First, I must define my parameters. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and it is quite common for worthy films to be released here months after they were given a limited release in the major American markets; I am therefore counting films, including foreign and independent films, which may have technically qualified for the American top-ten lists of 1998 but did not come to my attention until later. Second, this is a list of personal favorites; this is not a list of the ten "best" films, as if such things could ever be objectively decided, nor is it a list of the "most Christian" films, because I have no idea what such a label would mean—the most family-friendly? the most explicitly theological? the most compassionate? the most holy? I will say, however, that being a Christian means that the films which excite me most tend to be those which touch on some aspect of my faith. Finally, C.S. Lewis once said that no book was any good to him until he had read it at least twice, and that's how I often feel about films. I have seen a few of these films more than once; with others, I am running on distant memories of first impressions, bolstered by whatever thoughts I may have jotted down at the time. But if I saw any of these again in a day, or a week, or a month, this list could be very different.
1. The Dreamlife of Angels (dir. Erick Zonca; R). Life is anything but beautiful for two young women as they look for work and companionship in the south of France. Isa (Elodie Bouchez), we discover, is a generous soul who is able to look beyond the bleak realities surrounding her with hope and love; but her roommate Marie (Natacha Regnier) is caught in a downward spiral of shame and self-loathing. Zonca articulates the differences ...1