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
Even so, there were
some highlights in filmdom in 2003. Here’s how I would have voted for
the major awards:
Actress: Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain, the only good thing
in an overrated movie. Runner up: Lindsey Lohan, Freaky Friday.
Actor: Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass. His performance
still has me saying, “Wow!”
My Architect by a mile.
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
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).
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!
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.
Mark Waters, Freaky Friday (see Sir Donald Wolfit, supra).
March 2, 2004