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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | Peter Brunette

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Peter Brunette

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.

Peter Brunette
The Hollywood Reporter

Best Film
1 – The Dark Knight
2 – Synecdoche, New York
3 – Gomorrah
4 – Slumdog Millionaire
5 – Still Life
6 – I’ve Loved You So Long
7 – The Wrestler
8 – The Edge of Heaven
9 – Doubt
10 – Up the Yangtze

Best Performance
1 – Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
2 – Meryl Streep, Doubt
3 – Kristen Scott-Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
4 – Anne Hathaway, Rachel’s Getting Married
5 – Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
2 – Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky
3 – Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
4 – Javier Bardem, Vicky Christina Barcelona
5 – Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel’s Getting Married

Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufmann, Synecdoche, New York

Best Documentary
Up the Yangtze

Best Undistributed Film
1 – Liverpool

I wasn’t able to see “Milk” in time for the poll, so I’m not sure whether that film, which has already won so many prizes, would have figured in my Top Ten. All in all, I don’t think it was a fabulous year, though there were some strong points of light here and there. Given the awards handed out so far, it seems to me that critics have forgotten how brilliant and disturbing “The Dark Knight” was and remains.

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