2008: The Year in Review

     December 31, 2008

Written by Matt Goldberg

Finally, let us take a look back at 2008. Who succeeded? What failed? Next year I promise to take more accurate notes because I had to drop the categories for “Breakthrough Performance” and “Best Score/Soundtrack”. However, I have replaced those with “Best Year/Worst Year for an Actor or Actress” and it’s for which actor or actress had the best or worst streak of films this year.

I’ll also remember 2008 as a year when the reaper got too busy and took way too many folks from us, starting with, of course, Heath Ledger on January 22nd.

I also saw that we’re just not getting it done with roles for actresses. I haven’t seen “Revolutionary Road” or “Vicky Christina Barcelona” and without those two movies, I feel like I didn’t have a lot of choices, or at least not the number of choices I have when trying to select the best performances from actors. Shame on the studio for not screening “Revolutionary Road” in Atlanta until January 9th, shame on me for not seeing “Vicky Christina Barcelona”, and shame on Hollywood for not having more quality roles for women.

So here’s looking back on what we gained, who we lost, and why I didn’t keep a better journal in 2008.

[To check out my Top 10 of 2008, click here]

[To check out my Worst 5 of 2008, click here]

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Also good:

- Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

- Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”

- Sam Rockwell, “Choke”

- Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Doubt”

Also good:

- Julianne Moore, “Blindness”

- Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”

- Lina Leandersson, “Let the Right One In”

- Cate Blanchett, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”

Also good:

- Brad Pitt, “Burn After Reading”

- Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder”

- Will Poulter, “Son of Rambow”

- Danny McBride, “Pineapple Express”

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”

Also good:

- Jane Lynch, “Role Models”

- Viola Davis, “Doubt”

- Rosemary DeWitt, “Rachel Getting Married”

- Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Best Villain: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”

Also bad:

- Dominic West, “Punisher: War Zone”

- Tim Roth, “The Incredible Hulk”

- Luke Goss, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

- AJ Bowen, “The Signal”

Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, “The Wrestler”

Also good:

- Guillermo del Toro, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

- Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

- David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

- Jonathan Demme, “Rachel Getting Married”

Best Kill: Parkour: Punished*, “Punisher: War Zone”

Also destroyed:

- No Lifeguard on Duty, “Let the Right One In”

- The Pencil Trick, “The Dark Knight”

- The Director Is All Over the Place, “Tropic Thunder”

- Score One for the Daewoo Lalos, “Pineapple Express”

* The one involving the missile; not the neck ramp (although that’s a close second)

Best Year for Actor or Actress: Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man”, “Tropic Thunder”)

Also had a good year:

- Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”, “Burn After Reading”, “Step Brothers”)

- Danny McBride (“The Foot Fist Way”, “Pineapple Express”, “Tropic Thunder”)

Worst Year for Actor or Actress: Mark Wahlberg (“The Happening”, “Max Payne”)

Best Surprises:

- Cloverfield

- Punisher: War Zone

- The Incredible Hulk

Biggest Disappointments:

- Quantum of Solace

- Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?


The Reaper Got Too Busy:

Heath Ledger (Jan. 22), Roy Scheider (Feb. 10), Gary Gygax (Mar. 4), Anthony Minghella (Mar. 18), Arthur C. Clarke (Mar. 19), Charlton Heston (Apr. 5), Sydney Pollack (May 26), Stan Winston (Jun. 15), George Carlin (Jun. 22), Estelle Getty (Jul. 22), Bernie Mac (Aug. 9), Isaac Hayes (Aug. 10), Don LaFontaine (Sep. 1), David Foster Wallace (Sep. 12), Paul Newman (Sep. 26), Michael Crichton (Nov.4), Bettie Page (Dec. 11), Harold Pinter (Dec. 24), Eartha Kitt (Dec. 25)

[To check out my Top 10 of 2008, click here]

[To check out my Worst 5 of 2008, click here]

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