2000 Academy Awards Picks

Here are Lotta’s picks for best picture for the year 2000.

“Gladiator” – The epic movie is not dead in Hollywood. Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” proves it. Wonderful acting all around, terrific story aided by magnificent computer technology. Russell Crowe rules. His supporting cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris and Oliver Reed (his last performance).

“Erin Brockovich” – This movie was remarkably well made in both story and execution. It held great interest for its David vs. Goliath theme and starred Julia Roberts in a fantastic role. She was aided by an extraordinary cast including Albert Finney as her boss.

“Chicken Run” – This claymation feature was super charming and skillfully made with a wonderful story and delightful voices. It’s certainly the best animation since “Iron Giant”.

“You Can Count on Me” – Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo do terrific acting jobs in this small personal film about the relationship between brother and sister in upstate New York. It’s dramatic, very humorous and wonderfully touching.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – It’s a fantasy adventure combining martial arts with beautiful romance in a story revolving around a stolen sword. The martial arts sequences are powerful and mesmerizing and it’s the first time women have highlighted the fighting. Simply magical.

Other Films I Liked:

“Chocolat” – A Lasse Hallstrom film, this one was fun all around with a delicious story and a wonderful Juliette Binoche performance. Her costars are Lena Olin, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina. The original music score is terrific.

“Wonder Boys” – Michael Douglas does a terrific job in this oddball movie about a book writing professor who can’t get his next book finished. He’s matched by Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey, Jr. and Frances McDormand

“Thirteen Days” – It popped up at the end of the year with little fanfare but I found this take on the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Kennedy Presidency extremely suspenseful from top to bottom.

“Nurse Betty”
– RenĂ©e Zellweger, Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock star in this comedy/drama/fantasy about a woman who witnesses her husband’s murder then goes into a stupor thinking she’s really a nurse in love with a handsome doctor – just like the people she sees in her favorite daytime soap opera. It’s an odd mix of seriousness and comedy but it’s got lots of treasured moments.

“Shadow of the Vampire” – What a wonderfully weird premise: German Director F.W. Murnaw was crazy enough to hire a real vampire that he named Max Schreck to play the lead role in his classic horror tale “Nosferatu”. Willem Dafoe is exceptional as Schreck.

– This is an excellent Vietnam-era ensemble drama. Shot in 16-mm, with handheld cameras, what you get is a very realistic, semi-documentary tour de force.

by Ginger Marin