Most Annoying Performance
BEN AFFLECK – Pearl Harbor
Best Comedy Performance
Audrey Tautou – Amelie
Best Ensemble Cast
Gosford Park – Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Kelly Macdonald, and Emily Watson
WTF did I just see?
Most overrated movie
A Beautiful Mind
Best juvenile performances
Daniel Radcliffe, age 12 & Emma Watson, age 11 – Harry Potter…
Haley Joel Osment, age 12 – A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Alakina Mann, age 10; & James Bentley, age 8 – The Others
Notes from awards committee:
In one of the Academies major blunders of the decade, the mostly forgettable 2001 turkey, A Beautiful Mind, was named best Motion Picture. Clearly two of the Academy noms, Gosford Park and The Fellowship of the Rings, were far superior to the Academy winner. To make matters worse, the Academy also snubbed the best film of the year, Mulholland Drive. So it is with great pleasure that we correct this mistake and award the Simpson Best Motion Picture award to David Lynch’s masterpiece, Mullholland Drive. Likewise we award the Simpson Best Actress award to Naomi Watts for her career best, mesmerizing performance as Diane/Betty in Mullholland Drive. The Best Actor Simpson Award goes to Richard Harris – he absolutely nailed the character of Albus Dumbledore in the first Harry Potter film, and since he died the next year in 2002 let’s make this Simpson also a Distinguished Career Award for Mr. Harris.
Fun Surprises -
Mulholland Drive - a dream fever mystery story of love, betrayal, tragedy and murder most foul. This movie is pure cinematic brilliance: totally surreal, bizarre and highly watchable every minute of screen time.
Gosford Park - This film is a classy, well done, who-dun-it set in the bygone 1930’s. The DNA for the widely popular TV miniseries Downton Abbey is from this movie. While Downton Abbey is chiefly concerned with romance and the battle of the sexes, Gosford Park is an ideal place for a carefully planned murder. The storyline is firmly in the English school of detection: a set-piece murder case, a royal victim and upper class suspects in a gentile setting with a few skeletons best left locked in the closet.
Jurassic Park 3 – This criminally underrated movie is by far the best Jurassic Park sequel, and was a major box office success in the US and worldwide. Sam Neil is back as paleologist Dr. Grant, and leads a refreshed cast without a weak link or annoying little kids. The new dinosaurs are kick-ass; the best yet, and even outdo the newer Jurassic World films. Jurassic Park III is a technical benchmark to use for mastery in the special effects department. A classic popcorn movie.
The Fellowship of the Rings commands attention with a spectacular adventure tale and intriguing mythical characters set in the jaw-dropping scenes of Middle Earth. Incredible big screen panache.
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence - a joint effort between two powerhouses of the silver screen, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick, A.I. lived up to high expectations. Kubrick developed the central idea, but did not live to see the final film. Spielberg took over to bring the movie to completion in 2001. A simultaneously touching and dark tale, it features a stunning performance by Haley Joel Osment as David, a robot with deeply human emotions caught between the mech world and the organic world.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a classic fantasy story of good versus evil, and the power of friendships. Outstanding cast of child stars make a tricky transition from the real world to the magic of Hogwarts on the big screen. Also was the Box Office champ of the year, by a wide margin.
The Cat’s Meow is a tantalizing combination of urban legend, old Hollywood moguls and a mysterious death during a weekend yacht party. Pitch perfect expose of the rich and famous in the Roaring Twenties.
A Beautiful Mind - Despite all the famous names on title, the flick is the textbook definition of “average,” with nothing about it that makes a lasting impact. It’s a strange biopic about John Nash, an economist with a mental disorder.
Pearl Harbor – Painfully boring, too talky chick flick. Skip ahead to Chapter 27 to finally watch something happen when the Japanese Imperial Navy shows up.
Black Hawk Down – Ridley Scott’s big budget war movie about an ugly skirmish between American troops and Somalia Islamic warlords was snubbed by the academy. It is worth a look, but keep in mind the film is deeply flawed – it studiously avoids reflecting on the hard lesson learned that America cannot, should not be the world police. The reason why the American troops were sent into a dangerous lawless country is unbelievably never questioned. But there we are, mucking around in Somalia, an unimportant country on the other side of the world. There is no national interest at stake whatsoever. Some reviewers claim that BHD is a good war movie. Well, there are two kinds of Hollywood war movies: pro-war movies and anti-war movies. According to the director this was meant to be an anti-war movie. I disagree – it is more of a pro-war flick. It shows helicopter gunships with miniguns blazing, and flashy, heroic macho warriors mowing down black Somalis by the hundreds to the tune of pounding rock music.