He rules.

He rules.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 16 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m going with the Top 16 because that’s how many **** films there are.  It’s not because Cate Blanchett comes in 16th in Supporting Actress.  That’s only a coincidence.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. American Beauty  **
  2. Magnolia
  3. The End of the Affair
  4. All About My Mother
  5. Eyes Wide Shut
  6. Three Kings
  7. Topsy-Turvy  *
  8. Princess Mononoke
  9. Being John Malkovich  *
  10. The Sixth Sense  *
  11. Toy Story 2
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. The Insider  *
  14. Sweet and Lowdown
  15. Run Lola Run
  16. Following

Analysis:  This year sets a new high mark.  The Sixth Sense earns a 92 from me, which makes it the best #10 to-date, the first film to earn a higher mark in the #10 spot than Foolish Wives, the #10 film in the very first Nighthawk Awards.  The Top 20 (the remaining four films are Fight Club, Limbo, Abre Los Ojos and Man on the Moon) beats out 1994 for the best to-date.  As mentioned above, all 16 of these films are ****.
Three Kings had been in my Top 5 from the day I saw it in the theater all the way until I did these awards, when it was finally pushed out because I bumped up All About My Mother.
American Beauty becomes the first film to sweep the five awards groups (Oscar, BAFTA, PGA, Globe, BFCA).  It’s also the first to win the Oscar and the Consensus since Schindler’s List (which pre-dated the BFCA by one year).

  • sam_mendes_annette_bening_kevin_spacey_american_beauty_001Best Director
  1. Sam Mendes  (American Beauty)  **
  2. Paul Thomas Anderson  (Magnolia)
  3. Neil Jordan  (The End of the Affair)
  4. Stanley Kubrick  (Eyes Wide Shut)
  5. Pedro Almodóvar  (All About My Mother)  *
  6. David O. Russell  (Three Kings)
  7. Mike Leigh  (Topsy-Turvy)  *
  8. M. Night Shyamalan  (The Sixth Sense)
  9. Anthony Minghella  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)  *
  10. Michael Mann  (The Insider)  *
  11. Spike Jonze  (Being John Malkovich)
  12. Woody Allen  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  13. Tom Tykwer  (Run Lola Run)
  14. David Fincher  (Fight Club)
  15. Christopher Nolan  (Following)
  16. Tim Burton  (Sleepy Hollow)

Analysis:  While Sam Mendes’ Consensus win isn’t as overwhelming as Curtis Hanson in 1997 in either points or percentage of total points, he dominates over his competition even more.  While Mendes dominates (Oscar, DGA, Globe, BFCA, LAFC, CFC wins, BAFTA, Satellite noms), no one else earns more than 10% of the Consensus points.  Michael Mann is second, with the Satellite win, DGA, Oscar and Globe noms and placing at the LAFC.  Mendes’s margin of victory (16%) is the highest in five years while Mann is the first 2nd place finisher to fail to earn 10% of the Consensus points since 1962.
While two of these directors are earning their first noms (Sam Mendes, Pedro Almodóvar), this is the first time since 1987 that none of the five nominees are earning their only nomination.  Mendes and Almodóvar will both be back, P.T. Anderson is earning his second (and will be back), Jordan is earning his third and Kubrick finishes his magnificent career with his ninth nomination.  That leaves Kubrick with 540 points and in a tie for 4th place.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The End of the Affair
  2. Eyes Wide Shut
  3. Toy Story 2
  4. The Talented Mr. Ripley  *
  5. The Insider  *
  6. Election  *
  7. Fight Club
  8. Felicia’s Journey
  9. My Son the Fanatic
  10. The Cider House Rules  **
  11. The Winslow Boy
  12. Mansfield Park
  13. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
  14. A Map of the World
  15. An Ideal Husband
  16. October Sky

Analysis:  The Top 5 here is the weakest since 1986.  But, as is often the case, it is counter-balanced by Original.
I have read nine of the original source materials, if you count watching Toy Story and South Park (the others are The End of the Affair, Eyes Wide Shut, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Fight Club, The Cider House Rules, Mansfield Park and An Ideal Husband).  I have also read The Green Mile, which was the fifth Oscar and Consensus nominee, but which doesn’t even make my list.
With no Oscar nominee in my Top 3 and only three in the Top 9, the Oscar Score is only 58.1, the lowest since 1987.
This is the 10th and final writing Nighthawk nom for Stanley Kubrick and he finishes with 520 points and in fifth place.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. American Beauty  *
  2. Magnolia  *
  3. Being John Malkovich  **
  4. All About My Mother
  5. Three Kings
  6. Topsy-Turvy  *
  7. The Sixth Sense  *
  8. Sweet and Lowdown
  9. Following
  10. Abre Los Ojos
  11. Run Lola Run
  12. Limbo
  13. Princess Mononoke
  14. Dogma
  15. The Limey
  16. Cookie’s Fortune

Analysis:  The best Top 5 to-date.  In fact, the best Top 5 of all-time.  It’s pretty amazing all the way through the Top 10.
With all five of the nominees in my Top 7, the Oscar Score is a very impressive 95.2, the highest in five years and second highest since 1959.
I remember discussing this Oscar category with a friend who was appalled that Malkovich didn’t win.  I pointed out to him that the category is Best Original Screenplay, not Most Original Screenplay.  Malkovich is a great script and one of the most original ever written, but I think American Beauty is a better and more complete script.
This is the second Nighthawk writing nom for P.T. Anderson and Pedro Almodóvar while it’s the first for Charlie Kauffman.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Kevin Spacey  (American Beauty)  *
  2. Ralph Fiennes  (The End of the Affair)
  3. Russell Crowe  (The Insider)  **
  4. George Clooney  (Three Kings)
  5. Sean Penn  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  6. Jim Carrey  (Man on the Moon)  *
  7. Matt Damon  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
  8. Tom Cruise  (Eyes Wide Shut)
  9. Denzel Washington  (The Hurricane)  *
  10. Richard Farnsworth  (The Straight Story)  *
  11. Terrence Stamp  (The Limey)
  12. Al Pacino  (The Insider)
  13. Edward Norton  (Fight Club)
  14. Ralph Fiennes  (Onegin)
  15. Bob Hoskins  (Felicia’s Journey)
  16. David Strathairn  (Limbo)

Analysis:  With all five Oscar nominees in my Top 10, the Oscar Score is 92.3, the highest in six years.
This is the first Nighthawk nomination for Crowe and Penn, the second for Clooney (the middle in three straight), the third for Spacey (and his third win) and the fifth for Fiennes (in just seven years).
Spacey is the only winner in this category between 1995 and 2006 that I agree with, stuck between Benigni’s ridiculous win, Crowe’s weak win and Denzel’s terrible win.

  • Best Actress
  1. Annette Bening  (American Beauty)  *
  2. Julianne Moore  (The End of the Affair)  *
  3. Cecilia Roth  (All About My Mother)
  4. Hillary Swank  (Boys Don’t Cry)  **
  5. Sigourney Weaver  (A Map of the World)
  6. Reese Witherspoon  (Election)
  7. Nicole Kidman  (Eyes Wide Shut)
  8. Julianne Moore  (An Ideal Husband)
  9. Kate Winslet  (Holy Smoke)
  10. Franka Potente  (Run Lola Run)
  11. Juliette Binoche  (The Lovers on the Bridge)
  12. Emily Watson  (Angela’s Ashes)
  13. Glenn Close  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  14. Frances O’Connor  (Mansfield Park)
  15. Kate Winslet  (Hideous Kinky)
  16. Meryl Streep  (Music of the Heart)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 since 1993 and tied with several years for the second best Top 5 to-date.  This has always been the hardest award for me in this year, choosing between Bening and Moore and I have gone back and forth over the years.
With only three nominees in the Top 15, the Oscar Score is only 78.9, the lowest in five years.
Cecilia Roth and Hillary Swank earns their only Nighthawk noms.  Annette Bening earns her third nom.  Julianne Moore earns her third nom (with her fourth below).  Sigourney Weaver earns her fifth nom.
It really speaks to me of the insularity of awards groups ignoring Foreign films that Roth wasn’t nominated by a single group.

  • cruisemagBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Tom Cruise  (Magnolia)  *
  2. Christopher Plummer  (The Insider)  *
  3. Haley Joel Osment  (The Sixth Sense)
  4. Michael Caine  (The Cider House Rules)  **
  5. John Malkovich  (Being John Malkovich)
  6. Chris Cooper  (American Beauty)
  7. Jude Law  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)  *
  8. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
  9. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Magnolia)
  10. Dan Hedaya  (Dick)
  11. Charles S. Dutton  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  12. Angus MacFadyen  (The Cradle Will Rock)
  13. Rupert Everett  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  14. Chris Cooper  (October Sky)
  15. Wes Bentley  (American Beauty)
  16. Sydney Pollack  (Eyes Wide Shut)

Analysis:  With the fifth nominee not even on my list (Michael Clarke Duncan for The Green Mile), the Oscar Score is only 75.0, the lowest since 1985.
These are the only Nighthawk noms for Osment (obviously) and Malkovich (surprisingly).  It’s the first nomination for Plummer, the second for Cruise and the seventh for Caine.  This puts Caine at 360 points and back into the Top 10 after six years out of it.
The Consensus Award, when just looking at the raw total, was a three way tie between Caine (SAG, Oscar wins, BAFTA, Globe noms), Plummer (LAFC, NSFC, BSFC wins) and Cruise (CFC, Globe wins, SAG, Oscar noms), but they go in that order with the weighted total.  It’s evidence of the split that Caine has the fewest points for a Consensus winner post 1991, but there will be three more years that are heavily split with similar finishes (2005, 2006, 2012).

  • sm-samanthamorton-sweetlowdown-1stdBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Samantha Morton  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  2. Cameron Diaz  (Being John Malkovich)  *
  3. Catherine Keener  (Being John Malkovich)  *
  4. Julianne Moore  (Magnolia)  *
  5. Toni Collette  (The Sixth Sense)
  6. Chloe Sevigny  (Boys Don’t Cry)  **
  7. Thora Birch  (American Beauty)
  8. Julianne Moore  (A Map of the World)  *
  9. Angelina Jolie  (Girl Interrupted)  *
  10. Cate Blanchett  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
  11. Julianne Moore  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  12. Liv Tyler  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  13. Melora Walters  (Magnolia)
  14. Anna Paquin  (A Walk on the Moon)
  15. Natalie Portman  (Anywhere But Here)
  16. Cate Blanchett  (An Ideal Husband)

Analysis:  Cameron Diaz is the weakest #2 in this category since 1992.
The four acting categories balance each other out.  While Actress and Supporting Actor are the lowest in several years, Actor is the opposite and Supporting Actress (all five nominees in my Top 9, leading to an Oscar Score of 93.8) has its highest score since 1989.
Catherine Keener earns her only Nighthawk nom.  Samantha Morton, Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette earn their first noms.  Julianne Moore earns her fourth nom (her third is above).
Jolie’s Oscar begins what, for me, is the worst stretch in this category’s history.  Niether Jolie nor the next two winners (or three of the next four) earn Nighthawk nominations, the only three year stretch in this category’s history.  Three of the five winners in this stretch will be, in my opinion, the worst of the five nominees and none of the five will be higher than third among the nominees.  The only other stretch of even three years in a row in which neither the #1 or #2 among the nominees in this category won the Oscar was only three years long (1963-65) and none of them were the worst choice among the nominees.

  • Best Editing:
  1. American Beauty
  2. The End of the Affair
  3. Magnolia
  4. Three Kings
  5. Run Lola Run
  6. All About My Mother
  7. The Sixth Sense
  8. Following
  9. The Limey
  10. Princess Mononoke
  11. Fight Club
  12. Abre Los Ojos
  13. Eyes Wide Shut
  14. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  15. The Insider
  16. Topsy-Turvy

Analysis:  American Beauty is the weakest winner since 1992, but that’s because of a stretch of really strong winners.
The Oscar winner was The Matrix, which is on my list, but down at #21.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. American Beauty  **
  2. The End of the Affair  *
  3. Eyes Wide Shut
  4. Sleepy Hollow  *
  5. Magnolia
  6. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  7. Three Kings
  8. Topsy-Turvy
  9. The Sixth Sense
  10. All About My Mother
  11. Fight Club
  12. The Insider  *
  13. Limbo
  14. The Straight Story  *
  15. Felicia’s Journey
  16. Snow Falling on Cedars  *

Analysis:  The brilliant Chivo (Emmanuel Lubezki) earns his first Nighthawk nomination for Sleepy Hollow.  Roger Pratt earns his fifth (and final) Nighthawk for The End of the Affair.  After a 30 year gap, Conrad L. Hall finally earns his fourth Nighthawk nom and moves up to 125 points and into the Top 10.  Hall did finish in the Top 10 three times in that gap (1972 – Fat City, 1976 – Marathon Man, 1988 – Tequila Sunrise).  For the first time in four years, Roger Deakins doesn’t earn a Nighthawk nom (he is on my list, down in 38th place, for The Hurricane).  In 13th place is Haskell Wexler in his final appearance on a Nighthawk Awards list.
A tie for 5th place is why there are six Consensus nominees.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. American Beauty
  3. Princess Mononoke
  4. The End of the Affair
  5. The Cider House Rules
  6. Sleepy Hollow
  7. The Red Violin
  8. The Straight Story
  9. Abre Los Ojos
  10. Angela’s Ashes
  11. Run Lola Run
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. All About My Mother
  14. For Love of the Game
  15. The Legend of 1900
  16. Mansfield Park

Analysis:  Rachel Portman and Michael Nyman both earn their first of back-to-back nominations.  Joe Hisashi earns his second of back-to-back nominations (both with Miyazaki).  Thomas Newman earns his third nomination.  Oh, and John Williams earns his second win in three years, his fourth win of the decade and is now up to 800 points, almost double any other composer in history.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. Fight Club
  3. Sleepy Hollow
  4. Three Kings
  5. Sweet and Lowdown
  6. The Matrix
  7. Princess Mononoke
  8. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  9. The Mummy
  10. The Insider
  11. The Hurricane
  12. For Love of the Game
  13. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
  14. The Emperor and the Assassin
  15. The Red Violin
  16. Any Given Sunday

Analysis:  Fight Club is the first #2 in this category to earn my highest rating since 1993.

  • topsyBest Art Direction:
  1. Topsy-Turvy
  2. Sleepy Hollow
  3. Eyes Wide Shut
  4. American Beauty
  5. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  6. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  7. All About My Mother
  8. The End of the Affair
  9. Magnolia
  10. Anna and the King
  11. Sweet and Lowdown
  12. Being John Malkovich
  13. Mansfield Park
  14. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  15. The Mummy
  16. Existenz

Analysis:  Art Direction in contemporary films often gets over-looked (which is partially why the ADG has a separate category for it), but the work in American Beauty is definitely worth noticing.  The way the look inside the houses are designed is a key part of the film.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. The Matrix
  3. The Mummy
  4. Sleepy Hollow
  5. Galaxy Quest
  6. Mystery Men
  7. The World is Not Enough

Analysis:  The Matrix is just the third #2 in this category to earn my highest rating, following Close Encounters and Titanic.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. Fight Club
  3. The Matrix
  4. Three Kings
  5. Sleepy Hollow
  6. The Mummy
  7. Any Given Sunday
  8. The World is Not Enough
  9. For Love of the Game
  10. Mystery Men
  11. Galaxy Quest
  12. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
  13. Pushing Tin
  14. Existenz
  15. Toy Story 2
  16. The Hurricane

Analysis:  With all three Oscar nominees at the top of my list, the Oscar Score is a perfect 100 for the first time since 1988.  But, for the only second time in the history of this category, the Oscar goes to what I think is the weakest of the nominees.

