2002 in film: Success from old stars and old styles

It wasn't the best of years at the movies, but some of the best moments came from stars of long standing doing some of their best work, and younger directors emulating the old pros.

 

Top Ten:

 

1. Road to Perdition - What you'd get if Steven Spielberg directed The Godfather.

 

2. Chicago - The best screen musical since Cabaret.

 

3. Y Tu Mama Tambien - A Mexican take on the Hollywood teen movie, with unexpected substance.

 

4. About a Boy - Hugh Grant will never have a better role than the immature hero of Nick Hornby's (High Fidelity) novel.

 

5. Far from Heaven - Todd Haynes' updating of a 1950s melodrama looks like the real thing, but with issues that were verboten then.

 

6. Insomnia - The director of last year's best movie (Memento) goes Hollywood without losing his edge.

 

7. About Schmidt - You don't know Jack until you see him in the year's saddest comedy– or funniest drama.

 

8. Tadpole - The only picture I saw three times this year, and I'm still not sure why I liked it so much. I guess it's just so romantic.

 

9. The Quiet American - Graham Greene's thriller combines romance and a great Michael Caine performance with a history lesson about Vietnam.

 

10. 25th Hour - Who'da thunk Spike Lee would do some of his best work on a movie about white people?!!!

 

Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically):

 

Catch Me If You Can

Changing Lanes

8 Women

Minority Report

Pumpkin

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Roger Dodger

Scotland, PA.

The Sum of All Fears

Talk to Her

 

 

Best Director: Sam Mendes, Road to Perdition

 Runners-up: Pedro Almodovar, Talk to Her; Alexander Payne, About Schmidt

 

 Steven Soderbergh Award for Directing a Double-Header: Steven Spielberg, Catch Me If You Can & Minority Report

Runner-up: Phillip Noyce, The Quiet American & Rabbit-Proof Fence

 

 Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Far from Heaven & The Hours

 Runners-up: Diane Lane, Unfaithful; Maggie Gyllenhaal, Secretary

 

 Best Actor: Jack Nicholson, About Schmidt

 Runners-up: Al Pacino, Insomnia & S1m0ne; Robin Williams, One Hour Photo

 

 Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Pfeiffer, White Oleander

 Runners-up: Bebe Neuwirth, Tadpole; Rachel Griffiths, The Rookie

 

 Best Supporting Actor: Paul Newman, Road to Perdition

 Runners-up: Chris Cooper, Adaptation; Ed Harris, The Hours

 

 Best Original Screenplay: Todd Haynes, Far from Heaven

 Runners-up: Chap Taylor & Michael Tolkin, Changing Lanes; Dylan Kidd, Roger Dodger

 

 Best Adapted Screenplay: David Hare, The Hours

 Runners-up: Peter Hedges and Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz, About a Boy; David Self, Road to Perdition

 

 Best Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall, Road to Perdition

 Runners-up: Edward Lachman, Far from Heaven; Christopher Doyle, The Quiet American & Rabbit-Proof Fence

 

 Best Foreign-Language Film: Y Tu Mama Tambien

 Runners-up: 8 Women; Talk to Her

 

 Best Documentary: Bowling for Columbine

 Runners-up: Standing in the Shadows of Motown; The Cockettes

 

 Best Almost-Released Film: Bark!

 Runner-up: Slap Her, She's French!

 

 Best Influence: Douglas Sirk

 

Best Original Song: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, 8 Mile

 Runners-up: "I'm Still Here" (Jim's Theme) by John Rzeznik, Treasure Planet; "The Hands that Built America" by U2, Gangs of New York

 

 Best Original Score: Elmer Bernstein, Far from Heaven

 Runners-up: Terence Blanchard, 25th Hour; Peter Gabriel, Rabbit-Proof Fence

 

 Most Promising Newcomer - Female: Alison Lohman, White Oleander

 Runner-up: Ellen Pompeo, Moonlight Mile

 

 Most Promising Newcomer - Male: Ryan Gosling, The Believer & Murder by Numbers

 Runner-up: Derek Luke, Antwone Fisher

 

 Love It or Hate It Movie of the Year: Gangs of New York (I hated it)

 

Oh, that  Jennifer Aniston Award: Jennifer Aniston, The Good Girl

 

 Jar Jar Binks Award for Nails on the Chalkboard of an Otherwise Sublime Experience: Gollum, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

 Runners-up: Jude Law, Road to Perdition; Jar Jar Binks, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones

 

 Instant Message Award: Crossroads, for teaching young women not to accept a ride home from a party with a strange man because they may get raped, but it's all right to ride across the country with a strange man because that's how you find true love

Runner-up: The Four Feathers, for teaching that men don't fight wars for patriotic or economic reasons, but for the comrades at their side. So why not stay home and enjoy each other's company?

 

Disengage Spel-Chek: S1m0ne

 

 Sigmund Freud "There Are No Coincidences" Award: Rabbit-Proof Fence and Evelyn, two year-end releases by Australian directors about efforts to reunite families in which children have been taken away by the state

Runner-up: Suicide (What Everyone Wants for the Holidays!) featured at year-end in The Hours, Love Liza, Morvern Callar, and alleged in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

 

 I Haven't Tried that  Yet Award: Secretary

 Runner-up: The Piano Teacher

 

 Most Overexposed: Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, Mr. Deeds, Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights, and The Hot Chick

 

 Are My 15 Minutes Up Yet? Award: Madonna, Swept Away and Die Another Day

 Runner-up: Guy "Mr. Madonna" Ritchie, Swept Away

 

 Oh, I Thought Your Career Was Dead Award: Al Pacino, with his best work in a decade in Insomnia and S1m0ne

 Runners-up: Robin Williams, One Hour Photo & Insomnia; Dennis Quaid, The Rookie & Far from Heaven

 

 Alive and Well and Living in Paris Award: The suddenly ubiquitous Charles Aznavour, acting in Ararat and used musically as a symbol of romance in Tadpole and The Truth about Charlie

 

 Unexpected Moments in Children's Animation Award: The love story between Ash and Sam in Pokemon 4ever

 Runner-up: The gratuitous violence of Lilo punching another girl in the face in Lilo & Stitch

 

 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Award: Ralph Fiennes as a Republican environmentalist in Maid in Manhattan

 

 Bottom Ten:

 

1. Femme Fatale

2. The Adventures of Pluto Nash

3. Deuces Wild

4. Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever

5. National Lampoon's Van Wilder

6. Slackers

7. Stealing Harvard

8. Austin Powers in Goldmember

9. John Q

10. [reserved for Swept Away]

 

Dishonorable Mention (listed alphabetically):

 

Brotherhood of the Wolf

The Cat's Meow

Crossroads

The Fast Runner: Atanajurat

Formula 51

Gangs of New York

I Spy

The Mystic Masseur

Showtime

The Triumph of Love