#3: Wuthering Heights
Because it is Andrea Arnold's follow-up to Fish Tank, that is the only reason I was interested in seeing this adaptation. I had read Emily Brontë's book in high school and loathed it. Heathcliff and Catherine were odious to me, and I couldn't comprehend how their grim story was a romance. Arnold changed my mind completely with her visceral take on Wuthering Heights that excises huge sections of the novel and centers itself firmly on the moods of Heathcliff, a foundling brought into a modestly affluent household, but loved by only one of its members, the fiery young Catherine. For the first half of the film, its protagonists barely speak. Their connection is formed by touch, both tough and tender, which Arnold's cinematography makes tangible with its pulsating close-ups of flesh, blood and hair. Their attraction and love is almost animalistic, and when society forces them into cages of civility and separation, we share in their pain and outrage. While others cheer the talent of Beasts of the Southern Wild's tiny ingénue Quvenzhané Wallis, I argue the performances of newcomers Solomon Glave and Shannon Beer deserve wild praise for their captivating blend of beastliness and vulnerability.

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