  • topsy-costumesBest Costume Design:
  1. Topsy-Turvy
  2. Sleepy Hollow
  3. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  4. The Red Violin
  5. Sweet and Lowdown
  6. Mansfield Park
  7. The Emperor and the Assassin
  8. Anna and the King
  9. The King of Masks
  10. An Ideal Husband
  11. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. Onegin
  14. Dick
  15. The End of the Affair
  16. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Analysis:  The Oscars got this one right, even if the nominees weren’t so great (the fifth nominee was Titus, a flawed film which has some good things, but to me the costumes are among the least of them).

  • maulBest Makeup
  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. Topsy-Turvy
  3. Sleepy Hollow
  4. Fight Club
  5. Existenz
  6. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
  7. The Mummy
  8. The King of Masks
  9. Titus
  10. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  11. Mystery Men
  12. All About My Mother
  13. Galaxy Quest
  14. Three Kings
  15. The Matrix
  16. Man on the Moon

Analysis:  The Phantom Menace is the best winner since 1992.  Everyone seems to assume with the later Star Wars films that it’s just visual effects and that there is no makeup work involved.
The Top 5 is tied with the year before for the best to-date.
With only one Oscar nominee making my list, the Oscar Score is a dreadful 25.0, the lowest in four years (when it was 0).

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “The Great Beyond”  (Man on the Moon)
  2. Blame Canada”  (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut)
  3. What Would Brian Boitano Do?”  (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut)
  4. Still”  (Dogma)
  5. When She Loved Me”  (Toy Story 2)
  6. Save Me”  (Magnolia)
  7. Beautiful Stranger”  (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me)
  8. Two Worlds”  (Tarzan)
  9. Quiet Mountain Town”  (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut)
  10. Lift Me Up”  (Limbo)
  11. You’ll Be in My Heart”  (Tarzan)

Analysis:  Before its demise, oscars.org listed songs from different films.  It listed 49 songs from 40 different films.  I have seen 28 of those films, accounting for 37 songs (hopefully you can do the math and realize that means I have seen every film with more than one listed song).  The list for South Park only included two songs, the Oscar nominated “Blame Canada” and “Up There” (one of my least favorite songs in the film), so if you want to cut one of the South Park songs and move up “Save Me”, go for it.  It also didn’t include “Still” or “Lift Me Up”.
It’s really pretty appalling that neither the Globes nor the Oscars nominated “The Great Beyond”, a great R.E.M. song that also works perfectly with the film.
With four nominees on my list, the Oscar Score is a decent 64.1, a considerable improvement over the previous three years, although it won’t be this low again until 2005.
This is the third year in a row that the Oscar winner finishes outside my Top 10, the longest such stretch in this category’s history.  It will take until 2015 for another winner to fail to make even my Top 7.

  • mononokeBest Animated Film:
  1. Princess Mononoke
  2. Toy Story 2  *
  3. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut  *
  4. The Iron Giant  **
  5. Perfect Blue

Analysis:  The luck of the draw.  Toy Story 2 would have easily won this in 1998, but here it’s only the third **** film not to win.  It’s the best #2 finisher since Nightmare Before Christmas and there won’t be a better one until 2016.  Princess Mononoke is also the best winner in this category since 1993.
This is Miyazaki’s fourth win and sixth nomination.  He’s now only behind classic Disney directors Hamilton Luske and Clyde Geronimi (who co-directed a lot of films).  John Lassetter becomes just the sixth director to earn three nominations in this category and joins Miyazaki as the only directors to this point to have multiple losses in this category.
Paramount (South Park) and Warner Bros (Iron Giant) both earn their first nominations in this category.
This makes two years in a row that Pixar is nominated and loses.  It will take until 2013 to have two more Pixar losses in this category.  Ghibli, on the other hand, after back-to-back wins, will take until 2013 to earn two more wins.
This is easily the best Top 5 to-date, in fact the first time I have filled the category.  It won’t be beaten until 2o03 and it won’t be beaten a second time until 2013.
This is the first time where two films earn multiple awards at the Consensus Awards, partially because the Annies not using the calendar year leads to wins for both The Iron Giant and Toy Story 2 while the former wins the LAFC and the latter wins the BFCA.  The only other award at this time, the NYFC, goes to South Park.  There won’t be another year with multiple winners of multiple awards until 2003 and there won’t be another year where three films win awards until 2005.

  • allaboutBest Foreign Film:
  1. All About My Mother  **
  2. Aimee and Jaguar
  3. Three Seasons
  4. Romance

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.

Analysis:  Just a terrible year.  It’s only prevented by 1996 from being the worst year in a long time.  It’s the third worst Top 5 and Top 10 since 1984.
Vietnam earns its second nomination.  Spain earns just its second win.  After two straight wins, Japan misses out on a nomination.
Pedro Almodóvar earns his third nomination and his first win.
All About My Mother is the best film in this category since 1987.  The 10 points difference between Mother and Aimee is the most between a #1 and #2 in this category since 1985 and there hasn’t been a difference this large since.  Astoundingly, even though Mother is the best winner in 12 years, each of the next three winners and five of the next seven actually rank higher.
Mother is also the all-time Consensus winner (not to-date, but actually all-time, at least through 2016).  It is still the only film to win nine awards in this category (Oscar, Globe, BAFTA, BFCA, NBR, NYFC, LAFC, BSFC, CFC), only failing to win the NSFC which goes to Autumn Tale.  Only one film since has won 8 awards (Amour), only two others have won 7 (A Separation, Crouching Tiger) and only Amour, A Separation and Y Tu Mama Tambien have earned 8 nominations.  Y Tu Mama Tambien is the only other film to earn five critics awards, but it wasn’t eligible for the Oscar.  Mother is also the first film in 10 years to win the Oscar and the Nighthawk, but it’s the first of back-to-back years, the first back-to-back agreement between the Academy and I since 1973-74.

By Film:

note:  They’re in points order.  You get twice as many points for a win as for a nomination.  Hopefully your math skills will let you figure out the system.

  • American Beauty  (555)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction
  • The End of the Affair   (320)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score
  • Magnolia  (275)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace  (225)
    • Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • All About My Mother  (210)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Foreign Film
  • Eyes Wide Shut  (180)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction
  • Three Kings  (140)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Being John Malkovich  (130)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Sweet and Lowdown  (130)
    • Actor, Supporting Actress, Sound, Costume Design
  • Sleepy Hollow  (130)
    • Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Insider  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Princess Mononoke  (105)
    • Original Score, Animated Film, Foreign Film (1997)
  • Topsy-Turvy  (80)
    • Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Toy Story 2  (70)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Original Song, Animated Film
  • The Sixth Sense  (60)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Cider House Rules  (55)
    • Supporting Actor, Original Score
  • Fight Club  (50)
    • Sound, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Run Lola Run  (45)
    • Editing, Foreign Film (1998)
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Matrix  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut  (40)
    • Animated Film, Original Song, Original Song
  • A Map of the World  (35)
    • Actress
  • Boys Don’t Cry  (35)
    • Actress
  • The Mummy  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • Galaxy Quest  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • Man on the Moon  (20)
    • Original Song
  • The Iron Giant  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Perfect Blue  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Abre Los Ojos  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1997)
  • The Lovers on the Bridge  (20)
    • Foreign Film  (1991)
  • Three Seasons  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Romance  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Show Me Love  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1998)
  • The Red Violin  (20)
    • Costume Design
  • Existenz  (10)
    • Makeup
  • Dogma  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  There is one more film and five more nominations than the year before.  In fact, the 104 total nominations (thanks to Foreign films from other years) is the all-time high.  It’s a rare year in which no film gets to 10 nominations, something that definitely won’t happen again for quite a while.  Yet, the five Best Picture nominees combine for only 34 nominations, the lowest since 1987 and tied for the lowest since 1934 (both years with a lot fewer total nominations).  The winners, as a whole, are the strongest since 1993, and the second strongest to-date.  The 2nd place finishers, on the whole, are also the strongest since 1993 and second strongest to-date.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Following

Analysis:  My #16 film, the final **** film on the list, this is the brilliant debut film of Christopher Nolan.  It doesn’t land higher than 8th anywhere.

