FILM: THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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1

Sideways (5)

Two men go on a trip to sample the Californian vineyards before one of them gets married - with unexpected consequences. A satirical movie of unusual sweetness, this has been sweeping up major awards in the US.

2

Vera Drake (2A)

Imelda Staunton stars as a compassionate wife and mother who helps out working-class women with their unwanted pregnancies. Staunton's characterisation is brilliant, in Mike Leigh's subtly ministered, unmissable film set in 950s London.

3

2046 (2A)

Wong Kar Wai delivers a sequel to his swooning psychodrama In the Mood for Love (2000). Tony Leung plays the 960s Hong Kong writer with an eye for the ladies. Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi help make the whole thing quite ravishing.

4

Ray (5)

Jamie Foxx provides a barnstorming impersonation of blind soul singer Ray Charles. The narrative begins in 948 North Florida and it doesn't shy from depicting the dark side of the man - the drugs and the other women - in his rise to fame.

5

La Nina Santa (Holy Girl) (5)

A religiously inclined 6-year-old Argentinean girl develops an obsessive interest in the middle-aged doctor who rubs himself against her in the street. An erotically charged, controlled study of sudden sexual self-awareness.

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