Friday, August 29, 2014

2001 CinSpec Awards

This year had some great films, and several categories, especially the acting ones, were hard to narrow down to five. I actually switched my #1 and #2 films in Best Picture, which has always been a coin toss for me. In the end, I've gone for Spielberg's overlooked sci-fi masterpiece. I've made images for all the categories again. Note: You can click on the images to enlarge them.

I still need to see films like The Deep End, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, O, Millennium Mambo, Bully, Fat Girl, The Devil's Backbone, Lagaan, The Experiment, Monsoon Wedding, The Pledge, Last Orders, From Hell, Made, Enigma, No Man's Land, Sex and Lucia, Lovely and Amazing, The Grey Zone, Blow, K-PAX, Joy Ride, and The Anniversary Party.

Updated: 2/26/15


  1. So glad to see all the love for AI - it's such an outstanding movie but it's also one of the saddest so I don't rewatch it much. Not more love for Mulholland Drive? You should see The Pledge - great performances - and From Hell - amazing visuals and atmosphere.

    1. AI is so sad and so beautiful. It's really a brave move for Spielberg. I love Mulholland Drive, but it barely makes my top 10. Though I didn't have time to watch them yet, I REALLY want to see The Pledge and From Hell, which I've somehow avoided for years.

  2. Apparently I really need to see Latana. I love how our supporting lineups are 4/5, but our lead categories are all over the place!

    Do you have In the Mood for Love in 2000?

    1. Yes, you need to! I first heard of it when Guy Lodge did his top 50 films of the 00's list. (Lantana is #2 on the list.) I skimmed through several films, including every Best Actor nominee, as a refresher, and I'm so glad I did. LaPaglia was almost completely overlooked (he did get a Chlotrudis nom), and I forgot how brilliant Thornton is in Monster's Ball.

      Yeah, In the Mood for Love is in 2000, which currently boasts one of my favorite Best Picture lineups:

      Amores Perros
      Code Unknown
      In the Mood for Love
      Requiem for a Dream
      Werckmeister Harmonies

  3. Oh man, these are great. Hayden Christensen showed so much promise in Life as a House. Talk about a fluke.

    I really need to see A.I again. I saw it in theaters, and my sister bitched about it the entire time. I think I might view it differently now.

    1. Thanks! Haha, he had a great start with Life as a House and Shattered Glass. I'd love to seem him make a comeback.

      AI has grown on me a lot over the years. If I did a list of the best of the 00's, it'd probably be near the top.

  4. Seriously? Cameron Diaz as one of your Best Supporting Actress nominees? I officially LOVE you! I've had that argument several times with people before over whether she can act and I always point them to Being John Malkovich but mainly Vanilla Sky. She needs to do more off-beat roles, even though she's good in those girl next door roles.

    I guess I need to see A.I., mostly because you think it's amazing and Jude Law. I've been avoiding it because of silly bitterness over Kubrick never getting to direct it.

    Excellent and interesting choices and nominees as always!

    1. I LOVE Diaz's performance in Vanilla Sky! She's also brilliant in My Best Friend's Wedding.

      I'm sure Kubrick's version would've been different, but Spielberg's has its own merits. Hope you like it!


  5. Interesting choices, as always. I love A.I., and glad to see people have started to come around on it these last few years. That said, I would've went with Memento for Best Pic. I even found A.I. over LOTR Fellowship for visual effects a mighty bold choice. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns.

    1. Thanks, Wendell! Thrilled to hear you're an A.I. fan as well. From top to bottom, I'd say it's the best technical achievement in film in the 00's, even more impressive than LOTR. I think time will be good to it. I can't argue with picking Memento for Best Picture, though.

  6. A:I is interesting enough, on first watch in the cinema I was blown away by the visuals. In a perfect world I would have prefered Kubrick as director though.
    2001 was a great year for female lead, Watts is my winner as well. I might include Catherine Keener for Lovely & Amazing in that category, she's often in these smaller productions, so rarely gets awards buzz.

    1. I wonder if the film would've been too cold with Kubrick as director. That's already a problem many have with Spielberg's version, and I think Kubrick's version would be even more divisive.

      I love Catherine Keener, but I haven't seen L&A yet. I'll definitely check it out at some point.

  7. Nice to see AI got plenty of mentions, that's one of my fave Spielberg films. Moulin Rouge! wins hands down for art direction, that movie is so gorgeous! I especially love the El Tango de Roxanne scene.