Best Film Not to Earn a Top 10 Finish at the Nighthawk Awards:

  • Cookie’s Fortune

Analysis:  My #25 film, a mid-range ***.5 film.  It earns 6 Top 20 finishes (four of them in acting) but doesn’t get higher than 11th place in any category.  The Winslow Boy is the other ***.5 film not to earn any Top 10 finishes (plus one other – see next category).

Best Film Not to Earn a Top 20 Finish at the Nighthawk Awards:

  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Analysis:  With the great increase of ***.5 films, we start to get ***.5 films that don’t even get into the Top 20.  This is my #41 film of the year.  It is on my list in several categories (Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing) but never makes it into the Top 20.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Green Mile

Analysis:  Reviewed already, since it was a Best Picture nominee.  It earned 13 total nominations: 4 Oscars (including Picture), 5 guild nominations (including the PGA and DGA), a Globe (Supporting Actor) and earned a Picture nomination from the BFCA where it also won its only two awards (Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor).  But its 469 Weighted Total Awards Points wasn’t even good enough for the Top 10 in this year.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. American Beauty
  2. Magnolia
  3. The End of the Affair
  4. All About My Mother
  5. Eyes Wide Shut

Analysis:  These are all **** films.  They are followed by several **** films (Princess Mononoke, The Sixth Sense, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Insider, Run Lola Run, Following) and a considerable number of ***.5 films (Fight Club, Limbo, Abre Los Ojos, Felicia’s Journey, The Lovers on the Bridge, The Limey, Existenz, The Straight Story, The Winslow Boy, Three Seasons, Sleepy Hollow, My Son the Fanatic, The Iron Giant, Romance, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Perfect Blue, The Cider House Rules, Show Me Love).

  • Best Director
  1. Sam Mendes  (American Beauty)
  2. Paul Thomas Anderson  (Magnolia)
  3. Neil Jordan  (The End of the Affair)
  4. Stanley Kubrick  (Eyes Wide Shut)
  5. Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother)

Analysis:  Sam Mendes and Pedro Almodóvar earn their first Drama nominations, Jordan his third and Kubrick finishes his career with his 8th nomination, moving him to 405 points and back into the Top 10.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The End of the Affair
  2. Eyes Wide Shut
  3. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  4. The Insider
  5. Fight Club

Analysis:  It’s the eight and final writing Drama nom for Stanley Kubrick.  He finishes with 360 points and tied for 5th place.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. American Beauty
  2. Magnolia
  3. All About My Mother
  4. The Sixth Sense
  5. Following

Analysis:  Tied with 1974 for the best Top 5 to-date of all-time.
This is the second Drama writing nom for P.T Anderson and Pedro Almodóvar.  It’s the first for Christopher Nolan.

  • spaceyBest Actor:
  1. Kevin Spacey  (American Beauty)
  2. Ralph Fiennes  (The End of the Affair)
  3. Russell Crowe  (The Insider)
  4. Matt Damon  (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
  5. Tom Cruise  (Eyes Wide Shut)

Analysis:  The Globe winner was Denzel Washington who is my #6.
This is the only Drama nom for Crowe (surprisingly), the second for Damon, the second for Cruise (with his third below), the third for Spacey (and his third win) and the fifth for Fiennes

  • beningBest Actress
  1. Annette Bening  (American Beauty)
  2. Julianne Moore  (The End of the Affair)
  3. Cecilia Roth  (All About My Mother)
  4. Hillary Swank  (Boys Don’t Cry)
  5. Sigourney Weaver  (A Map of the World)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 since 1973 and tied for the second best to-date, behind only 1950.
This is the only Drama nomination for Roth, the first for Swank, the third for Bening and Moore (with more for Moore below) and the sixth for Weaver.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Tom Cruise  (Magnolia)
  2. Christopher Plummer  (The Insider)
  3. Haley Joel Osment  (The Sixth Sense)
  4. Michael Caine  (The Cider House Rules)
  5. Chris Cooper  (American Beauty)

Analysis:  This is the only Drama nom for Osment, the first for Plummer, the second for Cooper, the third for Cruise and the fifth for Caine.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Julianne Moore  (Magnolia)
  2. Toni Collette  (The Sixth Sense)
  3. Chloe Sevigny  (Boys Don’t Cry)
  4. Thora Birch  (American Beauty)
  5. Julianne Moore  (A Map of the World)

Analysis:  This is the only Drama nom for Chloe Sevigny, Toni Collette and Thora Birch.  It’s both the fourth and fifth for Moore, after her third one, above.

  • American Beauty  (470)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Magnolia  (255)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The End of the Affair  (245)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Eyes Wide Shut  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • All About My Mother  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Insider  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Sixth Sense  (100)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • A Map of the World  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Boys Don’t Cry  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Fight Club  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Following  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Cider House Rules  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  There are 10 fewer films than the year before.  Also, after a year in which no drama broke 300 points, we have American Beauty, with the most Globe points (Drama or Comedy) in nine years.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Princess Mononoke

Analysis:  It’s very rare for a Top 10 film not to earn a Globe nom, especially when it’s the #6 film in Drama, but that’s how it breaks, with Mononoke just missing out for both Picture and Screenplay.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Three Kings
  2. Topsy-Turvy
  3. Being John Malkovich
  4. Toy Story 2
  5. Sweet and Lowdown

Analysis:  The Top 5 is slightly lower than the year before even though this is the first time in three years that all five films are ****.  That’s it for **** films, but there are a number of ***.5 films: Man on the Moon, Dogma, South Park, Cookie’s Fortune, Election, Mansfield Park, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

  • Best Director
  1. David O. Russell  (Three Kings)
  2. Mike Leigh  (Topsy-Turvy)
  3. Spike Jonze  (Being John Malkovich)
  4. Woody Allen  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  5. Milos Forman  (Man on the Moon)

Analysis:  David O. Russell, Mike Leigh and Spike Jonze earn their first Comedy nominations.  Milos Forman earns his second.  Woody Allen earns his 12th nomination and is now up to 675 points, 90 more than any other director.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Toy Story 2
  2. Election
  3. Mansfield Park
  4. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
  5. An Ideal Husband

Analysis:  Toy Story 2 is the weakest winner in four years.  It’s the weakest Top 5 in five years.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Being John Malkovich
  2. Three Kings
  3. Topsy-Turvy
  4. Sweet and Lowdown
  5. Dogma

Analysis:  It’s the first Comedy nom (and win) for Charlie Kauffman, the second for Mike Leigh and the third for Kevin Smith.  It’s the 21st Comedy nom for Woody Allen and he moves up to 1080 points, 240 more than any other writer.  It’s also the last for Allen for nine years, the longest stretch of his screenwriting career.

  • george-clooney-in-three-kings-1999Best Actor:
  1. George Clooney  (Three Kings)
  2. Sean Penn  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  3. Jim Carrey  (Man on the Moon)
  4. Kevin Kline  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  5. Jim Broadbent  (Topsy-Turvy)

Analysis:  That Robert De Niro was nominated for Analyze This rather than Clooney is a moment of great idiocy from the Globes.
This is Sean Penn’s second Comedy nom (he earned one for Fast Times), the first for Jim Broadbent (but he’ll be back in two years), the third for Kevin Kline, the second for Carrey (in a row) and the second of back-to-back wins for Clooney (who will just winning a third in a row the next year) and the second of four straight noms.
I want to point to Kline’s nom, because it just missed out on being listed up above in the regular awards (it’s my #17) and since I have such a soft spot for the play, I want to commend Kline (and below, Pfeiffer and Everett) for being so enjoyable in it.

