Sunday, February 22, 2009

Best Films of 2008: My Picks

In a few hours, the Academy will crown their pick for the best film of 2008. And while I agree with some of their nominees (Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Reader), it seems like most of my favorite films didn’t even make the shortlist. Which isn’t surprising since my taste runs slightly off the main stream. So here are my favorite films of 2008.

#10: The Wrestler
Honestly, I was on the fence with this movie, but the ending is what pushed it into a favorite for me. Had it ended any other way, it would have been an overly sentimental piece of schmaltz. But the end is just perfect.

#9: Rachel Getting Married
Like The Wrestler, this movie to me is like the cinematic equivalent of a short story. Small but powerful.

#8: Repo! The Genetic Opera
There’s something about this I just love, tuneful and anarchic. Go rent the DVD now if you haven’t already seen it.

#7: Australia
This one got drubbed by the critics but I don’t care, it’s sweeping and romantic and lovely.

#6: Funny Games
Another movie that didn’t get the credit it deserved, an unsettling mix of A Clockwork Orange and The Strangers.

#5: Frost/Nixon
Michael Sheen and Frank Langella are wonderful in this. I feel like every wannabe journo should put this DVD next to their copy of All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein.

#4: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
This Romanian film is very savvy in what it shows and what it doesn’t show. The most harrowing parts take place off screen, but that absence makes the horror more sharply felt. This is an important film, worth hunting down on DVD.

#3: Iron Man
The hell with The Dark Knight, this was the best superhero film of the year.

#2: Slumdog Millionaire
Sweet and sharp, a feel-good movie that isn’t afraid to kick you in the teeth a few times before giving you a happy ending.

#1: Cloverfield
This movie is not just my favorite of 2008, it’s one of my Top 5 of all time. Cloverfield doesn’t reinvent any wheels, just takes the wheels and makes them awesome.

Films that just missed my Top 10: The Reader, Blindness, Tropic Thunder, Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Charlie Bartlett, Wall-E, The Air I Breathe

And, to spread the love to my favorite movie genre, my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008 are: Cloverfield, Funny Games, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Diary of the Dead, One Missed Call, Quarantine, Splinter, Mirrors, The Strangers, and The Eye

Okay, enough pre-show festivities. Tune back in at 8:30 for the Oscars liveblog!


Sex Mahoney for President said...

Sex Drive was the best movie of 2008.

smd said...

I still need to see that! Seth Green and the funny dude from Greek? Count me in.

...but it won't be better than Cloverfield, dammit.