Best viewed on a home theater system with the knobs cranked all the way up, Peter Strickland's rendering of old-school post-production offers pleasurable background viewing but little of lasting resonance.
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.
When Truman quite gleefully describes his plan to use 'fictional techniques' to tell his nonfiction story, to shape the Clutter murders as an emblem of cultural malaise, Nelle insists on a knowable distinction between fact and fiction.