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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | Bilge Ebiri

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Bilge Ebiri

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.

Bilge Ebiri
New York magazine, Bookforum

Best Film
1 – Paranoid Park
2 – The Dark Knight
3 – My Winnipeg
4 – Silent Light
5 – Wendy and Lucy
6 – The Bank Job
7 – Chicago 10
8 – Liberty Kid
9 – Tell No One
10 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Performance
1 – Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy
2 – Habib Boufares, The Secret of the Grain
3 – Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
4 – Leonardo Dicaprio, Revolutionary Road
5 – Al Thompson, Liberty Kid

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Hafsia Herzi, The Secret of the Grain
2 – Terrence Stamp, Yes Man
3 – Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight
4 – Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
5 – Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Best Director
Gus Van Sant, Paranoid Park

Best Screenplay
Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight

Best First Feature
The Foot Fist Way

Best Documentary
My Winnipeg

Best Undistributed Film
1 – Sita Sings the Blues
2 – Il Divo
3 – Somers Town
4 – Revanche
5 – Maradona by Kusturica
6 – Lorna’s Silence
7 – My Marlon and Brando
8 – Kassim the Dream
9 – Made in America
10 – Katyn

This is a perennial problem, but now more than ever it has become clear that this whole tradition of studios and distributors waiting until the very end of the year to dump all of their award-worthy product on a depressed marketplace has just got to end. At the very least, if they’re going to persist in this practice, they have to stop complaining about the box office performance of said films. Human beings (critics included) only have so much time. I mean jesus.

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