TOP TEN 2008 (alphabetical):
Cloverfield (d. Matt Reeves)
Frost/Nixon (d. Ron Howard)
In Bruges (d. Martin McDonagh)
JCVD (d. Mabrouk El Mechri)
The Mother of Tears (d. Dario Argento)
My Winnipeg (d. Guy Maddin)
Rachel Getting Married (d. Jonathan Demme)
Religulous (d. Larry Charles)
Synecdoche, New York (d. Charlie Kaufman)
The Wrestler (d. Darren Aronofsky)
Best Film: Synecdoche, New York
Actor: Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon
Actress: Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky
Supporting Actor: Mathieu Amalric in A Christmas Tale
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Director: Charlie Kaufman for Synecdoche, New York
Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman for Synecdoche, New York
Adapted Screenplay: Peter Morgan for Frost/Nixon
Honorable Mentions: Darren Aronofsky (BD) for The Wrestler; Ron Howard (BD) for Frost/Nixon; Colin Farrell (BA) in In Bruges; Brendan Gleeson (BA) in In Bruges; Philip Seymour Hoffman (BA) in Synecdoche, New York; Mickey Rourke (BA) in The Wrestler; Michael Sheen (BA) in Frost/Nixon; Jean-Claude Van Damme (BA) in JCVD; Kevin Bacon (BSA) in Frost/Nixon; James Cromwell (BSA) in W.; Tom Cruise (BSA) in Tropic Thunder; Ralph Fiennes(BSA) in In Bruges; Heath Ledger (BSA) in The Dark Knight; Eddie Marsan(BSA) in Happy-Go-Lucky; Tom Wilkinson (BSA) in Valkyrie; Rosemarie DeWitt (BSA) in Rachel Getting Married; Debra Winger (BSA) in Rachel Getting Married; Martin McDonagh for In Bruges (BOS).
2008 turned out to be, not a horrible year for movies-- which you'd think at first glance, just a mediocre one. Everything landed in the middle. However, it did turn out to be a good screen acting year, particularly in the area of "comebacks." I wasn't as crazy about the lead actresses this year-- I think a lot of their performances were very good but most of the Oscar nominees in the Best Actress area will be sliding in on past triumphs. Last year was a MUCH stronger year for lead actresses. But the performaces that would fit the other three categories were abundantly good.
I think the most underrated performance was Jean-Claude Van Damme's in JCVD but only because nobody saw it-- everyone who reviewed it has made comment.
For my January 12th blog entry (when the Oscars Nominations Poll closes), I'll list my own Oscar ballot choices.