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indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Karina Longworth

Indiewire By Andy Lauer | Indiewire December 16, 2008 at 5:2AM

This is the latest ballot in indieWIRE's 2008 Critics Poll, continuing the tradition of a national survey of critics by calling attention to the year's best -- and, in many cases, most overlooked -- films, providing a meaningful counterpoint to much of the year-end hoopla. Note that some lists are unranked at the discretion of the critic. For all categories except Best Undistributed Film, eligible feature films had first-run theatrical engagements in the U.S. during 2008. Films without a U.S. distributor, screened anywhere (festival circuit, one-off screenings, etc.), are eligible in the Best Undistributed Film category. The full list of critics poll ballots is available here at indieWIRE and tabulated results are being published by indieWIRE later this month.
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This is the latest ballot in indieWIRE's 2008 Critics Poll, continuing the tradition of a national survey of critics by calling attention to the year's best -- and, in many cases, most overlooked -- films, providing a meaningful counterpoint to much of the year-end hoopla. Note that some lists are unranked at the discretion of the critic. For all categories except Best Undistributed Film, eligible feature films had first-run theatrical engagements in the U.S. during 2008. Films without a U.S. distributor, screened anywhere (festival circuit, one-off screenings, etc.), are eligible in the Best Undistributed Film category. The full list of critics poll ballots is available here at indieWIRE and tabulated results are being published by indieWIRE later this month.

Karina Longworth
SpoutBlog

Best Film
1 - A Christmas Tale
2 - Synecdoche, New York
3 - Build a Ship, Sail to Sadness
4 - My Winnipeg
5 - Woman on the Beach
6 - Rachel Getting Married
7 - La France
8 - Mister Lonely
9 - Flight of the Red Balloon
10 - Encounters at the End of the World
Note: NOT RANKED

Best Performance
1 - Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
2 - Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
3 - Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
4 - Mathieu Amalric, A Christmas Tale
5 - Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man
Note: NOT RANKED

Best Supporting Performance
1 - Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading
2 - Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
3 - Samantha Morton, Mister Lonely & Synecdoche, NY
4 - Hafsia Herzi, The Secret of the Grain
5 - Richard Strange, Mister Lonely
Note: NOT RANKED

Best Director
Arnaud Desplechin, A Christmas Tale

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York

Best First Feature
Synecdoche, New York

Best Documentary
My Winnipeg

Best Undistributed Film
1 - Frontier of Dawn
2 - Everything is Fine
3 - Treeless Mountain
4 - Modern Life (La Vie Moderne)
5 - Prince of Broadway
6 - Yeast
7 - Forbidden Lies
8 - The Burrowers
9 - Intimidad
10 - Sita Sings the Blues
Note: NOT RANKED

Comments
I chose not to rank my lists, because I with the exception of a small handful of near-masterpieces, my final 10 were chosen randomly from a list of 20 contenders, all of which I feel are deserving of recognition. The films which fell out of my Top 10 via random selection: Man on Wire, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, In the City of Sylvia, Paranoid Park, Ballast, Poultrygeist, The Secret of the Grain, The Wrestler, The Order of Myths, Burn After Reading. There are quite a few films deserving of mention which came to my attention in 2008 (or even 2007), which are ineligible for either the main top ten or the Undistributed list, because they've been slotted on the 2009 calendar. Some of these include: Silent Light, Medicine For Melancholy, Summer Hours, Two Lovers. Technically, The Burrowers, which I put on my undistributed list, has a distributor, but as that distributor (Lionsgate) has openly discussed moving away from genre fare and a theatrical release date for the movie has not been set since its Toronto premiere, I'm assuming that a theatrical release looks unlikely at this point.

This article is related to: Critics' Poll