8. Blindness (2008)
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Country of origin: Brazil
Nobody could ever say that Fernando Meirelles didn't have strong source material to work with while adapting Portuguese author José Saramago's excellent, chilling 1995 novel Blindness. Written with minimal punctuation, flowing like one long, hypnotically engrossing thought, Saramago's book delves deep into its characters motivations and psyches as they try to navigate a world that's suddenly been stricken with widespread sight-deprivation. A challenging proposition for a film, no doubt, yet one that could work if delicately handled.
As in, the polar opposite way of that executed by Meirelles ( who broke through in 2002 with the phenomenal Brazilian gangster flick City of God). Despite its A-grade cast (led by Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo), the director's version of Blindness is a smug, unfeeling mess that harps on the novel's darkest moments without retaining any of its emotion or key character-development scenes. An unfortunate example of style over substance, the film signaled Meirelles' sad downfall—last year, he returned with the equally pretentious and insufferable drama 360.