Christopher Nolan – Memento
My Overall Thoughts:
This year had some great choices as nominees but it was a foregone conclusion who would win even if both his movie and the work he did here weren’t really the best of the crop.
5. Ron Howard
4. David Lynch
3. Robert Altman
2. Ridley Scott
1. Peter Jackson
5. Mulholland Drive – Terrible film because it makes no sense what so ever. The story is quite incomprehensible because it starts to jump around too much along the way. Watts is great in the lead and shows how great an actress she can be with this role. The film’s lack of real narrative in the story makes things seem too absurd because of too many disconnects along the way. Lynch does a nice job with the visuals but that doesn’t help make the story more interesting. This film is too abstract for my taste and comes across as being completely incoherent.
4. A Beautiful Mind – Good movie. Not the Best movie of the year, but close. Contains many elements that Oscar voters love.
3. Gosford Park – Great idea that works quite well. The separation of classes in this film is quite prominent and says so much about how society was lived back then. The cast is superb but with so many characters things get slightly confusing and the result also is that there isn’t really enough screen time for any of them. Loved the way that Altman has his characters talk over one another all the time because it gives the story a feel of being more genuine. Was nominated for 7 Oscars but won the one that it truly deserved – Best Original Screenplay for Julian Fellowes who went on to create Downtown Abbey a few years later which looks at the same ideas of class in English society.
2. Black Hawk Down – Such an amazing film that was filmed so realistically that you feel as if you are there experiencing it all with the characters. The cast list is quite impressive and the fact that many of the faces are familiar actually helps rather than hinders being able to keep track of what is going on. As a former soldier myself, this film is probably one of the most realistic films depicting close quarter combat and is a situation I would never wish to be in. The fact that we get to see the way that the battle from numerous perspectives helps give us a much better idea of what transpired that day from various angles. Scott is an amazing film maker and this film is further proof of it especially since he was nominated for Best Director despite the fact not getting a Best Picture nomination that year. Loved how the story is the focus here instead of the individual soldiers which is such a fitting way to honor the men who fought, got wounded and died that day.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Amazing film that does a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life on screen. The story is quite epic and despite only being the first part of three films, it does an amazing job giving us the background of the overall story along with developing the characters perfectly. The 4 Hobbits are by far the best of the characters and bring so much to the story since each of the 4 is quite diverse in personality. The special effects of this film are superbly created and they deservingly won 4 Technical Oscars (of the 12 they were nominated for. This still remains my favorite of the trilogy even if a case can be made successfully for each of the films.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all! Howard is a great director, but his win this year feels more like a sympathy win for his non nomination 6 years earlier for Apollo 13. Jackson was the best of the nominees, but since it was only the first part of the film, he wouldn’t have won anyway.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!