  • electionBest Actress
  1. Reese Witherspoon  (Election)
  2. Julianne Moore  (An Ideal Husband)
  3. Glenn Close  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  4. Frances O’Connor  (Mansfield Park)
  5. Michelle Pfeiffer  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Analysis:  Witherspoon is the weakest winner in five years.  It’s also the weakest Top 5 in five years.
The Globe winner was Janet McTeer for Tumbleweeds, who is my #7.  My #6 is Cherrie Jones for The Cradle will Rock.
This is the only Comedy nom for O’Connor, the first for Witherspoon, the third for Close and Moore (with more below) and the fourth for Pfeiffer.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. John Malkovich  (Being John Malkovich)
  2. Dan Hedaya  (Dick)
  3. Charles S. Dutton  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  4. Angus MacFadyen  (The Cradle Will Rock)
  5. Rupert Everett  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Analysis:  Malkovich is the weakest winner in seven years.  It’s the weakest Top 5 in six years.
This is the only Comedy nom for Hedaya, Dutton and MacFadyen, with Hedaya doing a hilarious Tricky Dick and MacFadyen giving it his all as Orson Welles.  It’s also the only Comedy nom for John Malkovich.  Rupert Everett is the big man here, with his second nom.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Samantha Morton  (Sweet and Lowdown)
  2. Cameron Diaz  (Being John Malkovich)
  3. Catherine Keener  (Being John Malkovich)
  4. Julianne Moore  (Cookie’s Fortune)
  5. Liv Tyler  (Cookie’s Fortune)

Analysis:  These are the only Comedy noms for Diaz and Tyler, the first for Keener and Morton and the fourth for Moore (with her third above).  This makes Moore the only actor of either gender to ever land in the Top 5 in all four Globe acting categories in the same year, an astounding triumph.

  • Three Kings  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Being John Malkovich  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Sweet and Lowdown  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Topsy-Turvy  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Toy Story 2  (130)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay
  • Cookie’s Fortune  (125)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Election  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (100)
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Man on the Moon  (80)
    • Director, Actor
  • An Ideal Husband  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • The Cradle Will Rock  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Mansfield Park  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Dogma  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Dick  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  There are five more films than the year before.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Analysis:  My #41 film of the year, but my #12 Comedy and the only ***.5 Comedy not to earn a Globe nom.  Because it’s an original screenplay, it’s way too far down the list to make it in for its writing.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  212

By Stars:

  • ****:  16
  • ***.5:  25
  • ***:  96
  • **.5:  36
  • **:  21
  • *.5:  10
  • *:  6
  • .5:  2
  • 0:  0
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  63.88

Analysis:  With a lot fewer films below **.5 (and, bizarrely, the exact same number of *** and **.5 films) than the year before, the average goes up a whopping two and a half points.  It’s the highest average since 1968 and the biggest increase since 1987-88.  Almost 1/5 of the films qualify for my Best Picture list, the highest since 1960.  Less than 4% of the films are * or below, the lowest since 1973.

My Year at the Theater

Introduction:  I’m still listing all the films I saw in the theater.  They are in release date order.

  • 200 Cigarettes  –  This never looked very good, but it was at least a romantic comedy.  I had only been to the movies once since December and I needed to see something with the gift certificate I had gotten for Christmas, so Kelly and I went to see this.  It was pretty dumb and I haven’t seen it since.
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels  –  I didn’t have to worry about money for this one, because my friends dragged me along to this one (and paid for me).  I saw this with Ryan, Dustin, George, Ben and possibly some others at a McMenamin’s at some point in the spring.  I didn’t remember much about it because they also sprung for the beer.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream  –  Finally I got a movie I wanted to see.  This has been a favorite for me since I performed in it back in 6th grade and so there was no way I was missing this.  It’s a solid film with some very good performances, especially Michelle Pfeiffer who I had been imagining as Titania for over a decade.  I saw this with Kelly.
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace  –  I saw this at midnight of course, and my first reaction to it is captured in the piece in the Year in Film.  I went to that showing with Kelly, George, Mary, Mark and Teresa but I saw it several more times, some with Kelly (who I was still living with at this point, but no longer engaged to), some with George and at least once with Kari and her then boyfriend, the first film I had seen with Kari since The Fifth Element.
  • Trekkies  –  I went to see this with Kelly, a rare documentary in the theater for me because I am a life long Trek fan, as is obvious from the For Love of Film series.
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me  –  I had enjoyed the cleverness of the first film, which I saw on video.  I liked the marketing of this film (“If you see one film this summer, see Star Wars.  But if you see two films . . .”).  The moment where Jerry Springer gets punched elicited cheers in the theater.
  • Tarzan  –  What were the odds that Tarzan films would even be released in successive years, let alone that it would be the seventh film I would see in each year.  This one was much better, even if it wasn’t a great Disney film.
  • South Park  –  I went to this with Mark and Teresa.  The joke was that Teresa and I had just gotten off work at KinderCare and we were still wearing our work shirts.  So, two people at the most obscene-laden film of all-time, wearing KinderCare shirts.  When Mr. Garrison has the line “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die,” Teresa turned and hit me.  When I objected that I hadn’t laughed yet, she said it was the “yet” part that earned her punch.  Again, big cheers in the theater, this time when Bill Gates is shot.  My friend Jay said that in Berkeley this got a standing ovation.  When working at Powell’s, I got hold of this stupid device designed to make films family friendly by blocking out cursing.  Veronica and I tried it out with this film.  It was like someone kept constantly hitting the mute button.  Still a hilarious film with a great soundtrack.
  • American Pie  –  I think I saw this with George and Mary.  I might have still been living with Kelly, but only because I hadn’t moved out yet.  It was a much better film than I thought it would be.
  • Eyes Wide Shut  –  I saw this with George, Mary, Mark and Teresa in Pullman, WA on opening day while there for a wedding.  Loved it.  Thought it was brilliant.  Still do.
  • The Sixth Sense  –  Dustin and Ben and I think George brought me to this on opening day.  We had no idea there would be a twist ending – it just looked interesting.  But I don’t do well with psychological horror films, so this was difficult to sit through the first time.
  • Mystery Men  –  I think I saw this, also with George and maybe Dustin the next day or certainly soon after.  Both this and Sixth Sense we saw at the Regal on TV Highway.
  • American Beauty  –  This opened in Portland on 24 September, which was also the day I picked up my first paycheck from my new job at Barnes & Noble.  I was through with KinderCare and now living at my parents’ house again, because Kelly and I were through as well.  I saw this alone after picking up the check, though I remember saying hi to the cute manager who had very much caught my eye on 12 September, my first day of work.  Her name was Veronica.  Oh yeah, I immediately knew I had seen the best film of the year.
  • Three Kings  –  I went with George and Mary to this at the Regal on TV Highway, possibly not on opening day because the bookstore had me working a variety of hours.  Loved it and it stayed in my Top 5 until this post.  Still brilliant, though.
  • Fight Club  –  I know I went to this with Dustin and George but I don’t quite remember when or where.  Probably opening day or the day after.
  • Being John Malkovich  –  I had to go in to Portland to see this, but I don’t remember where or with who.
  • The Insider  –  I seem to remember seeing this at the CineMagic on Hawthorne very late in the run, possibly after the Oscar nominations were announced, by myself.
  • Dogma  –  Saw this with George and Mary on opening day.  Back when Kevin Smith was still making good films.
  • The World is Not Enough  –  I must have seen Sleepy Hollow the next day, because I am fairly certain George and I went to this on opening day at TV Highway.
  • Sleepy Hollow  –  The next day, I think George, Mary and I saw this at the Forest Grove 7.  Very moody and it looks great, like so many Burton films.
  • Toy Story 2  –  This was the first Pixar film where my best friend from high school, Jay Weiland, had a credit, so I started staying all the way to the end of Pixar films to see his credit (which was always very near the end).  I think I saw this with George and Mary at Evergreen on opening day.
  • The End of the Affair  –  Seeing this movie changed my life and that’s not hyperbole.  I went to see this at the Broadway Metroplex in early January.  With Veronica.  Our first date.
  • Sweet and Lowdown  –  I actually saw this with Kelly.  We were trying to get along because of our friends and Veronica had already made her dislike of Woody Allen films clear, so I asked Kelly if she wanted to go see this.  I saw this with her after Veronica and I started dating, so it was sometime in January.
  • The Green Mile  –  I saw this with George and Mary and, I want to say, Kari, at TV Highway on opening weekend.  Wasn’t as impressed as I hoped I would be given Darabont’s previous Stephen King adaptation.
  • The Cider House Rules  –  No idea who I dragged to this.  I was absolutely going to see it because I loved the book and was really into John Irving at the time.
  • Magnolia  –  Who did I drag to this?  If it had been George, I am certain he would have complained about the length and the frogs.  So I think I saw it by myself and I think it was at TV Highway.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley  –  I believe I also saw this George, Mary and Kari, definitely at TV Highway.
  • Man on the Moon  –  A George and Dustin movie, I’m almost certain, at Evergreen.  Possibly opening day.  Certainly opening weekend.
  • The Hurricane  –  I think I saw this with George and possibly Mary, but possibly just the two of us.  I was trying to hit all the major Oscar contenders and I had an interest in it, but it’s really too long and too slow, in spite of Denzel’s compelling performance.

