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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | John Anderson

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | John Anderson

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.

John Anderson
Variety, Newsday, Washington Post

Best Film
1 – Let the Right One In
2 – Wall-E
3 – Standard Operating Procedure
4 – Happy-Go-Lucky
5 – Up the Yangtze
6 – Flight of the Red Balloon
7 – Tell No One
8 – Waltz with Bashir
9 – Operation Filmmaker
10 – My Winnipeg

Best Performance
1 – Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
2 – Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
3 – Jeffrey Wright, Cadillac Records
4 – Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
5 – Juliette Binoche, Flight of the Red Balloon

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Eddie Marsen, Happy-Go-Lucky
2 – Amy Adams, Doubt
3 – Eamonn Walker, Cadillac Records
4 – Lena Leanderssson, Let the Right One In
5 – Viola Davis, Doubt

Best Director
Mike Leigh, Happty-Go-Lucky

Best Screenplay
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best First Feature
Frozen River

Best Documentary
Standard Operating Procedure

Best Undistributed Film
1 – Burma VJ
2 – Pressure Cooker
3 – The English Surgeon
4 – 50 Dead Men Walking
5 – Who Is KK Downey
6 – Waiting for Sancho
7 – Birdsong

Overall, not a spectacular year. What’s encouraging is that some of these films got made at all — Benjamin Button, for instance or Revolutionary Road. Or The Wrestler. What’s not so bright is the allergy distributors now have to docs. But it’ll all be better under Obama.

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