December 20, 2007

indieWIRE. Critics Poll 07.

There Will Be Blood "Still unseen by the general public as the year comes to a close, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood dominated indieWIRE's annual survey of more than 100 North American film critics," announces Eugene Hernandez. "Set for a limited US release starting next week, the exceptional fifth feature by PT Anderson was named best film of the year.... Notably, the film topped five categories: Anderson was singled out for best director and best screenplay, while Daniel Day-Lewis's role as oil man Daniel Plainview was named the best performance of 2007 and Robert Elswit was singled out for best cinematography."

So here's the master list, and it's so thoroughly criss-n-cross-referenced, with every title, name and critic linking to ballots and lists that you could lose hours in here. It's worth it, though. This is one of the major events of the cinematic year. Hopefully, Eugene and Dennis Lim won't mind my quoting this bit at length:

Updated through 12/23.

Developed to celebrate film culture and criticism, the second annual poll by indieWIRE, conducted in recent weeks with critics casting their ballots online, focuses primarly on film critics who write for alternative outlets and online publications, including blogs. Inspired by a similar poll previously launched by the Village Voice in 1999, iW continued the survey last year after the Voice abandoned its popular poll, hoping to give North American cinephiles a direct opportunity to highlight the best in international cinema. The Village Voice is working with sister publication the LA Weekly on a film poll this year.

"When we did our first poll in '99, it was before the explosion of film blogs and websites," noted former Village Voice film editor Dennis Lim, who administered the iW poll last year. "There was no real counterpoint to the groupthink of critics' circle awards and there were many critics and writers whose tastes and opinions weren't represented in the year-end accounting." Continuing in comments to indieWIRE yesterday, Lim added, "Obviously it's a different landscape today and at this time of year especially, it can seem like there are too many lists, too many blogs, too much white noise. But even more so, you could argue, the poll serves a valuable aggregating function, by trying to tease out a consensus from a loosely defined community of serious, cinephilic writers."

On a minor note, in your crissing and crossing, you might run across my ballot. First, please read the comments; they'll explain why, when I post another top ten here at the Daily in another week or so, that list will look fairly different, as I'll be including films that haven't yet seen a US release.

Update, 12/23: And now, the critics' comments: "In Part 1, a look at some of the orphan #1 picks from the critics, while in Part 2, feedback on the best and worst of the year. Finally, in this edition, thoughts on the business side of things, as well as insights on films about the war in Iraq, considering Apatow, and talk about some of the year's stand-out performances."

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Posted by dwhudson at December 20, 2007 1:26 PM