12 - The Michigan Daily --
Fay Andy Taylor-Fabe
- Daily Film Editor
n some ways, the year in film was
like many others. Big budget epics
. came in droves, with some making
shameless attempts to capitalize on
nostalgia (Michael Bay's "Pearl
Harbor") and some capturing
our imaginations and set-
ting new stan-
son's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the
Ring"). Animated films further embraced computer
animation and brought the genre to a new level with
films like the sardonic "Shrek," the good hearted
"Monsters, Inc." and the visually stunning but other-
wise dismal "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within." A
standard complement of dramas, comedies and sci-fi
films flooded the market, but a few stood out above the
mediocre and made us remember why we continue to
shell out those eight dollars on a regular basis.
With 2000 being condemned as one of the worst years
in film history, filmmakers in 2001 were under even
more pressure than usual to get their acts together and
come up with some truly original and innovative pro-
As usual, most of the big winners of the year came as
late as possible, hoping to cash in on both the box
office boom of the holiday season and the Oscar
buzz that kicks into high gear around this time of
year. Films with spring or summer releases, like
Christopher Nolan's bold and complex
"Memento," or Baz Lurhmann's frenetic
"Moulin Rouge," have had to work hard to
keep themselves fresh in the easily
distracted mind of the public.
But this year, there have
not been many
films that have
had to bear that
burden, as the
filled with lackluster movies like Tim Burton's "Planet
of the Apes" and Steven Spielberg's surprisingly disap-
pointing "A.I." dominating the box office. However, the
summer did see some action juggernauts, such as "The
Mummy Returns" and "Rush Hour 2," each passing the
$200 million mark.
Hollywood also saw record-breaking success at the
box office in the fall and winter, with "Harry Potter and
the Sorcerer's Stone" enthralling children and adults
around the world and shattering records, grossing over
$300 million to date. The other major epic of the sea-
son, the screen version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellow-
ship of the Ring," appealed to a narrower audience,'
but still brought in over $200 million.
With the Oscar nominations still a few weeks
away, predictions have already been made about
the likely candidates for best picture, with
dramas like "A Beautiful Mind" alid "In the
Bedroom" leading the way. More offbeat
films like the Coen Brothers' beautifully
photographed and masterfully acted "The
Man Who Wasn't There," Jonathan Glazer's
dark and quirky heist drama "Sexy Beast" ana
David Lynch's dream-like "Mulholland Drive'
probably won't be included in this category
because of the lack of mass appeal. While
some of the Oscar hopefuls have
been met with rave reviews
and positive feedback, oth- Ben Kingsley
ers have been condemned as Don in
as sentimental fluff. Frank "Sexy Beast"
Darabont's "The Majestic" bombed at the box office
and was labeled a cheap and shameless grab at the
Oscars, ending Jim Carrey's chances of getting Best
Actor this year. (Somehow "Chocolat" managed to slip
through the cracks on that one.)
While not all of the films of 2001 reflect a change in
standards and the public's hunger for something more than
the lowest common denominator of entertainment ("Amer-
ican Pie 2" made almost $150
million), 2001 has left
most people anxious
to see what lies
ahead instead of
over the faded
glory of film
for the old
Courtesy of Newline
4yvI e .1e t -e t I.
Jenn ;u eltes
1. ThE LORD OF THE RINGS. THE
FEuowsmIP OF THE RINGS
Somehow the director of "Dead Alive"
was given the dubious honor of directing the
$270 million franchise. Peter Jackson is a
2. MUEHOLEAND DRIVE
The most anti-Hollywood film in recent
memory, laced with surreal images and a
haunting score by Angelo Badalementi.
3. THE ROX'AL T.ENFENBAUMS
Wes Anderson has established himself as
the premier comedic director in Hollywood.
The entire supporting cast deserves an Oscar.
4. TuE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
The Coen Brothers in top form. James
Gandolfini proves he can do more than run a
waste management company
5, A MEfE
Audrey Tautou is lovable in every sense of
the word. The best date movie of the past
year. Ask out that cute Greek girl from your
Psychology class you've had your eye on.
6. OCEAN'S 11
George Clooney and company entertain
while Hollywood wonderboy Steven Soder-
bergh provides visual bliss.
7. M EMENTO
The narrative structure alone makes it
worthy of the list. Joe Pantoliano and Guy
Pearce give stunning performances.
Minimalist cinema at its finest.
9. Gnosi W RoLuD
A superb adaptation of the brutally honest
comic book, abound with wonderfully non-
I. MULHOLLAND DRIVE
David Lynch is one of the chosen few who
could make a film that almost makes sense
visually, completely breaks down thematically
yet remains the single most satisfying film of
2. SEXY BEAST
Ben Kingsley's anti-Ghandi is a vile, neo-
Shakespearian villain both bitingly funny and
scary, enveloping but not overshadowing Ray
Winestone's retired gangster.
