Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’ among 21st Century’s Top 10

The BBC Culture’s recent poll of film critics around the world puts ‘A Separation’, the Oscar-winning Iranian film by Asghar Farhadi, among the top 10 films of the 21st century, and two other films by the late Abbas Kiarostami among the top 100.

A poll by BBC Culture of 177 film critics from 36 countries aimed to find the best films of recent memory.

Iran is represented in the list by Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’ (2011) at No 9, and Kiarostami’s ‘Certified Copy’ (2010) and ‘Ten’ (2002) at numbers 46 and 98, respectively.

The resulting top 100 list has Mulholland Drive (2001) at No 1, followed by Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000); There Will Be Blood (2007); Spirited Away (2001); and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014).

The most popular directors in the list, all with three films each, were Wes Anderson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Christopher Nolan, Michael Haneke, Paul Thomas Anderson and Joel and Ethan Coen.

Matthew Anderson, the editor of BBC Culture, said greatest film polls often looked right back into the past.

“But we wanted to find out about the best films in recent memory. These are the films that most people feel strongly about.

“We hope that this list will spark discussion and debate, not just among critics and film aficionados, but among everyone who enjoys movies and has an opinion about what makes a good one.”

Each critic was allowed to submit 10 films which resulted in a total of 599, then sorted into the top 100.

The most popular year for films was 2012, with 10 films in the top 100 including The Act of Killing (14) and Holy Motors (16). Nine films from 2013 also featured, including 12 Years a Slave and Blue is the Warmest Colour, The Guardian reported.

There is no room for some of the most popular films of the last 16 years, no Harry Potters or Hobbits or Pirates of the Caribbean; but there is a place for the more obviously commercial movies such as George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) at 19, WALL-E at 29 and Ratatouille at joint 90.

BBC received responses from 177 – from every continent except Antarctica. Some are newspaper or magazine reviewers, others write primarily for websites; academics and cinema curators are well-represented too. For the purposes of this poll, BBC has decided that a list of the greatest films of the 21st Century should include the year 2000.

Here is the list:

 

  1. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  2. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
  3. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
  4. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
  5. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
  6. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
  7. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
  8. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  9. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
  10. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
  11. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
  12. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
  13. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
  14. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
  15. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
  16. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
  17. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
  18. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
  19. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
  20. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
  21. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
  22. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
  23. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
  24. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
  25. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
  26. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
  27. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
  28. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  29. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
  30. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
  31. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
  32. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
  33. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
  34. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  35. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
  36. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
  37. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
  38. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
  39. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
  40. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
  41. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
  42. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
  43. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
  44. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
  45. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
  46. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
  47. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
  48. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
  49. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
  50. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
  51. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
  52. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
  53. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  54. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
  55. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
  56. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
  57. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
  58. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
  59. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
  60. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
  61. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
  62. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
  63. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
  64. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
  65. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
  66. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
  67. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
  68. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
  69. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
  70. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
  71. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
  72. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
  73. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
  74. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
  75. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
  76. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
  77. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
  78. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
  79. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
  80. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
  81. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
  82. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
  83. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
  84. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  85. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
  86. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
  87. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
  88. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
  89. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
  90. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
  91. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
  92. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
  93. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
  94. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
  95. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
  96. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
  97. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
  98. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
  99. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
  100. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
  101. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
  102. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

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