indieWIRE’s annual poll of 100 American film critics has resulted in a very exciting list, one that’s jam-packed with films I admired this year. I’m not among the many fans of Slumdog Millionaire, so I’m pleased to see that so many other critics found other films more impressive than that flashy, stylish, but relatively shallow and manipulative pop-song of a movie. (I’ll get around to posting what bothers me so much about Slumdog soon…)

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Flight of the Red Balloon” topped indieWIRE’s annual survey of more than 100 North American film critics. It was named best film of the year and Hou was singled out as best director in a survey of 105 critics conducted this month by indieWIRE. Written by Hsiao-hsien Hou and Francois Margolin, the film was inspired by Albert Lamorisse’s classic, “The Red Balloon.” Released theatrically back in April and simultaneously on demand via cable TV, the IFC Films title debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. James Marsh’s “Man on Wire” was voted the best documentary of the year in the survey.

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