'The Master' tops British Film Institute's 'Sight & Sound' rankings

Critics from the British Film Institute hailed Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master as the best film of 2012 in their annual Sight & Sound rankings.

Still from 'The Master' with Philip Seymour Hoffman ©The Weisntein Company. All Rights Reserved.

The nearly one hundred cinema industry professionals gathered at the event ranked Paul Thomas Anderson's movie, which was screened at the Venice film festival in September, as the cream of this year's crop, ahead of Portuguese filmmaker Michel Gomes's Tabu, a black and white period drama set in colonial times.

The next three slots are held by favorites of the Cannes crowd: Amour, which earned the Palme d'Or in 2012, comes in third, ahead of Leos Carax's Holy Motors and Beasts of the Southern Wild, which earned a Golden Camera for its director Benh Zeitlin.

Small budget indie horror flick Berberian Sound Studio finished sixth, followed by Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and Turkish/Bosnian production Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, directed by Niru Bilge Ceylan, round out the top ten. Eleventh place went to This Is Not a Film, a documentary codirected by Mojtaba Mirtahmaseb and Jafar Pahani, considered enemies of the State and under arrest in their Iranian homeland.

In years past, the Sight & Sound ranking has bestowed its highest honors on such films as Brokeback Mountain (2005), Hunger (2008), A Prophet (2009), The Social Network (2010) and The Tree of Life (2011).

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