2022 Criterion Challenge Recap

Letterboxd list of all movies watched for the challenge by @wakingrufus and @tprig3.

Most Fun

Tompopo (1985)

wakingrufus: "A Fistful of Dollars" brought "Yojimbo" from feudal Japan to the old west, and "Tompopo" brings it back to Japan, but this time, a ramen shop. The story is also intercut with a series of vignettes that explore how food intersects with all aspects of life. Make sure you have access to ramen before seeing this, because you will NEED some after watching

お早よう (Good Morning) (1959)


You'll Laugh, You'll Cry

Yi Yi

wakingrufus: Family dramas are not usually my cup of tea, but this is everything I want out of one and much more. Its scope is broad. It encompasses so many different familial experiences, but all the while, is deeply intimate. It hits every note, which makes it perfect for this category.

Most Relevant Today

The Parallax View


SpoilersThis movie has the government military intelligence sub-contracting to a corporation which operates on American soil. The protagonist descends into deeper and deeper paranoia in order to try to uncover and stop this deep conspiracy, but in the end, everyone is in on it, and there is nothing he can do. All of his efforts are erased as he is murdered, then framed up as a scapegoat for an assassination. I am sure that this movie was made as a reaction to the JFK assassination, but everything about it feels right at home in the present day.

Sorry We Missed You


Most Surprising

This award goes to the movie that was better than we expected, underrated, or just a great movie that we would have never watched on our own.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

wakingrufus: "The Passion of Joan of Arc" brings unjust political and religious society down to the personal level. I did not expect such a vividly personal depiction of oppression out of such an old movie, but that is exactly what this film delivers.

Zazie dans le Métro (1960)


Most Disappointing

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

wakingrufus: The premise has so much promise, and while it is a fairly entertaining movie, it failed to explore some of the potentially more nuanced aspects of the story, and went on for far too long for just being what it was, which is a fairly straightforward old west story.

Beau Travail


Bottom of the Ninth Award

This award goes to a movie that was better made significantly better by the ending.

The Soft Skin

wakingrufus: Most of the movie is just about a guy being a terrible husband and father. I don't want to spoil the ending, but even as I saw *the* scene unfold, I thought it would be too good to be true to actually happen. Then it did and I was blown away.

Most Obscure

Joy Street

wakingrufus: An extremely expressive portrayal of depression through beautiful animation and music. At only ~2,000 views on letterboxd, it ties for the most obscure film we watched this year. It is only 24 minutes long, more people should see it.

Deep Crimson


Best Based on a True Story

We watched a lot of movies based on real events this year, so we picked our favorite.


wakingrufus: I had not heard of Yukio Mishima prior to watching this movie, but I got the sense that he was a larger-than-life figure known for his prolific literary and stage writing. However, later in life, he formed a private militia and led a failed coup. Naturally, this opens the question of how does someone get from A to B. In "Mishima", reenactments of his works and his actual life are sequenced in a way that attempts to explain his motivations, through his own internal vernacular. We can never truly understand how someone else's mind works, but this film makes us feel like we can.

Dudes Rock

We watched quite a few movies this year that could be labeled as "dudes rock" portrayals, so we thought it would be a fun category to have.

I Vitelloni

wakingrufus: While the protagonist (not the narrator) of "I Vitelloni" is a constant scumbag throughout the movie, I'd like to bring your attention to his friend group, which is just guys being dudes, all movie long.

Easy Rider