FILM: THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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The Independent Culture
1

Gods and Monsters (5)

A droll speculation on the last days of 930s horror auteur James Whale (Ian McKellen), who is magnetised by the form of his gardener (Brendan Fraser). Director Bill Condon won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

2

Pleasantville (2)

Two Nineties teenagers are "sucked" into the world of a favourite 950s sitcom and begin to exert a dramatic influence on its conformist black & white idyll. A witty, inventive parable about prejudice and change.

3

Festen (5)

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's superlative black comedy concerns the 60th birthday of a family patriarch, who finds himself at the centre of the dark secrets that unexpectedly emerge.

4

Affliction (5)

Paul Schrader's magnificently bleak Oscar-winning study in fatherhood and fatalism, stars Nick Nolte as a man struggling to escape the influence of his violent dad, James Coburn (Best Supporting Actor).

5

Shakespeare in Love (5)

This enjoyable - and now Oscar-laden - historical romp suggests how romance fired the young Will Shakespeare with the creative inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Actress) head an impressive cast.

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