If Ebert had actually made out a top 10 of the year, instead of 35 I think his list would have gone something like this.
1. Happy-Go-Lucky2. Milk3. Synecdoche, NY4. Rachel Getting Married 5. Frozen River6. Doubt7. Slumdog Millionaire8. The Dark Knight9. The Fall10. Shotgun Stories
Not so sure about the order but I think these would be a more accurate 10 for Ebert, personally. And definitely not what I would choose, seeing as how I did not like The Fall and wasn’t crazy about Happy-Go-Lucky but I am simply basing what I would think would be Ebert’s tastes…
Lets compromise, I’d go:1. Synecdoche, NY2. Milk3. Happy-Go-Lucky4. Frozen River5. Rachel Getting Married 6. Doubt7. Slumdog Millionaire8. Revolutionary Road9. The Dark Knight10. Frost/Nixon
The reason why I said he would probably pick The Fall is because in his review he stated “This movie will be in my top 10 of the year” even though he never made a top 10, but I can see your reasoning for not including it, as it is, yes, a bad film.