written by Mike Shea on 26 March 2001
Last night was the year 2001 Academy Awards. Generally I get pretty excited about it, but last night I frankly couldn't sit through the horror of listening to everyone thanking their dog for their inspiration in doing the sound editing for U-571. So today, I logged into IMDB's Academy Awards page to get the summary, and while there were some surprises, I was generally very pleased. Once again, I am refreshed to know that good movies generally win and bad movies generally don't. Sure, there are some disappointments, but over the years the trend is generally good. This short article will talk about some of the good along with the bad that came out of it.
Gladiator waked away with five awards including best picture and best actor. After seeing how the big movies win the big awards within the last few ceremonies, this isn't too surprising. Gladiator is a movie that the snobs will like for it's general artistic qualities while the working class will crush their beer and yell "fuck yeah!" during the excellent action scenes. It's general popularity with both the cultural elite as well as the common-man probably justify the awards. I was disappointed to see that Hans Zimmer didn't win for the soundtrack, but Crouching Tiger did have a good one, I just didn't think it was that good.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did walk away with some good awards, even though it didn't snatch the title away from the 800 pound gorilla, Gladiator. Once again, while I personally love this movie, a little part of me doesn't like the fact that the mink coat / Bentley crowd liked this one for it's beautiful cinematography. It was a deserving movie, though, so I am glad it got the recognition that it did.
Julia "Love that Joker" Roberts did walk away with best actress, which I guess I can live with if it will put off the militant feminazies from breaking into my house and castrating me for at least another year. I didn't see this movie about cleavage, so it would be unfair of me to say that the movie wasn't worthy of wiping under a desk and that the only thing they showed more of than her tits was her mouth complete with 800 teeth.
Bob Dylan won the award for best original song with "Things have Changed", and I have to agree with that as well. He wasn't looking too good up there on the big screen, but that song is really really good. My mom reminded me that after seeing that movie with her in Boston, we both ran right out and bought the soundtrack. I still have it in my car to let it help fuel my road rage.
My favorite surprise this year was to see Benicio Del Toro winning best supporting actor in Traffic. I didn't see Traffic, but I did see him in both Way of the Gun and Snatch. In just those two movies alone he became a new favorite actor of mine. Glad to see he is getting the recognition. I did hear from a friend, that his role in Traffic was about the best thing in the movie, so it was probably justified even without his past roles. This one is getting added to the current hot actors list.
I didn't get more than five minutes of Steve Martin's performance, but I do agree with Don and Mike that he should have come out on stage with the arrow through the head gag, and kept it on the whole time. His little Danny DeVito "Here's some dip" joke showed that he did have a little ad-lib left in his career. I am interested to hear how he did the rest of the night.
So, at the end of the day, I am generally very happy with the direction things went. Only one major upset for me, but like I said, it is to be expected. Another year goes by where I am happy to know that good movies do get good recognition, and that the fundamentalist groups are not as close as we think to taking good movies and burning them for their evil ways. Viva cinema!
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