PRINT December 2003

FILM: Best of 2003

Geoffrey O’Brien


1. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood) Dennis Lehane’s dense and tragic saga is pared down and filmed with unerring tone and timing.

2. The Flower of Evil (Claude Chabrol) Chabrol’s fiftieth, recombining favorite elements of family corruption and perverse longing, is steeped in his rapt pattern-making genius.

3. The Fog of War (Errol Morris) This feature-length portrait of Robert S. McNamara—all the more devastating for avoiding a polemical approach—is like an overview of twentieth-century warfare as seen from the control booth. Mournful and terrifying.

4. To Be and To Have (Nicolas Philibert) A beautifully exact movie about early childhood education that’s fresh enough to make you want to learn the alphabet again for the first time.

5. Chihwaseon (Im Kwon-taek) A nineteenth-century Korean artist’s life told as a skein of gaudy fragments. Best shot: the painter buried under his

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