production team deserves a pat on the back for it. The film focuses on the story of Jamal Malik, portrayed by Dev Patel, who played the young man raised in the poverty-stricken streets of Mumbai. Malik wins the Indian version of quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire but is accused of cheating as he answers each question correctly. We get to see Malik’s life story and how he knows the answers to each of the questions.
Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony – 2012
He got to direct Queen Elizabeth, we don’t really need to mention much more than that. The opening ceremony was a celebration of all things British, from the Victorian industrial era to the NHS. Boyle got to exhibit to the world some of the greatest contributions to society Britain has ever made. Plus, who can forget when James Bond strolled through Buckingham Palace followed by the Queen’s corgis before she jumped out of a plane to parachute into the stadium. It’s not strictly a film, but it was a remarkable sequence that lasted nearly four hours in total.
Trainspotting – 1996
This is the film that really launched Danny Boyle’s career. It starred Ewan McGregor – who would also go on to become a huge star following this film’s release. The dark comedy follows the lives of a group of Scottish friends who have destructive addictions to narcotics. There are several scenes in the movie that will make the audience wince, but it perfectly sums up the mood of the book the film is adapted from. Irvine Welsh wrote Trainspotting, and it was published in 1993.
28 Days Later – 2002
This zombie horror is one of the most iconic of its genre. One of the first films to introduce viewers to fast-moving zombies, it made for uncomfortable viewing as the protagonists were not able to simply run away from their foes. The plot details how society has broken down in the aftermath of an outbreak of a highly contagious virus. We follow a band of survivors and their efforts to remain among the ever decreasing number of the living. 28 Days Later was such a success it spawned its own comic book series following the release of the film, such was the appetite from fans for new material.
The Beach – 2000
This drama is on the list purely for watching Leonardo Dicaprio running around a tropical island as if it were a video game. The scene is hilarious. Apart from that scene, the rest of the film is excellent. There is a mysterious tropical paradise where people can go and live for the rest of their days removed from society and in sheer bliss. Of course, there are some difficult social dynamics to overcome and naturally, there is some drama involved. It is a fantastic watch.
Those were some of the best films (and Olympic opening ceremonies) that Danny Boyle has directed. You may know them all, but hopefully, we have prompted you to go and watch some, or all of them again. If you haven’t seen any of them, you should clear an evening and get through as many as you can.