5. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp- Michael Powell's stiff upper lip British drama is highly indicative of his style- garish colors, bolder-than-life characters and a sweeping narrative that covers decades. And make no mistake, that's a huge compliment of his storytelling prowess. But its real pull lies in the way we fall in love once and then re-imagine that love over and over again throughout our lives. Deborah Kerr (pictured left) is the unrequited love token this time, meeting officer Clive Candy (Roger Livesey) early in his life before World War 1 in Munich as they fight propaganda together. She falls in love with his arch rival, Kretschmar, and marries him. Eventually, Kretschmar and Candy become life long friends, but it's the face of Kerr that pops up twice more in Candy's life as he elevates through the ranks of the British army and two more wars. First, Candy meets Kerr as a nurse during World War 2 when he seeks refuge in a convent and then late in life as a young army private becoming his personal driver. Though Powell does his best to eliminate any real emotional gravity to the relationships (one passing is mentioned only as a newspaper snippet), "The Life and Death and Colonel Blimp" wears its war-torn lost love syndrome squarely on its sleeve.
4. Cloud Atlas
The Wachowski's hugely ambitious, thrilling, and deeply touching epic from a few years ago doesn't nearly get the respect it deserves. A cosmic thriller with re-incarnation philosophies buried beneath its dense story, the basic idea is the lasting impression a soul can have with another across space and time. One can laugh at Tom Hanks speaking gibberish in a ravaged medieval time or Halle Berry donning a wide variety of weird costumes, but "Cloud Atlas" had me completely enthralled as the various stories began to tie together and the aching loss both past and future were sewn together with great skill.
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Probably the most original love story of the last 20 years, Michel Gondry's film is not only a heartbreaking ode to love and loss, but it still feels fresh and invigorating after a decade. I'll just allow the clip below to break your heart.