Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Films of 2008

The year of 2008 saw a ton of new films getting released, but the Writers Strike did take it's toll. Some really good films premiered at the end of the year, but throughout 2008 there were some really interesting films that made quite a splash. Though this year was dominated by some blockbusters (Dark Knight and Iron Man), the films that resonated more, again came from a smaller financial scope but with more heartfelt feeling and more cinematic impact. The list of the films I thought were great achievements was as follows (and in no particular order).

Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, Victor Garber, Alison Pil, Denis O'Hare, Joseph Cross, Stephen Spinella, Lucas Grabreel

The Wrestler
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry

The Changeling
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Donovan

Director: Andrew Stanton
Cast: Ben Burtt, Sigourney Weaver, Kathy Najimy, John Ratzenberger, Fred Willard, Elissa Knight

The Reader
Director: Stephen Daldry
Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Lena Olin, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Director: David Fincher
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond, Taraji P. Henson, Jared Harris, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng

Slumdog Millionaire
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar

Director: Isabel Coixet
Cast: Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Hopper, Peter Sarsgaard, Deborah Harry

Special mentions should go for the following films. "Speedracer" from Larry and Andy Wachowski, "Son of Ranbow" from Garth Jennings and "The Dark Knight" from Christopher Nolan.