Cory Michael Smith

A man leaning on his desk with his arms folded

The actor and Ludlow House founding member takes us through his top five films of all time

New York member Cory Michael Smith is a screen and stage actor known for his roles in the Todd Haynes-directed films Carol and Wonderstruck, the award-winning HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, the Fox series Gotham, and Yen Tan’s poignant film 1985, which he also executive produced. 

As a Ludlow founding member, our Lower East Side House will always be his favourite spot, but he also enjoys spending time at 40 Greek Street in London and Soho House Chicago. ‘After a summer of filming in Chicago, I grew a deep appreciation for that monstrous warehouse, its ultra-friendly staff, and impressive boxing-centric gym,’ he says. 

Here, he takes us through his favourite films of all time in chronological order. 

The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies De Cherbourg, 1964, France)
‘Break my heart a million times, Jacques Demy. The great tides of life – love and time – pull two young lovers together and apart in this colourful, arresting film by Michel Legrand where every line is sung to music. The sacrifices we make in life are sometimes necessary, sometimes cruel.’

Where Is The Friend’s Home (Khane-ye dust kodjast, 1987, Iran)
‘This miraculous little film by Abbas Kiarostami follows a young boy on an exhaustive adventure to help a classmate. It’s a story about moral authority, civic responsibility and goodness, and it gives me hope at a time when the world seems saturated with apathy, self-righteousness, and greed.’

What About Bob? (1991, US)
‘Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss are brilliant adversaries in Frank Oz’s quintessential 1990s comedy with grounded absurdity, lots of clarinet in the score, and truly hilarious performances (Julie Hagerty, Kathryn Erbe, and Charlie Korsmo). I grew up quoting so many lines from this film.’

The Hours (2001, UK/ US)
‘Rewatching Stephen Daldry’s searing film during quarantine blossomed an even deeper appreciation for its interconnectedness, the way our actions can affect strangers, the toll of loneliness, and the degree of devastation that can be delivered by the events of a single day.’

Ida (2013, Poland)
‘Every frame of Pawel Pawlikowski’s paralysingly gorgeous film is a piece of art. It follows a young woman in the 1960s who is excused from her convent to learn her identity and family history before taking her final vows to become a nun. She is submitted to life’s most harsh tragedies and divine pleasures.’