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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | Eric Kohn

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Eric Kohn

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.

Eric Kohn
New York Press/indieWIRE

Best Film
1 – Happy-Go-Lucky
2 – Mister Lonely
3 – Frownland
4 – Eden
5 – The Class
6 – Tropic Thunder
7 – My Father, My Lord
8 – Man on Wire
9 – Chop Shop
10 – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Best Performance
1 – Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
2 – Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
3 – Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
4 – Dore Mann, Frownland
5 – Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Ken Jacobs, Momma’s Man
2 – Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
3 – Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
4 – Scott Poythress, The Signal
5 – Ben Kingsley, The Wackness

Best Director
Laurent Cantet, The Class

Best Screenplay
Eugene O’Brien, Eden

Best First Feature
Choose Connor

Best Documentary
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Best Undistributed Film
1 – Sita Sings the Blues
2 – The New Year Parade
3 – Tony Manero
4 – Amal
5 – Tulpan
6 – My Mother’s Garden
7 – Your Name Here
8 – Frag
9 – She Unfolds By Day
10 – Four Nights with Anna

Lists serve as a helpful shorthand approach for simplifying twelve months and too many screenings, but they suffer an intrinsically finite nature. I’d like to give additional shout-outs to the following achievements: Alexis Zegerman in Happy-Go-Lucky, Danny McBride in The Fist Foot Way, David Gordon Green’s direction of Snow Angels, Nacho Vigalondo’s hilariously, brilliantly convoluted construction of Timecrimes, the entire cast of The Signal, Guy Maddin’s strikingly personal revelations in My Winnipeg, and each unabashedly manipulative moment in Young@Heart.

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