Film Reviews

Old Masters and Young Guns

The ten best pictures of 2002:

1. I'm Going Home. The most beautiful film ever made about aging by the world's oldest working filmmaker, 94-year-old Manoel de Oliveira.

2. Far from Heaven. Todd Haynes's Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama about race and gayness in the 1950s is more timely than ever, thanks to Trent Lott.

3. Y Tu Mamá También. The only truly serious film yet made about teenage male sexuality, directed with uncanny insight and exceptional vigor by Alfonso Cuarón.

4. The Cockettes. David Weissman and Bill Weber's documentary about the legendary San Francisco troupe of gay hippie acid freaks is the rosetta stone of the 1960s.

5. Gerry. Gus Van Sant's existential road movie might best be described as the Samuel Beckett version of Dude, Where's My Car?

6. The Lady and the Duke. With a brilliant performance by Lucy Russell, this tale of a British aristocrat during the French revolution shot on digital video by 82-year-old film master Eric Rohmer proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

7. The Fluffer. While Lorenz Hart said "unrequited love's a bore," there's nothing boring about Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer's tragicomic deconstruction of the world of gay porn.

8. The Quiet American. After several years of bland American blockbusters, Phillip Noyce returns to real filmmaking with this adaptation of Graham Greene's prescient novel of Vietnam just prior to the American occupation, with great performances by Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.

9. Showboy. Christian Taylor starred, co-wrote and co-directed (with Lindy Heymann) this delightful mockumentary about his desire to become a Las Vegas chorus boy.

10. Chicago. "How can they see with sequins in their eyes?" Quite well, thanks to the expert way director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon have adapted the Kander & Ebb-Bob Fosse musical with Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

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David Ehrenstein