Endnote:  That’s a decrease of 15 films.  It will start to go up again soon once Veronica and I start going to see everything but this was a transitional year, obviously.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  Even though they are 18 spots apart on the Best Picture list, the most comparable year is 1960.  This year finishes 42nd while 1960 finished in 60th.  But, in both cases, the winner is in the Top 50, two of the nominees rank in the 200’s, the fourth nominee is in the mid 300’s and the fifth is below 400.  It’s just that with 1960, all five spots are slightly lower than this year.  This year finishes just below 1977 and both films have a Top 40 winner, a fourth film in the 300’s and a fifth film in the 400’s (in fact, #443 this year and #444 in 1977).  It’s just the other two that are the opposite – here we have #214 and 221 while in 1977 we have #23 and #318.

The Winners:  The winners, as a whole, are a decent improvement over the year before (down almost a full point) and the best since 1993.  They average 4.63 among all films, with 3.25 among the major categories, 4.5 among the acting and 5.0 among the Tech categories.  Only two winners finish outside the Top 10: Editing (#21) and Song (#11).  Among the nominees, though, the score is worse than the year before, going up almost half a point to 2.26.  There are two last place finishes (Supporting Actress, Sound Editing) and only eight times where they make the best choice, the lowest in four years.  The 3.0 rank among Acting nominees is the worst in six years while the 2.11 rank among Tech nominees is only the fourth time since 1974 that it is higher than two.

The Nominees:  Those scores aren’t even necessarily a reflection of better Oscar scores.  The overall score is up, but only very slightly, from 73.0 in 1998 to 73.7 this year.  The Tech scores are actually down to 72.7, the lowest in four years.  The acting is up (very slightly) to 84.8, but only two acting categories break 80 (although those two, Actor and Supporting Actress, also break 90, the first time two acting categories do that in five years).  With Picture at a four year low and Adapted Screenplay the lowest in 12 years, the major categories score 68.7, the lowest in four years.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This is a big improvement over the year before, all the way up at #18.  Yet, even for that, it could have been a lot better.  While this includes an excellent winner (Toy Story 2), an even better nominee (Being John Malkovich) and a very good nominee (Man on the Moon), it still also has a mid-range *** film (Notting Hill) and a low *** film (Analyze This).  In the same year as Three Kings and Sweet and Lowdown, where if you put them in place of the last two, this year would rank at #2, that’s really unacceptable.  Sweet and Lowdown was even nominated for Actor while Election was nominated for Actress.  In fact, this year was full of very good choices that would have been better than those last two.  It’s a solid year, but it could have been a great one and the Globes missed their opportunity.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  American Beauty  (reviewed here and here)

2  –  Magnolia  (reviewed here)

3  –  The End of the Affair  (reviewed here)

Spain's greatest filmmaker wins a very deserved Oscar.

Spain’s greatest filmmaker wins a very deserved Oscar.

4  –  All About My Mother  (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

When I wrote my Top 100 Director post on Almodóvar, one commenter wrote that All About My Mother was much better than Talk to Her (the latter I had ranked as my #1 film by Almodóvar).  While I disagreed with him then and I disagree with him now, when I re-watched All About My Mother before doing my Nighthawk Awards for 1999, it took a leap up, passing over Three Kings and knocking that film, which had been in my Top 5 since the day it was released in theaters down to #6.  This is a truly great film, one that swept the Best Foreign Film Awards (it won five of the six critics awards and all four awards groups, making it the most successful Foreign Film in the history of the Consensus Awards).

This is a film that dives into all sorts of themes, themes that had been running around Almodóvar’s films for a while.  The idea of convincing relatives that organ should be used for transplants that was in The Flower of My Secret gets a wider scope here.  The culture of transsexuals and homosexuals in Barcelona and the way it interacts with the acting community is explored.  A look at the culture of acting itself and the way those people try to shield themselves off from the world around them is looked at.  The way that AIDS can come in and tear people apart gets an exploration.  In a different kind of film, with a different filmmaker, these things might have been exploited or reworked for comedic effects.  But Almodóvar knows what he is working with here and he knows the people involved.  More importantly, with the possible exceptions of Bergman and Woody Allen, there might not have ever been a greater director of women.

The story begins with a boy.  Or perhaps it begins with an actress that the boy is obsessed with.  Or maybe it begins with his mother.  Where does it end?  Does it end with the mother, who tries to find herself after she loses her son?  Does it end with a poor nun who is HIV positive and pregnant?  Does it end with her death and the birth of a child?  Does a child that comes into this world replace one that has been lost?  Can something new ever replace something that is lost?  Can we move beyond our pain and find something in joy?

These are questions that the film answers.  These are questions that the film doesn’t answer.  All of them are wrapped up in a truly magnificent performance by Cecilia Roth, one that absolutely deserved to be nominated for an Oscar.  They are contained in a screenplay by Pedro Almodóvar that also should have been nominated for an Oscar.  The Oscars got this partially right, in giving the film Best Foreign Film.  Then again, it was an easy choice.  As mentioned above, this film is 10 points higher than any other eligible film, making it the biggest slam-dunk winner for me in the category after 1985.

The films of Pedro Almodóvar make you think, about a lot of things.  But more importantly, they make you feel.  You may not always understand what you are feeling.  But you come out feeling something and feeling different and that’s the most important thing.

One final magnificent film from the man who may have been the greatest director of all-time.

One final magnificent film from the man who may have been the greatest director of all-time.

5  –  Eyes Wide Shut  (dir. Stanley Kubrick)

It’s a good thing I write these reviews because if Veronica reviewed this film it would be about three words long: “The damn piano!”  What bothered Veronica, of course, didn’t bother me, partially because I liked the score and partially because I liked the way it was used in the film.  It brings us to the recurring theme of the film and I’m not just talking about the music.  The piano heightens the tension throughout the film when we don’t know where things are going any more than the young doctor played by Tom Cruise does.

He and his wife are in the upper class, as could be expected by a successful doctor, especially one who clearly has rich friends.  But they are on the edge of a much different world, a world with secret sex orgies, with drugs and possibly murder.  If this had been in the hands of a different director, we would have a suspense film as the doctor tries to uncover the mystery of this society and eventually break them, exposing some kind of criminal scheme.  But neither the original source novel (written by Arthur Schnitzler, whose play Reigen, was made into the film La Ronde) nor the script from Kubrick (and Frederic Raphael) have any interest in that kind of film.  This is a descent into a dark night of the soul for the doctor.

Tom Cruise was perhaps the perfect actor to cast in such a role.  His young looks make him seem like a prodigy, a doctor with this level of success at such an age.  But he has always displayed depths below the surface of the good looks, as early as films like The Color of Money and Rain Man, where he had to play off the older, much more distinguished actors Paul Newman and Dustin Hoffman (both of whom won Oscars working with Cruise).  He can simultaneously seem like he is in charge of the situation while also seeming like he is in way over his head.  And to play him off his then wife Nicole Kidman, where their actual chemistry and sexual tension could play into things (the scene between the two of them when Kidman describes an affair that she is considered is masterful) was a brilliant move from Kubrick.  Cruise and Kidman have both proven themselves numerous times, but their first collaboration had been Days of Thunder (which was dreck) and this was the one time where they played off each other with considerable effect.

People weren’t quite certain what to make of this film when it came out.  Kubrick had died before it was released.  There were some edits made to the film so that it could receive an R rating.  The presence of Cruise and Kidman together, when Cruise hadn’t been in a film in three years was made a big part of the release strategy as it came out in mid-July and was a solid success but critical reviews were mixed and in the end, the only awards attention it received were a Golden Globe nomination for Score and a nomination from the Costume Designers Guild.  That’s all a shame because it’s one final brilliant success of darkness and sex and mystery and introspection from one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived and one of the few times in screen history that a married couple played a married couple on film with first-rate performances.

