Favorite Films 

of 2003





As suggested from the Film Main Page, I have chosen to list my favorite movies as seen based on the calendar year rather than on the film released year.    So, you will occasionally see a film in my favorites list that was technically released a year earlier.   Unfortunately, for the non industry film fans seeing all quality films on scheduled released dates is particularly tough, especially since many are only submitted to film festivals or selection committees at year end.   

I viewed 60 films from 16 different countries on the large screen in 2003.    This was the year of Patricia Clarkson, who starred in this film, Pieces of April, the Station Agent (a great film, not in competition for my list of 2003 as I saw it in 2004), Dogville all released in 2003. The films highlighted below are films that I can confidently recommend seeing to a large audience.   The top twenty is well represented in genre and origination country (nine different countries represented).  Anyway, here are the twenty films that I found most enjoyable or thought provoking this year.  

Dana also picked her favorite films this year, check out her list (Dana's Favs of 2003)

1. Laetitia Colombani's

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
(A la folie... pas du tout)

 *Talk Cinema Film

When this French film started in talk cinema, I was annoyed that we got another run of the mill romantic comedy; needless to say the film was anything but run of the mill. 

2. Billy Ray's

Shattered Glass

This historical drama on columnist Stephen Glass is far closer to reality and more interesting than any Michael Moore film.


Phillip Noyce's

The Quiet American


 *Talk Cinema Film

One of two great films in 2003 by Australian director Phillip Noyce, the other being Rabbit Proof Fence.   This political drama mixes love and corruption during the Vietnam War.

4. Peter Hedge's

Pieces of April

You think you have issues with your family over Thanksgiving Holidays, wait until you see April Burns's.


5. Denys Arcand's

The Barbarian Invasions

*Talk Cinema Film

An touching Canadian film that centers around the friends and family of a terminal cancer patient.  This film has an excellent blend of comedy and melodrama.

6. Stephen Frears'

Dirty Pretty Things

Wow, who knew what goes down in your typical London hotel.

7. Kátia Lund & Fernando Meirelles'

City of God

This Brazilian Gangster film is stylishly shot and shows life in the slums in Rio De Janeiro.


Rose Troche's

The Safety of Objects

I found this ensemble film more enjoyable than the classic ensemble film, Short Cuts.


Neil Jordan's

The Good Thief

This heist film set in Mote Carlo is loosely based on Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob Le Flambeur.


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's

21 Grams

Not as outstanding as Alejandro's fist film, Amos Perros; but still an intriguing complex tale.  

Isabel Coixet's

My Life Without Me

This Spanish film deals with a dying woman planning he family's life unfortunately without her.

Gasper Noe's


This disorienting rape film has two of most gruesome scenes ever put to celluloid.

Austin Chick's


We are all doomed to make the same mistakes twice, as demonstrated by this romantic drama.

Wayne Kramer's

The Cooler

*Talk Cinema Film

Sure you have to see William Macy's ass, but then again he is the Cooler.

Joel Coen's

Intolerable Cruelty 

A divorce attorney meets his match in this romantic comedy by the Coen Brothers.  



Niki Caro's

Whale Rider


*Talk Cinema Film

Its hard to believe that Keisha Castle-Hughes had no previous experience in this powerful Australian film.

Doris Dorrie's

Naked (Nackt)

Three couples attend an interesting dinner party where they all find a little bit more about themselves.

Lisa Cholodenko's

Laurel Canyon

No this is not a documentary about the 40s actor, it is a story about a rock band, played in part by Lou Barlow, living with a straight laced doctor's mother, the music producer. 

Quentin Tarrentino's\

Kill Bill Vol. 1

Hard to believe this film ranked this low, considering how excited I was to see it.   I think this film and 21 Grams were hurt by my massive expectations.   That said, this still is definitely worth seeing.

Jonas Akerlun's


A Crystal-Meth film with a great cast of characters.


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This page was created on: January 26, 2004

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