10 Best Films of All Time: Emi Grant

5. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away Review

Spirited Away offers so many children their first foray into “scary movies”. Though it’s not a slasher by any means, the animated flick is a cautionary tale of greed filled with deliciously freaky spirits and witches.

The animation remains some of the most beautiful work out there – from the mouth-watering food to the train gliding over rippling water.

Ghibli films find their place in stillness. There are moments when we are allowed to watch the trees sway or sit quietly while the ocean rushes beneath us.

The film offers both a great adventure and a meditation on the facts of our real lives. 

Recommended for you: 10 Best Studio Ghibli Films

4. Moonlight (2016)

If Stanley Kubrick has the 1000-yard “Kubrick Stare”, perhaps Barry Jenkins has the antithesis. Director Jenkins captures a character’s innermost self with a singular, close-up shot. Moonlight is the perfect example of this.

Chiron, seen at three different stages of his life, isn’t much of a talker, but we know so much about his thoughts and feelings through these long, heartwrenching shots.

Moonlight proves that the universal lies in the specifics. Though Chiron’s story feels a thousand miles away, it feels like we know him intimately by the end of the film. 

3. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Somehow, Mysterious Skin blends alien conspiracies and childhood trauma to total perfection. It’s a quiet meditation on the implications of abuse in teenage and adult life.

Director and writer Gregg Araki takes a minuscule budget and spins a tale that will be cemented as required viewing in queer cinema.

The film is brutally empathetic and conveys unthinkable violence without exploitation. Topped off with fantastic performances from Joseph Gordon Levitt and Brady Corbet, Mysterious Skin is a masterpiece. 

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