Year in Review Part 5 of 5
And we've finally come to it...
Generally the making of a top ten list is cause for Sophie's Choice style agony but drafting 2008's list was unusually pleasant. Which is to say that the best films this year weren't as aggressively audacious or as eager to thrown down artistic and technical gauntlets as There Will Be Blood and No Country were last year (with the possible exception of Steve McQueen's prison drama Hunger which opted not to open in New York, thus making it ineligible for my list). Perhaps filmmakers were ahead of the curve and foresaw the wave of cautious optimism that was about to start rolling around the world. Consider the turn about from the following filmmakers who are no strangers to dour moods: Mike Leigh opted for cheer and generosity of spirit, Woody Allen made his sunniest film (quite literally) in years, and Gus Van Sant understood that "you gotta give them hope".
Honorable Mentions / Runners Up
Moodily stalking this year's top ten films, is a lonely Swedish girl who reluctantly goes by the name of "Eli". She's 12 years old. She's been 12 years old for a very very long time. She's both the love interest and the monster in the haunting horror flick Let the Right One In. Director Tomas Alfredson obviously has filmmaking in his blood (his dad, brother and girlfriend are also in the business) and his breakout hit pulses with memorable creepy imagery and smart directorial choices, especially in its first half...
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for thoughts on Burn After Reading, A Christmas Tale, The Class, Happy-Go-Lucky, In Bruges, Let the Right One In, Milk, Rachel Getting Married, Reprise, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Wrestler and an adorable Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class (also known as WALL•E)