The Razzies:  So, they gave the Razzie to Wild Wild West, which is just outside my bottom 5.  They nominated Big Daddy, which is my second worst film of the year.  They nominated The Haunting, which is also just outside my bottom 5.  Those are three pretty good choices.  But then they went with the hype.  They gave the fourth nomination to The Blair Witch Project, which is not good, but I have as a mid-range ** film and it seemed more to be blow-back to one of the most financially (and P.R.) successful films of all-time than judging it completely on its merits, especially when you look at films like End of Days or Stigmata, which both earned acting nominations.  Then you get their nomination for Phantom Menace.  I won’t even bother with that, since I wrote about the film in my Year in Film.  That’s just the Razzies jumping on the bandwagon, going after something that was vulnerable and because they wanted to take down something big.  It won’t be the last time they do this.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo
  2. Big Daddy
  3. Funny Games
  4. Inspector Gadget
  5. End of Days

note:  The first two films are .5 films.  The next three are * films.  There are three other * films in this year, and in order, they are Stigmata, The Haunting and Wild Wild West.
The list of Presumably Crappy Films That I Would Confirm are Crappy But I Haven’t Seen Them and Don’t Intend to See Them are: Baby Geniuses, The Bachelor, Dudley-Do-Right, Forces of Nature, Idle Hands, Message in a Bottle, Mickey Blue Eyes, The Mod Squad, My Favorite Martian, Universal Soldier: The Return, Wing Commander.

I'll use the caption I'll use again in this spot for the sequel: Your Movie Sucks!

I’ll use the caption I’ll use again in this spot for the sequel: Your Movie Sucks!

Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo  (dir. Mike Mitchell)

We all have our own Saturday Night Live casts.  My cast is the one that was on the show when I was in high school: Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon and Phil Hartman.  But at the end of that stretch came a lot of new cast members, one of whom I liked (Mike Myers) and the rest of whom I didn’t much care for: Chris Rock, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and Rob Schneider.  This was reflected when they went off to do movies.  Now, my cast never had much success in films, but, sadly, the replacements did.  I say that’s sad because their films fucking suck.  Not all of them, of course, because there is a range of talent involved.  Chris Rock has done some good work and Punch Drunk Love proved that Adam Sandler could actually act if given a real director and script.  But that was it.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped them from making a wide range of terrible, terrible films.

Rob Schneider is the worst of the lot, in a couple of ways.  First of all, he has shown himself, more than once, to be a complete jackass.  In a famous moment of spite after his shitty sequel to this film was panned by a review, he took it upon himself to take out a full-age ad to lambast the reviewer and in a fit of arrogance proclaimed that the critic wasn’t fit to review the film as he had never won an award.  More recently, he decided to lambast John Lewis, claiming that Lewis was betraying the values of MLK, a ridiculously arrogant, presumptuous claim to make against a man who literally sat at the table with MLK.  Schneider continues to prove himself a jackass and he doesn’t have any talent to back up his idiocy.

Nothing Schneider has ever done has ever been remotely funny.  The closest he ever came was the “making copies” bit that first made him known at SNL.  Here he plays a pathetic fish tank cleaner who has to hire himself out as a prostitute to make enough money to replace the house he burned down.  Not a single thing about this film is funny.  Schneider constantly mugs and tries to be funny but always fails.  And he never really has sex with women (which is good, of course, because who would want him) but instead helps them with their problems.  Yeah, I saw that film and it was called Loverboy.  Now, I go on about how I can’t understand why Patrick Dempsey is considered McDreamy since he’s not all that good looking, but he’s Tom Cruise compared to Schneider.  And at least Loverboy was funny in some stretches.  This film isn’t.  It’s repulsive.  The women that Schneider ends up with all have some major issue, and of course, he helps them all.  You can see it coming a mile away, and since you can, you might as well not watch the film because it’s not worth it.

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   American Beauty  (9)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:   American Beauty  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:   American Beauty  (555)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  The Matrix
  • 2nd Place Award:  Magnolia  (Picture, Director, Original Screenplay)  ***
  • 6th Place Award:  Three Kings  (Picture, Director)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:   American Beauty  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:   American Beauty  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:   American Beauty  (470)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Boys Don’t Cry
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:   Being John Malkovich  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:   Three Kings  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:   Three Kings  (300)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  The Cradle Will Rock

Note:  * means a Nighthawk record up to this point; ** ties a Nighthawk record.

***  –  The Matrix I have as a mid-level *** film.  This is a year that doesn’t have any really weak films earning nominations.
****  –  The End of the Affair has more 2nd place finishes (Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography) but they add up to fewer points.

Progressive Leaders:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Wizard of Oz  /  The Godfather  (18)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  The Wizard of Oz  /  Bonnie and Clyde  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Bonnie and Clyde  (865)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards without winning Best Picture:  Frankenstein  /  The Magnificent Ambersons  /  Tom Jones  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Best Picture Nomination:  Yojimbo  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Nighthawk Award:  Throne of Blood (13)
  • Actor:  Jack Nicholson  (500)
  • Actress:  Katharine Hepburn  (560)
  • Director:   Akira Kurosawa  (765)
  • Writer:  Ingmar Bergman  (1040)
  • Cinematographer:  Sven Nykvist  (375)
  • Composer:  John Williams  (800)
  • Foreign Film:  Akira Kurosawa  (600)

Breakdown by Genre  (Foreign in parenthesis, best film in genre following, avg. score is afterwards, in parenthesis):

  • Drama:  101 (44)  –  American Beauty  (67.4)
  • Foreign:  67  –  All About My Mother  (66.5)
  • Comedy:  42 (6)  –  Being John Malkovich  (63.8)
  • Horror:  15 (2)  –  The Sixth Sense  (43.9)
  • Kids:  13 (3)  –  Toy Story 2  (50.2)
  • Crime:  8 (2)  –  The Limey  (59.5)
  • Suspense:  7 (2)  –  The Talented Mr. Ripley  (70)
  • Musical:  6 (3)  –  Topsy-Turvy  (76.5)
  • Sci-Fi:  5 (1)  –  Existenz  (71.8)
  • Action:  4 (1)  –  Fight Club  (72)
  • Fantasy:  3 (2)  –  Princess Mononoke  (72.7)
  • War:  2  –  Three Kings  (77)
  • Adventure:  2 (1)  –  The Deluge  (58)
  • Mystery:  2  –  The General’s Daughter  (48)
  • Western:  2  –  Grey Owl  (42)

Analysis:  The 4 Action films are the fewest since 1978 but the 72 average is the highest since 1964.  Drama films break 100 for the first time, but they will break 100 almost every year after this; they also have their highest average since 1967.  The 67 Foreign films are a new high.  The 15 Horror films are the most since 1990.  The 13 Kids films are the 3rd most to-date but it will be surpassed almost every year after this thanks to the large influx of animated films; they have their lowest average since 1987.  Sci-Fi films have their highest average since 1982.  Suspense films have their highest average since 1981.
For the first time since 1993 there are no Crime films in the Top 10.  But Topsy-Turvy is the first Top 10 Musical since 1991.  There are only 2 Comedies in the Top 20, the lowest since 1990.  There are no Crime films in the Top 20 for the first time since 1989.  There are 3 Suspense films in the Top 20 for the first time since 1987 and only the third time since 1950.

Studio Note:  Miramax is still the champ, with 20 films, a good five more than any other studio (Universal and Disney both have 15) but only lands in the Top 20 once (Princess Mononoke).  None of the majors do particularly well, with no average getting above 65.2, though they do account for 41% of the films, a number they won’t ever come close to again.  Gramercy and October merge to form USA Films, which has 5 films, including two in the Top 10 (Being John Malkovich, Topsy-Turvy).  You can read more about that in Sharon Waxman’s excellent Rebels on the Backlot.  Over a decade, I have seen 71 films from October and Gramercy and then 21 in the few years from USA before it morphs into Focus Features.  Lionsgate suddenly blooms, with 9 films, though none in the Top 20 (Dogma finishes at #21).
DreamWorks wins Best Picture, its only Nighthawk, but its first of three straight Oscar wins.  Warners is the only major with multiple Top 10 films, its first time doing that since 1992.  But Disney manages to have three Top 20 films for only the second time, joining 1994.

