Critics make up “Best of” lists all the time, or at least once a year—opportunities to assess, evaluate, or venture a guess (often wrong) about a movie’s place in film history. More rarely are we coaxed to weigh in on our favorite films—which doesn’t involve looking at a place in history, but at admitting sheer pleasure. If somebody did ask me about my favorite films of the 21st century, I might nominate Punch-Drunk Love, In Bruges, Napoleon Dynamite, probably something by the Coen brothers—maybe Inside Llewyn Davis. But I would definitely have room for You, the Living, a gloomily hilarious 2007 gem from Sweden’s Roy Andersson. The movie is like a series of vaudeville blackout sketches performed by a clinically depressed clown.
Andersson’s latest is delivered in exactly the same format—he composes every shot in the same meticulous way—but with a more biting edge.