In line with personal tradition, I'm going to mention more than 10 films in my Top 10 list, the better to spread the word about what should be seen. I'm even going to split my No. 1 pick between two films that have a lot in common even though they seem quite different: Jane Campion's "Bright Star" and Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker." While "Bright Star" is an emotional love story and "The Hurt Locker" is an overwhelming, tense saga of men at war, the two share -- in addition to an increasingly rare female director -- impeccable filmmaking skills and a commitment to telling stories with the kind of artful ironclad restraint that gets maximum effect out of emotional material.
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