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‘WALL-E,’ ‘Red Balloon’ head up top 10 list compilations

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:46 am · December 27th, 2008

Once upon a time there was a great website run by a fella named Engin that tracked top 10 lists at this time of year.  It was one hell of a comprehensive collective, but I haven’t heard from him in a few years.

David Poland at Movie City News has done a nice enough job of picking up the slack in this regard with his annual compilation, which has Pixar’s “WALL-E” sitting at the top with 69 mentions among the 125 lists taken into account so far.  “Milk,” “The Dark Knight,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Wrestler” round out the top 5:

Movie City News top tens chart

Meanwhile, indieWIRE’s annual critics poll tells a much different story.  Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Flight of the Red Balloon” leads the charge in a survey of more than 100 North American critics.  “A Christmas Tale,” “WALL-E,” “Wendy and Lucy” and “Happy-Go-Lucky” fill out the top five.  “The Dark Knight” is way down at #22:

indieWIRE critics poll




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→ 13 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

13 responses so far

  • 1 12-27-2008 at 10:27 am

    red_wine said...

    I thought you had missed this one. Indiewire’s poll is superb. Check out last their last year’s poll.
    http://www.indiewire.com/critics2007/
    It was truly representative of the best the year had to offer.

    I’m assuming its the same this year too.
    Here are full results
    http://www.indiewire.com/movies/2008/12/critics_poll_08.html

    Basically the poll says fuck off to all the major Oscar contenders this year.
    22 The Dark Knight
    28 Slumdog Millionaire
    34 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    75 Frost/Nixon
    94 Revolutionary Road
    99 Doubt

    Of films currently with a realistic shot at Best Picture nomination, only
    Wall-E
    Rachel Getting Married
    Milk
    The Wrestler
    make the cut.

    Wendy and Lucy
    Happy-Go-Lucky
    Synecdoche, New York
    though all very highly rated are nowhere near nominations.

    The rest all fare poorly.
    Slumdog is where I think it might actually belong. Still beyond me that it has won so many Best Picture awards.

    But there seems to be atleast one general consensus amongst all critics, that Wall-E was the film-making achievement of the year in American Cinema.

  • 2 12-27-2008 at 11:46 am

    Ash said...

    This should be specially noted about the IndieWire poll:

    “focuses primarly on film critics who write for alternative outlets and online publications, including blogs.”

    That list is pretty pedestrian for a poll made up of “critics” who write for alt and indie blogs and publications.

  • 3 12-27-2008 at 12:35 pm

    red_wine said...

    You though the list was pedestrian? I thought it was very high-brow(too high-brow perhaps).

    The Flight of the Red Balloon
    A Christmas Tale
    Paranoid Park
    Still Life
    Silent Light
    Synecdoche, New York
    My Winnipeg
    The Edge of Heaven
    Che
    All internationally celebrated films.

    Perhaps they aren’t very mainstream for everyone’s liking. But I have to admire their courage for sticking to their guns and not be dazzled by all the Oscar talk.

    These polls do not rate films by likelihood of Oscar nomination , they tend to rate films by quality.

  • 4 12-27-2008 at 12:39 pm

    Ash said...

    As I said, pedestrian for those certain critics. They were all films I would expect from a group that usually thinks way too highly of itself (indie and alt online critics). Nothing wrong with it, but not very surprising either.

  • 5 12-27-2008 at 12:56 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Hmm it really is the most original list of the year.

  • 6 12-27-2008 at 1:38 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    Any list that has Slumdog 28th should not be taken anywhere near seriousness.

  • 7 12-27-2008 at 1:42 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    And red wine, the only general concensus amongst critics this year is that Slumdog is by far the greatest achievment in cinema this year. Sure, just about every single critic liked WALL-E, and a few of them thought it was among the year’s best, but the majority of them just give it a thumbs up. There is a big difference there.

  • 8 12-27-2008 at 2:02 pm

    red_wine said...

    The list actually made more sense to me after I saw Slumdog. I thought the movie was not an achievement in anything. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie on a whole and it was well-made and all, but it hardly seems worthy of winning Best Picture.

    It would be such a huge drop in quality from last year. Last year’s front runner No Country, this year’s front runner Slumdog???

    And also Dev Patel’s acting nomination is preposterous. He was very engaging in the role but there was nothing worth nominating there too.

  • 9 12-27-2008 at 2:53 pm

    Chad said...

    I agree with red_wine. Dev Patel gives much more of a non-performance than Brad Pitt.

    Let’s not forget that our humble host is a blogger so there’s no reason being snarky towards that profession. The Indiewire list is much more representative of my taste so I’m excited to catch The Flight of the Red Balloon now.

  • 10 12-27-2008 at 5:09 pm

    Andrew Dignan said...

    It really shouldn’t be that surprising why Indiewire skewers more esoteric than the MCN List and why MCN would rank films like Slumdog and Dark Knight higher than the other. It’s like wondering why the People’s Choice Awards honors different films than the Cannes Film Festival. The Indiewire poll is a smaller sampling of a very specific form of film critic, specifically Alt Weekly critics and net critics. By and large these are people who attend multiple film festivals a year and take pride in championing small art films (making the Wall*E hosannas all the more impressive). The MCN chart includes some of these lists as well but it also has plenty of Richard Ropers and Pete Hammonds (Ben Lyons will no doubt be added any day now) and the countless junket whores who want nothing more than a sitdown with Brad Pitt for their evening news segment so it’s going to average out as more populous. The Indiewire list isn’t pretentious and instead of bitching about why Slumdog isn’t higher you might consider adding Flight of the Red Balloon and Paranoid Park to your Netflix queue to see if you’re really missing out on anything.

    And really Scott, keep it in your pants:

    “the only general concensus amongst critics this year is that Slumdog is by far the greatest achievment in cinema this year. ”

    According to Metacritic, Slumdog is an 86. Wall*E is a 93. Man on Wire, The Class and Waltz with Bashir all rank hire than Slumdog as well. Careful with sweeping statements that can be easily refuted.

  • 11 12-27-2008 at 5:37 pm

    Simone said...

    Wow, I’m really flabbergasted by the stones revealed by Indiewire! Hell, even HUNGER made it to their top 20, beating out all the primary BP contenders. There’s hope yet!

  • 12 12-28-2008 at 2:29 pm

    Cliff said...

    If this is the same guy you recall, he’s up and running again at
    http://criticstop10.com
    At any rate, they still have their archived lists from earlier years.

    I visit both his and MCN’s lists this time of year, and it’s interesting to compare the two, with Poland ranking films according to their position on a given list, the other ranking them according to the number of lists they made, with the number of first places they got as a tiebreaker.

    The two lists feature most of the same titles, but they can produce some interesting contrasts; for example, on last year’s lists, I’m Not There jumps from #14 on MCN’s list to #8 (likewise, Eastern Promises from #17 to #10), based on the breadth of its popularity, if not the ardor of its support.

  • 13 12-28-2008 at 2:30 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    That’s fine red wine. As far as thumbs up/down, WALL-E could bery well be the best rated. I was just telling you that in terms of actual critical praise, Slumdog easily wins. Kris tallied it up as winning ten best picks as of a week ago, while the closest films had only won three.