Judging from its placing at number 6 in Mark Kermode's All Time Top 10 Best Films Evs, Guillermo del Toro's El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth in the English-speaking markets) is Mark Kermode's favourite film of the entire time he and Simon Mayo have been working together; the next most recent is 1985's Brazil. The film is a dark fantasy drama, which mixes brutal scenes of the Spanish civil war with fantasy horror creatures terrorising a small girl.
It is the Citizen Kane of fantasy cinema. The review was a Kermodian Rhapsody before the phrase had been coined: Mark compared it not only to Citizen Kane but also to the Sistine Chapel and the Mona Lisa. "It is just a masterpiece... it's absolutely flawless... it's a transformative experience, it's a life-changing experience." Mark was however unable to express exactly how the film had changed his life, only being able to vaguely say that it had made him feel better; Simon suggested he could have just gone to the pub instead. Listener Nyder O'Leary later emailed the show to explain exactly how life-changing the film was.
Pan's Labyrinth shares with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory the distinction of being the only films to be Movie of the Week twice (and the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory endorsements came from James King, so that hardly counts).
Some listeners were less impressed, however. One (Christian in West London) described it as "a bad Amelie meets Downfall" - which drew an audibly horrified gasp of breath from Mark - and demanded a T replace the titular apostrophe. Mark replied by quoting, of all people, Jeremy Clarkson - saying "we live in a democracy and everyone's entitled to their own opinion, it's just that mine's right."
In the very same week Pan's Labyrinth was released, Mark also had to review the "tertiary syphilis" that was Santa Clause 3. In the history of the Film Review Show / Wittertainment, it is unlikely there have been two films that have received a wider contrast in review fortunes.