3. TiE LORD OF TiE RINGS: THE
FELLOWSHIP OF Tim RINGS
Epic, beautiful, and all those things that
everyone else is saying.
4. Tim RovAi. TENENJAUMS
A smart comedy? In America?
Someone call the cops. ,
This is a heartwarming and hilarious film for
all ages. Stunning graphics and an excellent
script make "Shrek" irresistible.
2. M MN-*ir O
The implications of a man with no short-term
memory are endless, and Christopher Nolan
explores this complication with genius.
3. MOUIN ROUGE
Baz Luhrmann's creative cuts and musical
selections are truly impressive, and they give a
glimpse into just how innovatively a story can be
4. MONS-ERS, INC.
Sully and Mike come to the rescue in this cute
story about Monster City, where all the monsters
depend on frightened children's screams in order
to acquire the necessary power to run the city.
5. A BEAUTIFUT. MIND
Russell Crowe is definitely up for
an Oscar here. This may be the
most stunning portrayal of a
schizophrenic that has ever
A. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE
FELLOWSHIP OF TnE RING
Peter Jackson did Tolkien's epic proud. This
fantasy masterpiece ranks with "Star Wars."
The only problem is having to wait a year for
"The Two Towers" and two years for "Return
of the King."
2. TuE ROYAl T:NENJRAUvS
Although this film is chock full of outstanding
and hilarious performances, Gene Hackman
stands out and gives one of his best perfor-
mances in years. In a just world, he'd be given a
nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
3. TilE MAN Wuo WASN'T THIERE
Not the Coen Brothers' best, but a visually stun-
ning film with top-notch acting from Billy Bob
Thornton, Frances McDormand, James Gan-
dolfini and Tony Shalhoub.
4. MaUIOuAND DR vE
Lynch's latest wild ride through imagination
and the dark side of Hollywood features the
long-awaited return of Billy Ray Cyrus, or
What could have been just a gimmick became
an enthralling and unforgettable mystery.
Remember Sammy Jankis.
6. SEXV BEAST
Ben Kingsley shows us what "over the top" is
supposed to be with the psychotic Don, who
somehow simultaneously projects the ferocity of
a tiger and the quiet deadliness of a cobra. This
film takes the relatively tired heist genre and
gives it a swift kick in the ass.
This fairy tale style story is one of the only
recent movies with a happy ending that
doesn't set off the gag reflex. Jeunet manages
to adapt his unique style that he used in "City
of Lost Children and "Delicatessen."
I. WAK~ING LwFE
This breakthrough in visual technology is even
more impressive in the way its philosophical
monologues evoke an inexhaustible appreciation
for life and its unanswerable questions.
2. IN Tm BEDROON1
You will find no better performances this year
than those of Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek.
3. MULIOIJAND DRIVE
Lynch's return to the realm of the weird is an
almost unsolvable puzzle that warps your mind
in spectacularly created dream-like episodes.
4. TnE RoYAL TENENIIAuMS
Wes Anderson brings a new kind of drama,
and in doing so paves an even more exciting cin-
ematic future for himself and all of us.
Michael Mann gives Will Smith barely any
room to breathe or falter in what turns out to be
his best performance of his young career.
It lives and breathes, chang-
ing every time you think
you've nailed it down.
Christopher Nolan's first
feature is better than the
latest entries from many
a seasoned director.
6. TiE M AN fxPi
WHO WASN'T M
I'd go see a Mary- Sully and Mike of "Monsters, Inc."
Kate and Ashley
6. THE LORD
OF THE RINGS
.OF T HE
J. R. R.
6. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE
FELLowslmP OF TlHE RING
Finally, a film that lives up to all the "next Star
Wars" hype thrust upon it.
7. M ENtiI O
For some reason, critics lose their long-term
memory when making a year's best list, but this
springtime release was too good to be forgotten.
8. TIi' MAN WHO WASN'T TiwRE
Roger Deakins' stunning black and white cin-
ematography makes this another Coen Brothers
film to be remembered.
9. A.1.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Whether you liked it or not, "A.I." generated
plenty of discussion.
Olsen movie if it was directed by the
7. IN TiEL BEDROOM
It ruined my night and I'm still thinking about
it. Tom Wilkinson is the best actor of the year.
This is a character study with a painful plot and
the most violent image onscreen in years.
8. IHu O ErmRS
The pastier of Nicole Kidman's fine perfor-
Tolkien's mystical, chilling and
beautiful epic is sure to stun audiences
7 . A~mCA INTELLUGENcE
Haley Joel Osment was excellent. Spielberg
perhaps paints a picture of the world that no one
wishes to confront.
8. IN THE BEDROOM
The emotional turmoil endured by a cou-
10. JAY & SILENT