2002 was a pretty good year for American film. I know that’s not necessarily represented in the Best Picture nominations (well, it is, kind of) — but there were certainly a very fair share of good and even great films that came out — some of which still get very repeated play in my house.
I will say though — this was kind of a dead year for Best Picture. It was clear they were waiting for the end of the trilogy to award Rings — to the point where Peter Jackson didn’t even get a Best Director nod. That and, with the amount of campaigning Harvey did for Gangs, it pretty much led everyone away from voting for it. Not that they’d have voted it Best Picture — it’s great and all, but it’s kind of an unwieldy mess. But to go against Marty for Best Director — ooh, that hurts. And it’ll hurt again in 2004. But, without those two, it’s really a dead year. Those other three really aren’t Best Picture material.
But, it’s important to note that Miramax had three of the five nominees here for Best Picture. Three. And John C. Reilly is in all three of ‘em. Add that to the fact that Two Towers was clearly not winning, and Harvey and Bob had a 75% chance of winning Best Picture. So, they can say all they want about him campaigning too had for Gangs, but essentially come Oscar night, the fight was between his two other pictures. He was all but assured this one no matter what he campaigned for. He even got a Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress out of the deal. That man’s a fucking genius. (more…)