18. In Search of a Midnight Kiss - 2007
Why: Possibly another dull and miserable New Year's ahead? We've all been there. Wilson gets talked into posting a personal ad on Craigslist and then it takes off from there. A story that's strange and funny, very realistic and without a perfect ending. Easy to relate to and hard not to feel for the characters.
17.Garden State - 2004
Why: I didn't like this at all when I first saw it, which is probably why no one takes criticisms on film from sixteen year olds very seriously. I watched it over in 2008 and loved it. The themes of making a start and breaking away from living half a life resonate, as well as the idea of closure and being able to progress via meeting new people. As much as it has been said, the soundtrack for the film is as much as what makes it good as the acting or script. (Give us another just like it Zach Braff)
16. Gegen die Wand (Head on) - 2004
Why: I like immigrant stories (despite how cliche that is with my displacement-ness) and I like immigrant love stories since they're so much more hopeful than other stories. Isn't immigration on the whole an act of faith with hope of redemption or deliverance? Perhaps. Sometimes it isn't always what is expected. Sometimes marriage isn't what's expected. All of that is explored in this film, set in the Turkish-German community.
15. Certified Copy -2010
Why: Not really a film about art, though art plays a major role in it. It covers a day where the main characters set out as strangers and then the depth of their relationship blurs. The cinematography is brilliant, especially with the use of mirrors. The couple, with their topical variances from serious to comic, have no semblance of artificiality at all. Might be as much down to the screenwriter as to the actors.
14. Two Lovers - 2008
Why: I spent most of this film thinking the guy is an idiot for going for the wrong one. But I guess everyone has been at a point when they think what they want is what's right even when it seems obvious it isn't going to end well. A sad movie in the majority but with occasional crescendos of happiness found through character interaction. A little bit predictable perhaps but I'm ok with the ending being happy (which is unusual for me).
13. Moulin Rouge -2001
Why: Gorgeous film. Rich colour saturation, tremendous costumes and, of course, a totally over the top soundtrack with regular musical numbers. Tragic love story set in Paris with musical re-imagining of pop songs. Perfect.
12. Un long dimanche de fiancailles (A Very Long Engagement) - 2004
Why: I have a thing for Audrey Tautou. But it's also a good film. The historical backdrop of World War I and enough battle scenes makes it categorize-able as either a war or romance, telling the story of a woman's refusal to believe her fiance is dead and trying to discover exactly what happened. It's a very visually compelling film, in perfect synch with the compelling storyline.
11. Sita Sings the Blues - 2008
Why: It's been a very controversial film since it's done by a Western filmmaker/artist but really I find it well done and in no way disrespectful. I especially love how the contemporary parallel is done. I didn't like the computer graphics and flash animation at first but it grew on me.
10. Punch Drunk Love - 2002
Why: Adam Sandler in a role he was born to play. It is a strange film (Paul Thomas Anderson directed, so it was expected). There's a likability about the character Barry Egan that I find makes him easy to support and hard to be surprised by, despite his many eccentricities. Emily Watson is great as well but it's as much about Sandler's character making himself capable of love than anything else.