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indieWIRE CRITICS’ POLL ’08 | Robert Davis

indieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '08 | Robert Davis

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.

Robert Davis
Paste Magazine, Daily Plastic

Best Film
1 – The Flight of the Red Balloon
2 – The Secret of the Grain
3 – Still Life
4 – In the City of Sylvia
5 – Rachel Getting Married
6 – The Wrestler
7 – Wendy and Lucy
8 – Heartbeat Detector
9 – A Christmas Tale
10 – Silent Light

Best Performance
1 – Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
2 – Juliette Binoche, Flight of the Red Balloon
3 – Sean Penn, Milk
4 – Mathieu Amalric, A Christmas Tale/Heartbeat Detector
5 – Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Supporting Performance
1 – Viola Davis, Doubt
2 – Hafsia Herzi, The Secret of the Grain
3 – Ken Jacobs, Momma’s Man
4 – Flo Jacobs, Momma’s Man
5 – Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Director
Jose Luis Guerin, In the City of Sylvia

Best Screenplay
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

Best First Feature

Best Documentary
The Unforeseen

Best Undistributed Film
1 – 35 Shots of Rum
2 – RR
3 – Forbidden Lie$
4 – You, the Living
5 – Me and Orson Welles
6 – Revanche
7 – Birdsong
8 – Still Walking
9 – Liverpool
10 – Eat, For This is My Body

Omitted from all categories are films slated for release in 2009, but let’s hope the distributors are able to put Summer Hours, Lorna’s Silence, The Brothers Bloom, and Sugar into theaters. I’m too lily livered to list a few movies that I thoroughly enjoyed even as I was looking over my shoulder: Stuck, Boarding Gate, The Ruins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man. Best revivals: Monsieur Verdoux and Six in Paris. I wish there were a way to remark upon the first half of WALL-E.

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