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TIFF 08 Critical Consensus: Still Walking, Goodbye Solo and The Wrestler among the Faves

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire may have walked away with TIFF’s top prize of the People’s Choice Award, but the critics are championing the latest effort from Hirokazu Kore-Eda instead and a pair of films among my tops of the festival in Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye,Solo and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler are tied for second in a survey conducted by Eugene Hernandez over at indieWIRE.

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire may have walked away with TIFF’s top prize of the People’s Choice Award, but the critics are championing the latest effort from Hirokazu Kore-Eda instead and a pair of films among my tops of the festival in Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye,Solo and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler are tied for second in a survey conducted by Eugene Hernandez over at indieWIRE. Kore-Eda’s Still Walking (a.k.a: Even If You Walk And Walk) is based on an original novella written by Kore-eda, the family drama stars Hiroshi Abe (Hero) as the failed son of a doctor who returns home for the anniversary of his elder brother’s death.

The two U.S indies tied for 2nd benefited from two great acting perfs – Mickey Rourke gave a career defining performance as an athlete past his prime and newbie actor Souleymane Sy Savane supplied all the charm in Bahrani’s third directing effort. A third category for the Best Documentary is perhaps a great indicator of non-fiction fair to look out for in the 09’ calendar year.

Thanks to Eugene for including my two cents among a grouping of astute class of film writers. To see who voted, what they had to say and more about the voting system breakdown – click here. Here’s a quick view of the top tier of the festival. 

BEST FILM
“Still Walking,” directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda (16 points)
“Goodbye Solo,” directed by Ramin Bahrani (13)
“The Wrestler,” directed by Darren Aronofsky (13)
“35 Rhums, directed by Claire Denis (11)
“Summer Hours,” directed by Olivier Assayas (10)
“The Hurt Locker,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow (10)
“Treeless Mountain,” directed by So Yong Kim (10)
“Slumdog Millionaire,” directed by Danny Boyle (9)
“Rachel Getting Married,” directed by Jonathan Demme (9)
“Hunger,” directed by Steve McQueen (8)

BEST PERFORMANCE
Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (29)
Christian McKay in “Me and Orson Welles” (18)
Souleymane Sy Savane in “Goodbye Solo” (15)
Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (10)
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” (10)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Les Plages d’Agnes,” directed by Agnes Varda (14)
“Soul Power,” directed by Jeffrey Levi-Hinte (13)
“Of Time and the City,” directed by Terence Davies (11)
“Every Little Step,” directed by Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern (10)
“Waltz with Bashir,” directed by Ari Folman (9)
“A Time to Stir,” directed by Paul Cronin (9)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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