legoWell, it’s that time of the year again, when lists must be made to give meaning to all the time spent going to movies the year before rather than doing things like joining Doctors Without Borders or trying to find a cure for cancer or sharing memes of kittens on facebook.
No matter what anyone tells you, this is the endgame of film watching, to create order out of chaos, to reach conclusions from randomness, to give deeper meaning to something that in many ways has little meaning except the attending in the first place.
But we’re human and it’s what we do.
However, before getting to the nitty-gritty, I would like to first make a few observations about the state of cinema these days based on the films I saw last year. Continue reading

The Best Films of 2008 or the Howies

Top Ten Movies of 2008

Best Picture: Reprise

The rest in alphabetical order




The Counterfeiters

Edge of Heaven

In Bruges

Let the Right One In

Love Songs

Tell No One

Waltz with Bashir


Honorable mentions:


The Dark Knight, Wall-E


Special mention for Documentary:


Man on Wire



A Special List of Movies only shown once in L.A. (at film fests, etc.) in alphabetical order:


Before I Forget

The Chaser

The Good, the Bad, the Weird

The Headless Woman

Solitary fragments

Summer hours


Special Award for Best ensemble:


Doubt (Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman)

Note: I know this is cheating, but it freed up spaces on the best acting lists.



Best Actors of 2008

Best Actor:

Jacques Nolot – Before I Forget


The rest in alphabetical order


Francois Cluzet – Tell No One

Robert Downey, Jr. – Tropic Thunder, Iron Man

Karl Markovics – The Counterfeiters

Sean Penn – Milk


Honorable mentions:


Collin Farrell – In Bruges, Cassandra’s Dream

Benicio del Toro – Che

Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon



Best Actresses of 2008

Best Actress:

Melissa Leo – Frozen River

The rest in alphabetical order


Juliette Binoche – Flight of the Red Balloon, Summer Hours

Sally Hawkins – Happy Go Lucky

Maria Onetto – Headless Woman

Kirsten Scott Thomas – I Have Loved You So Long


Honorable mentions:


Angelina Jolie – Changeling

Kate Winslet – The Reader; Revolutionary Road



Best Supporting Actors of 2008

Best Supporting Actor:

Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight


The rest in alphabetical order


Josh Brolin – Milk

Ralph Feinnes – In Bruges, the Duchess, The Reader

Gilles LeLouche – Tell No One

Eddie Marsan – Happy Go Lucky


Honorable Mentions:


Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road;

Diego Luna – Milk


Best Supporting Actresses of 2008

Best Supporting Actress:

Penelope Cruz – Vicki Christina Barcelona

The rest in alphabetical order


Kathy Bates – Revolutionary Road

Lisa Kudrow – Kabluey

Elza Lyberstein – I Have Loved You So Long

Amy Poehler – Hamlet II


Honorable mentions:


Marissa Tomei – The Wrestler

Hannah Shygulla – Edge of Heaven


Best Direction of 2008

Best Director:

Che – Steven Sodenbergh

The rest in alphabetical order


The Chaser – Hong-jin Na

The Dark Knight – Christopher Nolan

The Good, the Bad, the Weird – Ji Woom-Kin

Reprise – Joachim Trier


Honorable mention:


Jon Favreau – Iron Man


Best Screenplays of 2008

Best Screenplay:

Reprise – Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt


The rest in alphabetical order


Antarctica – Yair Hochner

The Counterfeiters – Stefan Ruzowitzky

In Bruges – Martin McDonagh

Tell No One – Guilliame Canet, Harlan Coben