Academy Awards

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

The recent Academy Awards not only confirmed my opinion that 2003 was one of the weakest years in movie history, it explains why. The people who made the terrible films, then nominated them, and then gave them awards! Talk about incestuous. With these people in charge and patting themselves on the back for their mediocre work, what chance do we have for improvement?

Even so, there were some highlights in filmdom in 2003. Here’s how I would have voted for the major awards:

Best Supporting Actress: Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain, the only good thing in an overrated movie. Runner up: Lindsey Lohan, Freaky Friday.

Best Supporting Actor: Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass. His performance still has me saying, “Wow!”

Best Documentary: My Architect by a mile.

Best Song: Belleville Rendez-vous, Les Triplettes de Belleville. One of the best movie songs in many a year. It’s the only reason I went to see this boring, disappointing cartoon (maybe if one spoke French it would have been more rewarding as I’m told there were some wry Francophobic gags).

Best Actress: Jamie Lee Curtis, Freaky Friday with Keisha Castle-Hughes, The Whale Watcher, a close second. Note to Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Charlize Theron; when Castle-Hughes, an 11-year old novice, was called upon to cry, she actually produced tears! (However, let it be known that I have no argument with the award to Theron).

Best Actor: Colin Farrell, Phone Booth. Nobody else was even close. He single-handedly made an improbable premise plausible and tense. Unlike the winner, Farrell actually was called upon to, uh, act!

Best Picture: Freaky Friday. At the risk of being caught repeating myself, never forget Sir Donald Wolfit’s dying utterance when asked if it was hard to die after such a productive life,  “Dying is easy…Comedy is hard” No. 2 on my list is Luther. These had one thing in common: no special effects. Oh, yeah, they also had good scripts and good acting.

Best Director: Mark Waters, Freaky Friday (see Sir Donald Wolfit, supra).

March 2, 2004

The End