Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.
Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.
Twenty talented ladies, 20 performances worthy of multiple little gold men. Unfortunately, as in all years, someone has to come out on top. But after looking over this impressive list, picking the preeminent turn of 2008 seems almost impossible.
It was the year of the behemoth box set, the multi-disc triumph that tried to give long suffering fans everything their demanding little digital hearts ever desired. Here are PopMatters' 30 picks for the best DVDs of the year.
From Julian Schnabel's artsy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the legendary Coen Brothers splendid adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, PopMatters counts down the 30 best films of 2007.
From the tender and eerie precision of Sam Riley's depiction of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control to yet another superlative performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, PopMatters highlights the best male actors of 2007.
Where the olden days movies were fierce, these are more nostalgic for a moment that's amplified in the remembering. These retreads are surely giddy, but they're also indulgent, just as they mean to be.