The year 2001 has finally passed, and much like the movie after which the
year was named, it was a dull, stupid, waste of time. The only thing that
saved us all from heading down the poisoned Kool-Aid highway of mass ritual
suicide was the startlingly fantastic array of feature films gifted to us by
our benefactors in Hollywood. Just when you think mankind is going to Hell
in a hand basket, along comes a saintly studio exec with another piece of
movie manna. Terrorist attacks getting you down? Take your mind off things
and watch the glorious Mariah Carey vehicle, Glitter! That economy sure is
a bitch. Well, chum, ease your mind and see See Spot Run!
But Glitter is merely the bottom of the quality barrel. When picking the
Oscars for the year, you have to assess how each film shapes up as a shining
example of the cinematic form. All too often, popular pundits choose films
which are British, or just plain boring. They never have the courage to
wade into the sea of celluloid and pull out the true Catch of the Day.
Well, your old friend X is no coward. I present to you my Oscar Picks, and
if they seem outrageous, remember it is just because the fat cats at the
Academy don't have the stones to do as I do.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Spirit Dreams Inside" - Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Words and Music
by Hideto Takari
When you hear this song over the CGI bird soaring at the end of FF:TSW, you
know you have just seen something special. This song deserved all the
acclaim that Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" received for Titanic.
BEST ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE
Ghosts of Mars - Arranged and composed by John Carpenter
We've been hearing the hauntingly beautiful music of John Carpenter on
movies for years. Usually on movies he has written and directed. Isn't it
about time we awarded a true auteur? With Ghosts of Mars, Carpenter
elevates the score from a necessary evil to a work of art in itself.
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
The Mummy Returns - Carol Ashley, Victoria Beharrell, Jennifer C. Bell, John
Andrew Berton Jr., Jon R. Brown, David Bullock, Colin Campbell, Glenn
Cotter, Carole Cowley, Fon Davis, Joel Davis, Tabitha Dean, Louis Dunlevy,
Julia Egerton, Leigh Ann Fan, Fortunato Frattasio, Alex Frazao, Miguel A.
Fuertes, Ray Gilberti, Adam Glasman, Paul Goodfellow, Darrel Griffin, Doug
Griffin, Paul Griffin, Andy Hague, Henrik Hoffgaard, Jan Hogevold, Gary
Jackemuk, Oliver James, Daniel Jeanette, Merrin Jensen, Drew Jones, Matt
Kasmir, Keiko Koyama, John M. Levin, Brendan Lonergan, Roz Lowrie, Scott
Marriott, David Marsh, Ann McColgan, Joel Meire, Mark Moore, Aaron
Muszalski, Mark Nelmes, Brett Northcutt, Dominic Parker, Janet Quen, Chad
Rogers, Seth Rosenthal, Mike Sanders, Dominic Sidoli, Melissa Taylor, Gavin
Toomey, Megan Upcraft, Danny Wagner, Corrina Wilson, Gordon T. Wittmann,
Eric Wong, and Doug Wright
Who says too many cooks spoil the broth? These 59 talented technicians
created one of the most memorable sequences in movie history: the Rock as a
Scorpion creature. It was so life like and believable, I felt like there
was actually a life like and believable Scorpion creature there on the big
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Sara B. Cooper, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary, Simon
West, Patrick Massett, John Zinman
I know what you're thinking: 6 people to make a cogent narrative out of a
video game; how did they do it with less than 12 people? The results are
on the screen in this faithful, thoughtful, and beautiful story.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Animal - Tom Brady and Rob Schneider
This moving masterwork about a misfit who just wants to fit in is truly a
moving masterwork. Having Survivor 1's Colleen on hand to speak the
nigh-Shakespearean dialogue and perform alongside thespian extraordinaire
Rob Shneider is merely icing on the cake.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Paul Bettany - A Knight's Tale
Bettany brought to life the role of that medieval ne'er-do-well, Geoffrey
Chaucer. Best known for writing The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer apparently
also invented the WWF and went around drunk and naked a lot. Bettany was
the perfect man for this perfect role.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Joey Fatone - On The Line
Strictly speaking, Joey Fatone is not an actress. Nor is he an actor, per
se. He is a member on *Nsync, however, and I feel that qualifies him for
this category. As the emotional rock for fellow *Nsyncer Lance Bass, Fatone
really shines in this touching comedy.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Heath Ledger - A Knight's Tale
You can never go wrong with hunky Heath Ledger, and the modern chops he
brings to the Middle Ages drama about knights and jousting are well used,
well honed, and well chopped. No Will Smith or Bill Pullman could have
handled this role. Ledger knocked the ball out of the park on this one.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Natasha Henstridge - Ghosts of Mars
For shame on all who did not see Ghosts of Mars. The lovely Ms Henstridge
shows a tougher side in her portrayal of a heterosexual Martian cop in a
world run by lesbians. And she did it all without baring a single breast.
Bravo, Natasha, bravo!
Steven Spielberg - A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Sure, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan were good, but this film
truly tests Steve's skill, and he comes out with a gold medal. In choosing
to follow up on late thrillmeister Stanley Kubrick's oblique vision of a
future where Irish character actor Brendan Gleeson wisely tries to kill any
and all Haley Joel Osments, Spielberg brings us not to the future, but to
ourselves. This gift is worth all the Oscars in all the land. God bless
you Steve! And Robin Williams!
And X's pick for BEST PICTURE 2001 is...
How High - Pamela Adby, Danny DeVito, James Ellis, Louis G. Friedmann,
Shauna Garr, Michael Shamburg, Stacey Sher, and Johnathan Weisgal Producers.
They always save their Oscar flicks for the end of the year, and this
touching tale of two stoners bringing the ghetto to stuck up Harvard
University is truly the pick of the litter. Like Kareem Abdul Jabar
freakishly towers over normal people, How High stands above most other
films, though Tomb Raider and See Spot Run come close. Rappers Method Man
and Redman manage to bring the intimate, personal vision of the 8 producers
to life, tearing down once and for all the notion that Hollywood is nothing
but a big factory production line for lowest common denominator movies.
There you have it. I hope you have learned something, and when the awards
ceremony comes on in March, should the terrorists not kill us all first,
think hard about exactly who is winning, and ask yourself exactly why they
are and my choices above aren't. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by