Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time poll: The 2022 results are in – and there’s a new winner

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ was pushed into second place

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 02 December 2022 08:00 GMT
Jeanne Dielman trailer

The results of Sight and Sound’s once-a-decade Greatest Film of All Time poll are in.

Every 10 years, the British Film Institute-published magazine asks experts, including critics, academics, distributors, writers, curators, archivists and programmers, to send their personal top 10 favourite films.

In 2012, the winner was Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which has been bumped into second place.

The 2022 poll, which recorded responses from just under double the amount that voted a decade ago, was topped by Chantal Akerman’s minimalistic Belgian drama Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975).

Akerman has become the first female director to have a film top the poll in its 70-year history. In the 2012 list, the film finished in 36th place.

The three-hour, 21-minute-long film, which was directed by Akerman when she was 25, charts the daily routine of a widow (Delphine Seyrig) over the course of three days.

Rounding out the top five is Orson Welles’s former number one Citizen Kane (1941), which is in third place, and Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) in fourth.

There are three new entries into the top 10: Wong Kar Wai’s 2000 film In The Mood for Love (fifth), Claire Denis’ 1999 release Beau Travail (seventh), and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (eighth) from 2001.

‘Jeanne Dielman’ has been named Sight and Sound’s greatest film of all time

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) finished in sixth place, with Dziga Vertov’s silent film Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s musical Singin’ in the Rain (1952) taking ninth and 10th, respectively.

The top 100 features nine films from the past two decades, with the most recent entries including Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) at 30, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight (2016) at 60, and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite (2019) at 90.

Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) was ranked the 95th greatest film of all time.

‘Get Out’ appeared in the Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll

Films knocked out of the top 100 include Orson Welles films The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Touch of Evil (1958), David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974), Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster sequel The Godfather Part II (1974), and Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull (1980).

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The first Godfather film, released in 1972, finished in 12th place, with the highest Scorsese film listed as 1976’s Taxi Driver, which was in 29th place.

Find the top 20 below – and the full 100 here.

A selection of the top 100 will be availavle to stream on BFI Player throughout December and January.

1. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)

2. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)

3. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

4. Tokyo Story (Ozu Yasujiro, 1953)

5. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar Wai, 2001)

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

7. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1998)

8. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

9. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov,1929)

10. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951)

11. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (FW Murnau, 1927)

12. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

13. La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)

14. Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)

15. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

16. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid, 1943)

17. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1989)

18. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

19. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

20. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

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