Sight and Sound, the BFI’s international film magazine, today announces that Charlotte Wells’ AFTERSUN, which recently won 7 BIFAs has been chosen as the Best Film of the Year.
Paul Mescal and newcomer Frankie Corio give astonishing performances as a father and daughter on holiday in Turkey in the late 1990s, in this moving and reflective feature debut. The film is an exquisitely subtle yet deeply affecting and honest depiction of mental illness, father-daughter love, and memory. Made with the support of BBC Film, BFI (using funds from the National Lottery) and Screen Scotland, in association with Tango, a Pastel/Unified Theory production, AFTERSUN was one of the most talked about films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and UK-premiered at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival to wide acclaim.
This is the first time female filmmakers have topped both the Sight and Sound End of Year poll and the Greatest Films Of All Time Critics’ Poll concurrently, with Chantal Akerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES taking the top spot as the Greatest Film Of All Time in the 2022 Critics’ Poll.
The top 20 films in the end of year poll include eight films by female filmmakers: Sara Dosa (No 19: FIRE OF LOVE, USA); Joanna Hogg (No 15: THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER, UK/USA) – Hogg previously topped the End of Year poll in 2019 and 2021 for THE SOUVENIR PARTS 1 and 2 respectively; Kelly Reichardt (No 13: SHOWING UP, USA); Marie Kreutzer (No 11: CORSAGE, Austria/Luxembourg/Germany/France) – also the winner of the BFI London Film Festival Best Film; Mia Hansen-Løve (No 7: ONE FINE MORNING, France/Germany); Laura Poitras’ Venice Golden Lion winner (No 6: ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED, USA); and Alice Diop’s Venice Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize winner (No 2: SAINT OMER, France), in addition to Charlotte Wells’ multi award-winning feature debut (NO 1: AFTERSUN).
The results also reconfirm that this is a great time for British cinema, marking the fourth year in a row that a British film has topped the poll, with Wells joining previous winners Joanna Hogg (THE SOUVENIR, 2019 and THE SOUVENIR PART II, 2021) and Steve McQueen (LOVERS ROCK, 2020). There are a wealth of films from international talent in the top 20, including seven non-English language films, five of which are in the top 10. SAINT OMER (Alice Diop, France), DECISION TO LEAVE (Park Chanwook, South Korea), ONE FINE MORNING (Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany), EO (Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Italy), RRR (S.S.Rajamouli, India), CORSAGE (Marie Kreutzer, Austria/Luxembourg/Germany/France), and PACIFICTION (Albert Serra, France/Spain/Germany/Portugal).
Also revealed today is Sight and Sound’s poll for Best TV Series of the Year, which has been topped by Olivier Assayas’ series IRMA VEP (HBO MAX/SKY ATLANTIC). Twenty-six years after Assayas’ 1996 original movie of the same name, IRMA VEP received a 21st-century refresh with his eight-episode limited series starring Alicia Vikander (THE DANISH GIRL) as Mira, an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup, who comes to France to star as “Irma Vep” in a remake of the French silent film classic, Les Vampires. Set against the backdrop of a lurid crime thriller, Mira struggles as the distinctions between herself and the character she plays begin to blur and merge. The series is a fun, witty visual treat, head-spinningly meta with layers of film references.
Both the film and TV polls have been voted for by film and TV critics, programmers and academics who contribute to Sight and Sound.
Sight and Sound Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams said:
“Charlotte Wells is a major young filmmaking talent. Through assured direction and an astute screenplay she has reaped subtle, naturalistic performances from her stars, including a career-best turn from Paul Mescal and a remarkable first-time performance from Frankie Corio, making AFTERSUN a worthy winner. This marks the fourth year in a row that a British filmmaker has topped our annual poll with Wells joining previous winners Joanna Hogg (THE SOUVENIR, 2019 and THE SOUVENIR PART II, 2021) and Steve McQueen (LOVERS ROCK, 2020). British cinema continues to move from strength to strength.”
Sight and Sound’s Best Films of the Year poll is voted for by the magazine’s international pool of critics, who each choose their top ten films of the year. The full results are available online today including an editorial comment from AFTERSUN writer/director Charlotte Wells and the full list of the top 50 films.
Sight and Sound’s top 20 films of 2022 are:
1. AFTERSUN (Dir Charlotte Wells, UK/USA)
2. SAINT OMER (Dir. Alice Diop, France)
3. DECISION TO LEAVE (Dir. Park Chanwook, South Korea)
4. THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (Dir. Martin McDonagh, Ireland/UK/USA)
5. ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED (Dir. Laura Poitras, USA)
6. NOPE (Dir. Jordan Peele, USA)
7. ONE FINE MORNING) (Dir. Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany)
8. EO (Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Italy)
9. RRR (RISE ROAR REVOLT) (Dir. S.S. Rajamouli, India)
10. TÁR (Dir. Todd Field, USA)
11. CORSAGE (Marie Kreutzer, Austria/Luxembourg/Germany/France
12. PACIFICTION (Albert Serra, France/Spain/Germany/Portugal)
13. SHOWING UP (Kelly Reichardt, USA)
14. CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (David Cronenberg, Canada/Greece/UK)
15. THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER (Joanna Hogg, UK/USA)
16. TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (Ruben Östlund, Sweden/Germany/France/UK)
17. ELVIS (Baz Luhrmann, USA/Australia)
18. EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, USA)
19. FIRE OF LOVE (Sara Dosa, USA)
20. THE FABELMANS (Steven Spielberg, USA)