Sweet, passionate, tough – love is a complex and many splendoured thing.
Love is strange, and cinema reaps the fruit of its strangeness. Love fizzes this year, with infidelity and murder in The Blue Room, and with a teen who won’t let disability stop romance in Margarita, with a Straw. Love is challenged, by technology and distance in 10,000km, and by friction between customs and lifestyles in Another Year. Love is devotion, notably to art, in the day-to-day running of The Great Museum, and in Décor’s passion for Egyptian cinema. Love is stranger everywhere else than in Love is Strange, where it is simple, nourishing and constant.
Tricia Tuttle and Tim Robey
Kate Winslet plays a landscape gardener employed by King Louis XIV to transform the gardens at Versailles.
Technology rather than love threatens to tear a couple apart in Carlos Marques-Marcet’s beautifully observed study of a long distance romance.
Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman caught in a play of love, fate and narrative coincidence, in Benoît Jacquot’s sly, eerie and entertaining tale of chance-crossed love.
Touching, respectful, illuminating survey of the life and works of one of the most innovative, influential and truly independent directors in the American cinema.
In this wounding two-hander, a young married couple in Moscow grapples with doubts about the future and divergent career paths.
Mathieu Amalric directs himself as a two-timing everyman pinned under the wheels of fate, in a precision-tooled and powerfully sad adaptation of Georges Simenon.
Maria Kitia gives a standout performance as the partner of a man serving a 10-year-sentence, in a film based on director Tinatin Kajrishvili’s own experiences.
This assured coming-of-age tale uses the emotional journey of a middle-class Rio teenager to probe the social schisms underpinning contemporary Brazilian society.
Newly restored, Robert Altman’s first theatrical adaptation – about a group of women holding a James Dean fan club reunion – is a cinematic tour de force.
A successful film set designer finds herself inexplicably transported into another persona as a married housewife while working on a new production.
Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy star as a married couple torn asunder, in this moving contemporary drama that explores how to be a whole person again following a traumatic event.
Julie Christie stars as headstrong Bathsheba Everdene in John Schlesinger’s lyrical adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s epic, tragic love story.
This newly restored classic from Chinese cinema’s Golden Age features a devastating performance from Ruan Lingyu as a Shanghai prostitute.
An engrossing portrait of work at one of the world’s great museums, Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, and a moving paean to devoting one’s life to art.
Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and a magnificent cast of character actors bring Damon Runyon’s teeming underbelly of New York City to life.
Enthralling New York-set drama about a young couple who tear each apart over care of their first child.
Juliette Lewis returns to centre stage with a charming performance as a bored housewife who finds she has much in common with her much younger neighbour.
Handsome, moving period biopic of legendary Italian 19th century poet Giacomo Leopardi.
Ira Sachs’s refined Manhattan-set drama sees Alfred Molina’s Ben and John Lithgow’s George in the latter days of a tender, loving 39-year relationship.
A classic re-telling of the moving Flaubert novel, with Mia Wasikowska perfectly cast as the titular character whose acceptance of societal conventions leads to rebellion and disgrace.
This compelling drama from India charts the struggles and sense of freedom experienced by a Delhi teenager with cerebral palsy when she wins a scholarship to NY.
A darkly intricate Israeli drama examining an unhealthily symbiotic relationship between two sisters.
A classic Howard Hawks aviation adventure, set around a ramshackle airstrip in South America. The pilots are terse in the face of death but love breaks through.
Murder and ambition drive this sweeping melodrama, set in a depression-era North Carolina logging town and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
A wild Scottish island provides the backdrop for this taut drama of a stormy marriage between an authoritarian minister and his mysterious wife whose lives are shaken by the unexpected arrival of a delinquent into their home.
One of the years most visually ravishing films is this tale of two youths growing up and falling in love on a small island off the Japanese mainland.
Revealed afresh in this remarkable Technicolor restoration, Powell and Pressburger’s 1951 musical phantasmagoria is the stuff of beautiful nightmares.
Born ‘Socialist baby of the decade’, Viktoria finds herself godchild of Communist leader Todor Zhivkov in Maya Vitkova’s beautifully achieved satire.
Being 15 can be tough – especially when you are poor and have six brothers and sisters to care for.
A blind teen boy falls in love with the new guy at school in Daniel Ribeiro’s heart-warming charmer.
Colleen Moore stars in this 1929 romantic comedy with a soundtrack full of hot jazz and 1920s dance music, featuring period greats such as Jimmy Dorsey.
Matthieu Kassovitz plays a traveller father who kidnaps his sons in an attempt to raise them off the grid, free from consumerism and in touch with nature.
An autistic teenage prodigy travels from the English suburbs for a maths competition in Taipei, challenging his safely defined outlook.