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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | Michael Tully

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Michael Tully

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 Tully
Hammer to Nail

Best Film
1 – Up the Yangtze
2 – Frownland
3 – Momma’s Man
4 – Waltz With Bashir
5 – The Unforeseen
6 – Mister Lonely
7 – The Order of Myths
8 – Shotgun Stories
9 – Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell
10 – Take Out

Best Performance
1 – Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
2 – Hafsia Herzi, The Secret of the Grain
3 – Elliot Ruiz, Battle For Haditha
4 – Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy
5 – Benicio Del Toro, Che

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Josh Brolin, Milk
2 – Nana Patekar, The Pool
3 – Danny McBride, Pineapple Express
4 – Olivia Thirlby, Snow Angels
5 – Joshua Safdie, The Pleasure of Being Robbed

Best Director
Ari Folman, Waltz With Bashir

Best Screenplay
Fatih Akin, The Edge of Heaven

Best First Feature

Best Undistributed Film
1 – Munyurangabo
2 – Prince of Broadway
3 – Birdsong
4 – Tony Manero
5 – Somers Town
6 – Sita Sings the Blues
7 – Woodpecker
8 – Song Sung Blue
9 – Of All the Things
10 – Night and Day

Every year people seem to write about how lame it was, and every year I seem to write about how great it was. This year is no exception. While 2008 seemed pretty pathetic with regards to big-budget films, the amount of exceptional low-budget narrative and documentary work was quite staggering. To prove this, I will be posting my typically nerdy year-end wrap-up at Hammer to Nail by the first week of January, so be sure to check that out (particularly if you’re in prison or have jury duty).

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