    1. At one point, AI had 15 nominations! It's so well-crafted. Moulin Rouge! is a visual delight. Glad you agree, Ruth.

  8. Love these picks. I had no idea you liked AI so much. I really enjoy that film too. Honestly man, 2001 was such a poorly represented year at the Oscars. The CinSpec's got it right - Mulholland Dr., Lantana, Sexy Beast, In the Bedroom, all excellent films.

    1. Thanks so much man! AI is frequently in and out of my top 100 films of all time. It's a remarkable achievement by Spielberg. Oh, you saw (and liked) Lantana then? That's awesome!

  9. Picture:
    Black Hawk Down
    Gosford Park-Winner
    In the Bedroom
    Five excellent films but Altman's application of his signature overlapping style to both an Agatha Christie style mystery and a Merchant/Ivory period piece is dazzling.

    Robert Altman-Gosford Park-Winner
    Todd Field-In the Bedroom
    Ray Lawrence-Lantana
    David Lynch-Mulholland Drive
    Christopher Nolan-Memento
    Both Lynch and Nolan created twisty unhinged worlds in their films. Lawrence and Field close somewhat suffocating ones but with the cream of the British acting world at his disposal Altman expertly guides us though the complicated maze of Gosford Park and making it entertaining without fail.

    Lior Ashkenazi-Late Marriage
    Ryan Gosling-The Believer
    Anthony La Paglia-Lantana-Winner
    Guy Pearce-Memento
    Tom Wilkinson-In the Bedroom
    There were actually six outstanding performances and I had to exclude Ray Winstone in Sexy Beast. Gosling is chilling in Believer and Ashkenazi terrific showing the frustration of dealing with the pressures from his family to reliniquish his bachlorhood in Late Marriage. Both Pearce and Wilkinson are great dealing with very different but disorienting situations but my vote goes to the under appreciated La Paglia who offers a portrayal of great subtlety in Lantana.

    Glenn Close-The Safety of Objects
    Isabelle Huppert-The Piano Teacher
    Sissy Spacek-In the Bedroom-Winner
    Naomi Watts-Mulholland Drive
    Reese Witherspoon-Legally Blonde
    Reese's sunny megawatt star performance as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde is certainly the most enjoyable of the year, that she manages to instill so much depth into what would seem a surface character is impressive. While I didn't care much for the film Naomi Watts gives an layered interesting perfomance in Mulholland Drive and Huppert is customarily excellent in Piano Teacher. My choice though came down between the troubled mothers portrayed by Glenn and Sissy. Glenn deeply conflicted Esther is beautiful work but as the flinty controlling Ruth Sissy is a revelation turning her earth mother persona inside out. She should have won the actual prize this year.

    Supporting Actor:
    Adrien Brody-Harrison's Flowers
    Hayden Christenson-Life as a House
    Edward Hermann-The Cat's Meow
    Ben Kingsley-Sexy Beast-Winner
    Ray Liotta-Heartbreakers
    Interesting but no real stand out work in this category this year save Kingsley who easily takes the prize in Sexy Beast.

    Supporting Actress:
    Kelly MacDonald-Gosford Park
    Helen Mirren-Gosford Park
    Doris Roberts-All Over the Guy
    Kristen Scott-Thomas-Life as a House
    Marisa Tomei-In the Bedroom-Winner
    MacDonald, up against a cast full of some of the finest performers around, gives such a quiet intricate performance that the audience doesn't realize until the end just how sharp she is. Mirren, superior as always, nails her big scene but the remainder of her role is filled with revealing touches. Kristen shows the complexities of her character dipping beneath the surface to make a part that could have been one note come alive. Doris Roberts's part is small but her wise, warm reading of Esther adds a poignancy to the film that would be absent otherwise. Tomei shows that all the derision thrown at her over her win for My Cousin Vinny was undeserved with her dynamite piece of work as the damaged woebegone Natalie.

    1. Lantana! Can't believe someone else has actually seen it, let alone also gives LaPaglia the win. Love that you nominate that film too. Gosling and Witherspoon almost made my lineups, and it's great seeing Kingsley and Tomei get the supporting wins.

  10. I think that Billy Bob Thornton was better in The Man Who Wasn't There than Billy Bob Thornton was in Monster's Ball.

    1. I really need to rewatch The Man Who Wasn't There, but Thornton blew me away when I rewatched some of Monster's Ball before I posted these.