The best film of all time – far too few have seen it

The best film of all time far too few

What is the best film of all time? Citizen Kane? One of Alfred Hitchcock’s many defining thrillers? Or 2001: A Space Odyssey? Over 1,600 critics say: none of them. First place among the best films ever goes to an intimate drama that very few people have ever seen.

We’re talking about Jeanne Dielman, a French-Belgian drama by Chantal Akerman, which initially seems very harmless, but ends up being right gets under the skin. Don’t you know? Maybe you should. Because this film is a very special experience. You can close this film gap with a streaming subscription on Mubi.

Jeanne Dielmann on Mubi illuminates every second of a lonely life in fascinating detail

Jeanne (Delphine Seyrig) is a widow and mother. Her everyday life is like that of any housewife: Cooking, housework, looking after son Sylvain (Jan Decorte). In addition, as the single head of the family, she also has to earn money. In Jeanne’s world, this often happens through unconventional methods.

In any case, though Jeanne is one thing most of the time: alone. Between the dressing table, veal schnitzel and potato peeling, she stays to herself in the lonely world of her small Brussels apartment. In the afternoons she receives clients to earn some extra money, but they don’t leave any traces in Jeanne’s world either.

Paradise Films

Jeanne Dielman

But all the order, all the routine, is constantly being broken down. Jeanne is so stuck in her rituals and processes that even the little things shake her supposedly stoic nature. The frustrations of an unfulfilled life pile up like sediment until they form a mountain – and Jeanne’s life finally and forever gets out of hand.

Over 1,600 critics named Jeanne Dielman the best film of all time – ahead of Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick

The statement that Jeanne Dielman is the best film of all time is no coincidence: the British film magazine Sight and Sound has chosen this top film every ten years since the 1950s. In 2022, over 1,600 critics took part in the survey. The result: Jeanne Dielman leads the list of 250 films, ahead of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (2nd place) and Citizen Kane (3rd place).

Jeanne, which was awarded 94% on Metacritic, also leaves 2001: A Space Odyssey (6th place) and Mulholland Drive (8th place) behind. But where does this enthusiasm come from? when there are so many more well-known names on the list? Well, Jeanne Dielman is not just a story, the film is an act of hypnosis and an experience that is unparalleled in its unpleasant fascination. Every second counts towards this experience.

Paradise Films

Jeanne Dielman

Over three hours we follow Jeanne’s everyday life in painfully precise, simple detail. With every minute it becomes clearer: Jeanne Dielman demands patience. And an open look for the small banalities of everyday life that have such a lasting impact on us. This lulls us as much as it drains us. But anyone who gets involved will be rewarded with a finale that… deeply shocked and whose final image is burned in forever.

If you want to convince yourself of Jeanne Dielman’s winning qualities, you can do so with a Mubi streaming subscription.