I love reading Best of the Year compilations for movies, books, music, etc. to see whether I agree with critics or not. The one category that stumps me, though, is music, since I never recognize half the songs or singers on the lists (I think this is because I stopped listening to the radio after high school, so my musical tastes are pretty much stuck in the mid nineties). In any case, without further ado, here are my votes for the best of 2008.

Best Movie

This modern-day fairytale set in Mumbai is one of the most visually interesting movies I saw all year, not to mention one of the funniest. The first flashback involving the main character as a little kid, locked in an outhouse by his brother just as his favorite movie star comes to town, is priceless.

Best TV Show:

Even though the Constance Billard School for Girls is located at the impossible address of 719 East 82nd Street; even though characters seem to magically teleport from Brooklyn to Manhattan between scenes; even though there is no way a teenage designer could get away with crashing a high society function--this is still a guilty pleasure for its fashions, scandals, and catfights.


I'll cheat a little here, because, as mentioned above, I have no idea what anyone is listening to these days. But I saw this musical, composed by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, over the summer and was hooked. It's the story of a young African-American musician who travels to Amsterdam and Berlin in the hopes of finding people who will accept him, and, of course, in the hopes of accepting himself. Unfortunately, the show has closed, but the original cast recording rocks as hard as ever.

Best Book: WHAT HAPPENED TO ANNA K. by Irina Reyn

This modern retelling of ANNA KARENINA sets Tolstoy's classic among the Russian émigrés of New York's Rego Park. Anna is now a publishing assistant turned bored housewife, while Vronsky is recast as a bohemian writer. Of course, we all know what happened to Anna K., but the interesting part is seeing how she got there.

What are your favorites of the year?


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