With many indie/international films receiving more and more mainstream approval from unfamiliar audiences, many of the titles here could be considered part of the overall 2008 Best Of. But their individuality and multicultural appeal keep them a quality concept apart.
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.
Bond (Daniel Craig) seems done in by the notion that M is indeed his maternal superior, and so he must please her, or at least pretend that he's playing by rules that he and she and all the rest of us know he disrespects from jump.
In the moody House of the Sleeping Beauties, an aging widower fights despair with a succession of naked beauties, while in the sprawling A Christmas Tale, a family bickers around their mother’s terminal illness.
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.
The movie follows the outline of Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir, not only recounting his former, super-glam playboy life, but also reckoning with his current condition, asserting a self without speech or gesture.