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indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Michael Sicinski

Indiewire By Andy Lauer | Indiewire December 21, 2008 at 7:22AM

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.

Michael Sicinski
Cinema Scope, Cineaste, The Academic Hack

Best Film
1 - The Flight of the Red Balloon
2 - Still Life
3 - La France
4 - Profit motive and the whispering wind
5 - Mukhsin
6 - WALL-E
7 - The Duchess of Langeais
8 - In the City of Sylvia
9 - Burn After Reading
10 - Rachel Getting Married

Best Performance
1 - Juliette Binoche, The Flight of the Red Balloon
2 - Dore Mann, Frownland
3 - Guillaume Depardieu, The Duchess of Langeais
4 - Ludivine Sagnier, A Girl Cut in Two
5 - Sharifah Aryana, Mukhsin

Best Supporting Performance
1 - Tarra Riggs, Ballast
2 - J. K. Simmons, Burn After Reading
3 - Ann Savage, My Winnipeg
4 - Jane Lynch, Role Models
5 - Emmanuelle Devos, A Christmas Tale

Best Director
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Flight of the Red Balloon

Best Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, Burn After Reading

Best First Feature
XXY

Best Documentary
Trouble the Water

Best Undistributed Film
1 - Birdsong
2 - Dernier Maquis
3 - Just Anybody
4 - Mock Up on Mu
5 - Pontypool
6 - 7915 KM
7 - Sita Sings the Blues
8 - Sparrow
9 - 35 Shots of Rum
10 - Tony Manero

Comments
If 2007 is looking more and more like an incontestable movie-year for the ages, 2008 may go down not just as the crushing hangover, but the year everybody got everything wrong. Good-to-great films such as 35 Shots of Rum, Still Walking, and Burn After Reading were apparently rejected by Cannes. Toronto, meanwhile, passed on films like Night and Day, Afterschool, The Headless Woman (!!!), and pretty every non-Mike Leigh Berlin title. As a matter of fact, Berlin seems to be the ideal place to world premiere your finest work if you never want it to be seen again. Witness the disappearance of new films by Jacques Doillon, Johnnie To, and an Erick Zonca film maudit. These days, you'd pretty much need to be either Zeus or Olaf Moeller if you hope to really stay on top of world cinema's reigning champions, which means, alas, film ain't dead.

This article is related to: Critics' Poll