2002 In Review
Welcome to the best of 2002. This is were I get to honor my personal favorite movies, performances, screenplays, and much more from the past year.
Best Supporting Actress - Julianne Moore, The Hours Julianne Moore gave two great performances this year, and she is deserving of honors in both this category for The Hours, and for leading lady in Far From Heaven. Yet in The Hours, Julianne Moore conveys emotions and language with what is a low-dialogue part.
Runner Up: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago - She sings, she dances, and she is the best of a talented cast in Chicago. And, she did this all while carrying a child within her, bonus points for "All That Jazz" while pregnent!
Best Supporting Actor - Chris Cooper, Adaptation Veteren character actor finally gets a chance to spread his wings with such a scene-chewing role. The role of John Laroche called for someone with amazing charisma, and Cooper delivers.
Runner Up: Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven - Deserves mad props for dealing with a tricky character so well. On top of that, he is due for some kudos and applause, and his performance Far From Heaven is just the reason to do that.
Best Actress - Diane Lane, Unfaithful - When she is on screen in this tepid movie, the film becomes boiling hot, simmering on the flames of Diane Lane's solid performance that is almost gut wrenching.
Runners Up (tie): Jennifer Aniston, The Good Girl Who could have thought that 'Friends' comedienne had such strong drama potential? She masters an hopelessness, emotional tension, and an accent for this role.
Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven Of her two major roles of the year, this was Julianne Moore's best performance. She is runner up here because the competition was much more stiff than that from the Best Supporting Actress Category. Far From Heaven is the best film of the year because of her, enough said.
Best Actors (tie) - Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York As the scene stealing, Bill "The Buthcer" Cutting, Day-Lewis commands every frame of celluloid he is in with sharp delivery and acting.
Adrien Brody, The Pianist A far more stuble performance than Daniel Day-Lewis' Bill "The Butcher." But none the less effective in what I believe to be the best film of the Holocaust ever made.
Runner Up: Nicolas Cage, Adaptation - Having to play two twins in the same movie, and fleshing them out separatly is no easy task, but Cage makes it look easy. Finally, a little redemption for him after Con-Air!
Best Director - Todd Haynes, Far From Heaven - When people think about a director and a director's job, they tend to think of blocking a scene. But its so much more than that. A director must sit down and create a movie from scratch. They have all the pieces, and they must arrange them. And when Todd Haynes arranged his movie, it came out brilliantly.
Runner Up: Rob Marshall, Chicago Chicago was once thought to be unadaptable, but the perfect segue from drama, to comedy, to song and dance makes Chicago, and Rob Marshall a success.
Best Screenplay (Adapted) - Charlie and Donald Kaufman, Adaptation Its fitting that the award for Best Adapted Screenplay would go to a film entitled Adaptation. This film has all the makings of an Original screenplay, and the fact that it was able to encorporate a very serious and dry non-fiction book into its plot is pure genius.
Runner Up: Bill Condon, Chicago - The script to what the Academy decided was the year's best film is joyous. Its tough to be poignant and comedic without being preachy, but Condon succeeds.
Top 10 Movies of 2002:
1. Far From Heaven - The perfect example of what a team of filmmakers can achieve when every piece of the puzzle is dazzilying, and every piece of the puzzle fits.
2. The Pianist - A true masterpiece of cinema, Roman Polanski created a piece of art that strikes at the soul. Acted beautifully by Brody, The Pianist is the best Holocaust movie I have ever seen, (and I did see Schindler's List.)
3. Chicago - The best musical in years! Five wonderful performances, visually superlative, and choreographed wonderfully. Chicago will have every viewer enthralled in the well written script, and even better designed sets and song routines.
4. Adaptation - By no short distance, the most creative movie of the year! Nicolas Cage gives his best performance since Leaving Las Vegas, and covering his back are Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper who are both amazing.
5. Minority Report - I saw Spielberg's masterpiece way back in June, and it held up remarkebly well against the December competition. Minority Report is well realized by Spielberg and Tom Cruise.
6. Panic Room - David Fincher's wonderful follow up to Fight Club. Panic Room is a smart, well acted white knuckle suspense. Panic Room also features some of the best camera tricks of the year.
7. The Good Girl - This smart, and very well written dramedy of the routines of life captavated the Sundance audiences, and captavated me. Jennifer Aniston is fantastic as the lead.
8. About Schmidt - A lonely man who recently lost his wife goes on an adventure to find meaning in his life. The script by "Election" writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor wasn't nominated, and that is a true crime. Jack Nicholson is amazing, and while he couldn't make my top 3 of the year for male lead performances, any other year, this performance would be right at the top.
9. One Hour Photo - Robin Williams had three dark roles this year, and his performance as the creepy Sy "The Photo Guy" was haunting. Not only was his performance great, but the movie in general was an adventure of the surrealism in all of us.
10. Two Weeks Notice - Perhaps a surprising addition to my top 10 list, but Two Weeks Notice was well written, funny, and romantic. While not unique in formula, future rom-com writers should look at this movie and say, "This is how you write a successful romantic comedy!"
Worst 5 Movies of 2002:
1. Mr. Deeds - A horrible movie, that didn't make me laugh at all. Crude humor, a romance that makes no sense, and worst of all...a 100+ million box office tally. Adam Sandler has never been this unfunny.
2. The Truth About Charlie - An update of the Audrey Hepburn classic, "Charade," The Truth About Charlie embarrasses that classic, and makes NO sense!
3. The Four Feathers - An uninvolving, tedious, terribly acted epic, with more plot holes than Telegraph has pot holes. Winner of the most boring film of the year.
4. Serving Sara - Gross, disposable, and laughable for all the wrong reasons. Matthew Perry was making this garbage while Jennifer Aniston was getting nominations for The Good Girl.
5. xXx - The worst action movie I saw all year. My ass has more acting talent and facial expressions than Vin Diesel.