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Best British Films Poll

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2009 at 9:33AM

The London Observer has published its best British films poll 1984-2009, from "more than 60 experts - directors, screenwriters, actors, critics - and a few smart outsiders." They asked me and include my list, too, on the jump. I picked 30 films from the list for our own poll. Write in any others you like, please. (UPDATE: Here's their top 25 list.)
7
Thompson on Hollywood

The London Observer has published its best British films poll 1984-2009, from "more than 60 experts - directors, screenwriters, actors, critics - and a few smart outsiders." They asked me and include my list, too, on the jump. I picked 30 films from the list for our own poll. Write in any others you like, please. (UPDATE: Here's their top 25 list.)

Vote for the best Brit film 1984-2009
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Gosford Park
Hope and Glory
Topsy-Turvy
The Constant Gardner
The Company of Wolves
My Beautiful Laundrette
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Brazil
My Name is Joe
Secrets and Lies
Shakespeare in Love
This is England
Slumdog Millionaire
Croupier
Howard's End
Trainspotting
The English Patient
Dirty Pretty Things
Man on Wire
The Full Monty
Love is the Devil
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Persuasion
Atonement
The Hours
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Sexy Beast
Shadowlands
The Remains of the Day
  
pollcode.com free polls


My top 10: Peter Morgan, screenwriter

Croupier (Mike Hodges, 1998)
Last Resort (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2000)
Howards End (James Ivory, 1992)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996)
The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996)
Dirty Pretty Things (Stephen Frears, 2002)
Man on Wire James Marsh (2008)
One Day in September (Kevin Macdonald, 1999)
Love Is The Devil (John Maybury, 1998)

My top 10: Sam Taylor-Wood, director artist

The Talented Mr Ripley (Anthony Minghella, 1999)
Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996)
Flashbacks of a Fool (Baillie Walsh, 2008)
Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)
The Hours (Stephen Daldry, 2002)
My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, 1985)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer, 2000)
Dead Man's Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)

My top 10: Sir Ben Kingsley, actor

Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough, 1993)
The Remains of the Day (James Ivory, 1993)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994)
Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)
Iris (Richard Eyre, 2001)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Mark Herman, 2008)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997)
Somers Town (Shane Meadows, 2008)
Venus (Roger Michell, 2006)

My top 10: Jonathan Coe, novelist

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Comfort and Joy (Bill Forsyth, 1984)
Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)
Comrades (Bill Douglas, 1986)
Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom, 1995)
Hilary and Jackie (Anand Tucker, 1998)
Prick Up Your Ears (Stephen Frears, 1987)
Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006)

My top 10: Joanna Hogg, director

Robinson in Space (Patrick Keiller, 1997)
Persuasion (Roger Michell, 1995)
Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985)
Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)
Last Resort (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2000)
My Name is Joe (Ken Loach, 1998)
Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)
The Cement Garden (Andrew Birkin, 1993)
Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)
London (Patrick Keiller, 1994)

My top 10: Edgar Wright, director

Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh, 1991)
Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer, 2000)
Dead Man's Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000)
Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
The Low Down (Jamie Thraves, 2000)

My top 10: Anne Thompson, US film critic

Persuasion (Roger Michell, 1995)
Hope & Glory (John Boorman, 1987)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996)
Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994)
A Passage to India (David Lean, 1984)
Touching the Void (Kevin Macdonald, 2003)
Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000)
My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, 1985)

My top 10: Sandra Hebron, London Film Festival Artistic Director

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, 1999)
Wonderland (Michael Winterbottom, 1999)
A Room for Romeo Brass (Shane Meadows, 1999)
My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2004)
Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
Riff-Raff (Ken Loach, 1991)
Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)
Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer,2000)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)

My top 10: Natalie Press, actor

Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)
Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, 1999)
Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1989)
My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, 1985)
Under the Skin (Carine Adler, 1997)
In This World (Michael Winterbottom, 2002)

My top 10: Kevin MacDonald, director

Riff-Raff (Ken Loach, 1991)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1989)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994)
Driving Me Crazy (Nick Broomfield, 1988)
Hope & Glory (John Boorman, 1987)
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh, 1999)
The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles, 2005)

My top 10: Philip French, Observer film critic

The Company of Wolves (Neil Jordan, 1984)
My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, 1985)
Hope & Glory (John Boorman, 1987)
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1989)
The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)
Land and Freedom (Ken Loach, 1995)
Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996)
Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998)
This is England (Shane Meadows, 2006)
Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)

This article is related to: Directors, Stuck In Love, Danny Boyle, Critics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.