Mike’s Top Ten of 2001
2001 is the turning point in my life when it comes to movies. It was the year I stopped regularly going to the movies and instead started branching out on my film education, and watching all those big early movies that every film person watches in the early days. It’s also the year I got into the Oscars in full. So for me, that stuff will always be the big takeaway from this year over any of the films.
Though I will say, there’s some great stuff that happened this year. What’s interesting to me is how the list is bisected between stuff I saw that year and loved immediately versus stuff I saw years later that became my favorites. What’s also interesting is that there are the starts of three franchises on this list, plus another that’s a kind of institution in its own right.
This is also one of the final years with what I call the ‘films of my childhood’, which is a lot of stuff that I remember very well from that age that defines my taste as a kid before I truly got into movies. So for that, I’ll always have an affinity for this year. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture & Best Director – 2001
I say 2001 was a bad year for film, and it’s hard to disagree with that fact. Sure, there were some good movies, but not many Oscar movies. We got our first Harry Potter, we got Monsters, Inc., we got Shrek. But none of these will ever get (well, now…) nominated for Best Picture.
But, here are the good pictures from 2001 that did not get Best Picture nominations (some you may feel aren’t worthy, but, when you look at them, you can see why they would, could or should — rhymes — be in contention):
A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Ali, Amélie, Black Hawk Down, Mulholland Drive, Pearl Har…uhh…never mind, and Training Day.
I actually thought there would be more. That kind of made my argument for me. Sure, this doesn’t absolve the Academy for not nominating some of these, mostly — well, really just Amélie and Mulholland Drive, but we knew Lynch was too much of a mad genius for the Academy. The lack of Amélie love really surprises me because they nominated a foreign film just the year before this.
Also, the reason there’s such a problem with what won is because the film that probably should have won had a caveat to it. (The whole, ‘There are two more of them coming out, and we’d probably be better off just giving them the awards at the end of it as an accomplishment deal instead of giving it to the first one.”) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor & Best Actress – 2001
This is one of those, you knew what they were gonna do like three weeks out. And you couldn’t do anything about it. One was deserving, one wasn’t. But, the one who wasn’t actually didn’t have competition, while the one who was arguably had people nominated that did better than they did. So, I guess we call it a wash. (Certainly not a whitewash though.)
(Get it, because the winners are both black.)
(Yeah, I went there. I know. But how could you not? I mean, wash — the joke practically set itself up.)
BEST ACTOR – 2001
And the nominees were…
Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn, I Am Sam
Will Smith, Ali
Denzel Washington, Training Day
Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor & Best Supporting Actress – 2001
2001 — the year where nothing happened. This is the year whose only distinction is that it was the one where everyone’s like, “Vote for more black people!” Other than that this was forgettable in almost every way, down to the Best Picture winner which was one of those, “I guess…” decisions.
2001 was a bad year for movies. Something about 1s and 0s must make the movies not good. But at least the Supporting Actor and Lead Actor categories had some interest to them. Along with the once again bad decision-making that plagues most Oscar years.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 2001
And the nominees were…
Jim Broadbent, Iris
Ethan Hawke, Training Day
Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast
Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Jon Voight, Ali (more…)