Friday, January 2, 2009

Best of the Movies: 2008


For me, this past year was all about:

The Fall (Tarsem Singh)
Synecdoche, NY (Charlie Kaufman)
Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)
The Wrestler (Darrin Aronofsky)
Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant)
Wall-E (Andrew Stanton)
Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
Smiley Face (Gregg Araki)
The Promotion (Steve Conrad)
Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller)
JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri)
Dying Breed (Jody Dwyer)

With honorable mention to Man on Wire, Revolutionary Road, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Iron Man, Vicki Christina Barcelona, A Christmas Tale, The Wild Man of the Navidad (yet to be released), The Strangers, Empire II (yet to be released), and The Autuer (yet to be released).

Three worst films: Bart Got a Room (yet to be released), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Pineapple Express (there were MUCH worse movies this year, I'm sure, but I don't waste effort on movies that look bad from the get-go--these were just the two biggest disappointments to which I gave my time).

WORST FILMS I DIDN'T SEE AND THAT'LL BE PLAYING IN MY OWN PERSONAL HELL: Righteous Kill, The Happening, Sex and the City, The Hottie and the Nottie, The Love Guru, Mamma Mia!, 88 Minutes, Meet Dave, The Punisher: War Zone, Over Her Dead Body, Speed Racer, Semi-Pro, Meet The Spartans, Saw V, 10,000 BC, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Street Kings, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Miracle at St. Anna, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, Space Chimps, The Women, Rambo

IF I WERE PICKING THE OSCARS:
Best Picture: The Fall (Tarsem Singh and Nico Soultanakis, producers)
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Actress: Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt
Best Director: Tarsem Singh, The Fall
Best Animated Feature: Wall-E
Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire
Best Foreign-Language Film: Let The Right One In (Sweden)
Best Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, NY
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let The Right One In
Best Cinematography: Colin Watkinson, The Fall
Best Art Direction: Mark Friedberg, Adam Stockhausen and Lydia Marks, Synecdoche, NY
Best Costume Design: Eiko Ishioka, The Fall
Best Original Score: Thomas Newman, Wall-E
Best Original Song: Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, "Down to Earth," Wall-E
Best Sound: Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood, Wall-E
Best Film Editing: Robert Duffy, The Fall
Best Special Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Sound Effects: Ben Burtt, Dustin Cawood, Teresa Eckton, Wall-E
Best Makeup: Kate Biscoe, John Blake, Roland Blancaflo, Michèle Burke and Barney Burman,
Tropic Thunder

9 comments:

Tony Dayoub said...

Have to give it to you... some interesting picks for your top 10. And pretty brave move sticking The Promotion in there. I was impressed with that movie, even though I wouldn't go as far as you.

My comment didn't seem to make it on your previous post for some reason, but I love that you chose The Fall as your best pic. It's in my top 10.

Have to suggest you give a couple movies a chance, seeing as you put them in a category called "worst films [you] DIDN'T SEE"... Surprisingly, very surprisingly in fact, Rambo and Speed Racer warrant a close look. They made it onto my top 20 if not my top 10.

Dean Treadway said...

I'll probably check SPEED RACER out, at least for its look. But RAMBO? Haven't we had enough of that? Still, since you say so, Tony, I suppose I'll have to relent. But don't try and get me to watch SPACE CHIMPS. I have my pride, you know...

Anonymous said...

I thought Bart Got A Room was really good! A lot of people I know walked in expecting something from Judd Apatow, or something like that. That's not really what it was all about. I think it is (or will be) one of the best of it's release period.

Hunter C

NoirishCity.... said...

Hi! Dean,
I am watching your choices very closely!...Because I know that you know all about this wonderful "game" called films.

Dean said,"WORST FILMS I DIDN'T SEE AND THAT'LL BE PLAYING IN MY OWN PERSONAL HELL..."
haha!

The "Dame"

the editor., said...

Hi! Dean,
Wow!...Nice pix of you and one of the "boys"...Mario?!? or Angelo?!?His "coat" is so "beautiful"

Dean, It is all in the the "eyes!"

The "Dame"

Anonymous said...

Have you seen "Waltz With Bashir"? That's atop my best of '08 list.

--Brad Hundt

NoirishCity.... said...

Hi! Dean,
Why did I call Marty, "Mario?"
I 'am sooo very sorry!... "Marty"
Dean, I love the dvd cover for the film Papillon.
Tks,
The "Dame"

Dean Treadway said...

Haven't seen WALTZ WITH BASHIR yet, but I'm planning to do so. I'm sure my best of 2008 list will change with the passing of the next few months. But as of now, that's how it stands.

Hey, Dame! How ya doin? That's me and my cat Angelo atop the article. I suppose "Mario" is an amalgamation of "Marty" and "Angelo"--very much like Brangelina, for instance.

Yeah, I like that PAPILLON graphic, too. I'm lucky to have it as part of my fine movie poster collection.

Thanks for reading, guys!

Dead Pan said...

Hey Dean great list! I also have Synecdoche and WALL-E on mine and those are the only two of seen of your top ten. I have been wanting to rent The Fall for awhile now and definitely will soon. Wendy and Lucy and Let The Right One In are never going to open around here and The Wrestler opens here on the 16th.

I really think you underestimate The Hottie and The Nottie though. It isn't just a Paris Hilton piss fest with thoughtless and talentless filmmaking. It is an excavation of the soul, leaving one to wonder, "what is beauty?" It's a satirical look at societies ideas on beauty and why we find certain people beautiful or fascinating and others less fascinating. I think it's the most misunderstood film of all time! Please do yourself a favor and don't miss that gem...or ya know, do.