by Ginger Marin
Okay, here they are, the year 2000’s Academy Award nominations. Read what Lotta has to say about the films listed here. First I must say how completely relieved I am that Almost Famous didn’t make the best picture list as many “critics” hoped and predicted. I thought the film to be quite mediocre and couldn’t believe what I was reading and hearing about it.
Film awards are becoming more and more meaningless as time goes by. The sheer number of films produced in a single year supports this notion. Think about it. In order to honestly vote on a film, let’s just say the one for best picture, every single member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences must have seen every single film produced in that year and that’s from all countries. Each would have to remember each of the films and what his/her impression was of it at the time. Right now, countries outside of the United States decide on their own which film(s) they will enter as their best pick(s), so the Academy members are really only voting on the ones that others have prejudged for them. Many very good but smaller films without the hefty marketing dollars of the major studios or large independents get made and are seeking an audience. Access to such films are limited because they play only in one theater in a large city. That means the production company had better get a bunch of videotapes made up and sent out to the voters and hope that their little film will actually be viewed by them. Often, they fall by the wayside simply because the voters cannot manage to fit them into their schedule or are disinclined to do so.
Now imagine what it would take for the voters in the best actor/actress categories to fairly consider each and every actor in each and every movie, domestic and foreign, that is produced in the year in consideration. Do you honestly think that each voter has viewed every film and then remembered every performance by an actor or actress? The same holds true for all the other categories. It might be fair to say, ‘yeah, well, you can bet that Scream 10 isn’t going to be a best picture of the year.’ Perhaps not, but there might be a gem of a performance in it that’s been unfairly dismissed because the Academy members aren’t doing their jobs correctly. And I understand why. It would be humanly impossible for every member to view every film produced in a given year. They’d probably never be able to leave the theater – not even to go to the bathroom if they ran the films back to back 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In reality, the Awards – all of them – are simply marketing ploys and popularity contests. Occasionally, though, the Academy gets it right. Here are just some, but certainly not all, of the categories and their nominations.
CHOCOLAT – a beautifully produced film with a lovely story and enticing visuals. It was one of my favorites for the year but not on my best picture list for the top 5.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – I personally think foreign films should stay in their own category. However, this was an intriguing film. Second Runner Up.
ERIN BROCKOVICH – I loved this film. I thought it was exceptionally well done and that Julia Roberts was terrific in it. Good story that moved well and good supporting cast. On my list too. First Runner up.
GLADIATOR – A spectacular spectacle indeed. Top notch filmmaking; great cast, wonderful effects. A big studio release that showed Hollywood at its best. Gladiator for the win!
TRAFFIC – I thought this film was boring and had a bunch of characters doing really stupid things which just annoyed me.
BILLY ELLIOT – Good film but no big deal.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – Beautiful; unique. My #2 pick.
ERIN BROCKOVICH – Excellent. My #3 pick
GLADIATOR – Exceptional undertaking by a director. Magnificent scope. This one gets my vote.
TRAFFIC – No way. Although I know he’s received a good measure of praise, but as I said I found the film boring and too much dumbness throughout.
ACTOR — LEADING
Javier Bardem – BEFORE NIGHT FALLS – A professional performance but he did not knock my socks off. Because he had so little time to prepare his English was difficult to understand (unfortunately) and I really did not like the film. I thought it was confusing and poorly edited.
Russell Crowe – GLADIATOR – I loved his performance. He’s dynamic, yet subtle; wonderful charisma. I am torn between Crowe and Rush.
Tom Hanks – CAST AWAY – I think Tom Hanks is a terrific performer in general but he is not on my ‘ can do no wrong’ list. The performance was good but far from exceptional.
Ed Harris – POLLOCK – Always a good performer but the sameness of his character throughout this film was a real downer.I would not have included him here.
Geoffrey Rush – QUILLS – Rush is a powerful actor and the role gave him lots to work with. Excellent job.
ACTRESS — LEADING
Joan Allen – THE CONTENDER – Good, solid performance in a role that was limiting.
Juliette Binoche – CHOCOLAT – Lovely, fluid with nice colors in a delicious film.
Ellen Burstyn – REQUIEM FOR A DREAM – Hated the film and hated the performance.
Laura Linney – YOU CAN COUNT ON ME – Wonderful film and elegant acting, subtle and real. Tied with Julia for the win.
Julia Roberts – ERIN BROCKOVICH – Julia was absolutely terrific.
ACTOR — SUPPORTING
Jeff Bridges – THE CONTENDER – He makes it all look easy with his quirky yet solid performance. Good job.
Willem Dafoe – SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE – Excellent job made easier with the type of role it was.
Benicio Del Toro – TRAFFIC – Good and subtle, believable. He was the best thing about the movie.
Albert Finney – ERIN BROCKOVICH – Nice job – as always.
Joaquin Phoenix – GLADIATOR – Phoenix is an exceptional talent and oozes that something special. He was blessed with a multicolor role that offered him good opportunity to stretch his wings. He’s my #1 pick to win.
ACTRESS — SUPPORTING
Judi Dench – CHOCOLAT – She’s wonderful no matter what the role, but in this case, she’s surely the best of the lot.
Marcia Gay Harden – POLLOCK – Decent performance in a boring film.
Kate Hudson – ALMOST FAMOUS – A pretty face, a skinny body, a nothing of a performance. Doesn’t belong here.
Frances McDormand – ALMOST FAMOUS – Good performance in a strange role but no big deal.
Julie Walters – BILLY ELLIOT – Nice job.
THE CELL – I think the variety of characters/character images requiring makeup give this one the win, but this is a hard category.
DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS – Of course the Grinch was the ultimate; all the characters were facsimiles but the scope of the job was huge.
SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE – Beautiful work with Max Schreck character but there was a model to work from.
CHOCOLAT – The musical score is magical and exceptional without a doubt. My #1 pick.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – Less, quite lovely indeed; Tied for the win.
GLADIATOR – Was there music? All those effects … just can’t remember.
MALÈNA – Nice and I love the composer but he’s done better work.
THE PATRIOT – Have no memory of it.
I have no comment, except I found Dancer in the Dark a most unusual movie with a unique sound – which is not to suggest that it was the best – but it did leave an impression.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
DANCER IN THE DARK
THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE
MEET THE PARENTS
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – Exceptional camerawork; huge vistas of great beauty; most elegant. Winner
GLADIATOR – Great work.
MALÈNA – Absolutely nothing special
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? – Are you kidding?
THE PATRIOT – Very good work.
CHOCOLAT – Wonderful, magical and lifting story. Winner
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – Actually quite simple but beautifully done.
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? Are you kidding – crap!
TRAFFIC – No way.
WONDER BOYS – This was a very good story and I liked the film a lot. First runner up.
ALMOST FAMOUS – No way. This was fairly boring throughout.
BILLY ELLIOT – Good but hugely predictable.
ERIN BROCKOVICH – Excellent but since based on a real person, there was lots of source material.
GLADIATOR – Terrific and imaginative.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME – The perfect movie. Winner!
ALMOST FAMOUS – Lotta’s doggies piss on this movie.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON – First runner up.
GLADIATOR – I go with this for the win.
TRAFFIC – Lotta’s doggies are snoozing on this one.
WONDER BOYS – Second runner up.