12 Films Eligible for Best Animated Film  (ranked, with stars, director and studio in parenthesis)

  1. Princess Mononoke  (****, Miyazaki, Ghibli (Miramax))
  2. Toy Story 2  (****, Lassetter / Unkrich, Pixar (Disney))
  3. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut  (***.5, Parker, Paramount)
  4. The Iron Giant  (***.5, Bird, Warner Bros)
  5. Perfect Blue  (***.5, Kon, Palm Pictures)
  6. Tarzan  (***, Buck / Lima, Disney)
  7. Lotus Lantern  (**.5, Chang, Shanghai Animation Film Studio)
  8. Manuelita  (**, Garcia Ferre, Columbia)
  9. A Monkeys Tale  (**, Laguionie, MK2 Diffusion)
  10. Doug’s 1st Movie  (*.5, Joyce, Disney)
  11. The King and I  (*.5, Rich, Warner Bros)
  12. Pokemon: The First Movie  (*.5, Yuyama / Haigney, Warner Bros)

Note:  Perfect Blue wasn’t Oscar eligible but oscars.org did list it before the site went dark.  Princess Mononoke also wasn’t eligible.  Lotus Lantern, Manuelita and Monkeys Tale weren’t listed.
Twelve films ties the most for a single year to this point, but after this year, only once will the total drop below 15.

64 Films Eligible for Best Foreign Film (alphabetical, with director and country in parenthesis – red are ****, blue are ***.5 – both those colors qualify for my Best Foreign Film Award; an asterisk means it was the Official selection for the Oscar, two asterisks were nominated, three asterisks won the Oscar):

  • Aimee and Jaguar  (Farberbock, Germany)  *
  • All About My Mother  (Almodovar, Spain)  ***
  • All My Loved Ones  (Minac, Slovakia)  *
  • Beau Travail  (Denis, France)
  • Beresina, or the Last Days of Switzerland  (Schmid, Switzerland)  *
  • Black Cat, White Cat  (Kusturica, Serbia)
  • Captain Pantoja and the Special Services  (Jose Lombardi, Peru)  *
  • The Color of Lies  (Chabrol, France)
  • The Colour of Paradise  (Majidi, Iran)  *
  • Criminal Lovers  (Ozon, France)
  • The Cup  (Norbu, Bhutan)  *
  • Earth  (Mehta, India)  *
  • East-West  (Wargnier, France)  **
  • The Emperor and the Assassin  (Chen, China)
  • The Famous Paparazzo  (Margineanu, Romania)  *
  • Ferdinand and Carolina  (Wertmuller, Italy)
  • From the Edge of the City  (Giannaris, Greece)  *
  • The Girl on the Bridge  (Leconte, France)
  • Gloomy Sunday  (Schubel, Germany)
  • Glue Sniffer  (Schneider, Venezuela)  *
  • Godzilla 2000  (Okawara, Japan)
  • Goya in Bordeaux  (Saura, Spain)
  • Here Comes the Dawn  (Urushadze, Georgia)  *
  • Herod’s Law  (Estrada, Mexico)
  • Himalaya  (Valli, Nepal)  **
  • I Stand Alone  (Noe, France)
  • Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade  (Okiura, Japan)
  • Journey to the Sun  (Ustaoglu, Turkey)
  • King of Comedy  (Chow, Hong Kong)
  • The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest  (Jancso, Hungary)  *
  • Lotus Lantern  (Chang, China)
  • Lover’s Grief Over the Yellow River  (Ning, China)  *
  • The Lovers of the Arctic Circle  (Medem, Spain)
  • Luna Papa  (Khudojnazarov, Tadjikistan)  *
  • Manuelita  (Garcia Ferre, Argentina)  *
  • Mifune  (Kragh-Jacobson, Denmark)  *
  • Molokh  (Sokurov, Russia)  *
  • A Monkeys Tale  (Laguionie, France)
  • Mrs. Salkim’s Diamonds  (Gintlioglu, Turkey)  *
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas  (Takahata, Japan)
  • No One Writes to the Colonel  (Ripstein, Mexico)  *
  • Not of This World  (Piccioni, Italy)  *
  • Not One Less  (Yimou, China)
  • Orfeu  (Diegues, Brazil)  *
  • Pan Tadeusz  (Wajda, Poland)  *
  • Pokemon: The First Movie  (Yuyama / Haigney, Japan)
  • Pola X  (Carax, France)
  • Red Dust  (Ogresta, Croatia)  *
  • Return of the Idiot  (Gedeon, Czech Republic)  *
  • Ringu 2  (Nakata, Japan)
  • Romance  (Breillat, France)
  • Rosetta  (Dardenne / Dardenne, Belgium)  *
  • Shiri  (Kang, South Korea)
  • Shower  (Zhang, China)
  • Solomon and Gaenor  (Morrison, UK)  **
  • Taboo  (Oshima, Japan)
  • Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train  (Chereau, France)
  • Three Seasons  (Bui, Vietnam)  *
  • Time Regained  (Ruiz, Chile)
  • Tuvalu  (Helmer, Germany)
  • Under the Sun  (Nutley, Sweden)  **
  • Une pour toutes  (Lelouch, France)
  • The Wind Will Carry Us  (Kiarostami, Iran)
  • Yana’s Friend  (Kaplun, Israel)  *

Note:  The 64 films are the highest to-date, though that number will be eclipsed as each of the next two years make huge jumps.  France leads the way again (of course) with 11 films, followed by Japan with 6.
I have my first films from Bhutan, Nepal and Tadjikistan (all first time submissions).  I have two films from Turkey for the first time.  I begin a three year stretch without any films from the Netherlands.  I have 5 films from China (a new high).  Germany reaches 90 total films, tying West Germany for 7th place; if all three Germany countries were counted together it would be in 4th place, way behind the top three, but way ahead of the #5.  Japan moves up to 292 total films to the 290 from Italy, passing Italy for the first time since 1971.
The 4 Kids films are the highest since 1989 and tied for the most in one year but Dramas continue to dominate, accounting once again for almost 2/3 of all the films.

Foreign Films Submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars That I Haven’t Seen:

  • Austria:  Northern Skirts  (dir. Albert)
  • Canada:  Set Me Free  (dir. Pool)
  • Colombia:  Time Out  (dir. Cabrera)
  • Finland:  The Tough Ones  (dir.  Makela)
  • Hong Kong:  Ordinary Heroies  (dir. Hui)
  • Iceland:  The Honour of the House  (dir.  Halldorsdottir)
  • Indonesia:  Sri  (dir.  Sumarno)
  • Japan:  Railroad Man  (dir. Furuhata)
  • Lebanon:  Around the Pink House  (dir. Joreige  /  Hadjithomas)
  • Netherlands:  Scratches in the Table  (dir. Houtman)
  • Norway:  The Prompter  (dir.  Heier)
  • Philippines:  The Kite  (dir. Portes)
  • Portugal:  The Mutants  (dir. Villaverde)
  • Serbia:  The White Suit  (dir. Ristovski)
  • Taiwan:  March of Happiness  (dir. Cheng-Sheng)

note:  At this point I am making a concerted effort to see as many submitted films as I can.  The full list can be found here.  This year I am a weak 32 for 47 (68%), the first of two straight drops before things finally get good.  The number of submissions goes up by two, for a new high.
The countries that are out after submitting in 1998 are Thailand (its last miss to date), Macedonia, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Morocco and Kyrgyzstan.  The first time submissions come from Nepal (nominated in its first try), Bhutan (its only submission to date) and Tadjikistan.  Returning after gaps are Peru, Vietnam, Georgia, Turkey (only one miss since) and Poland (no misses since).
This is my first miss (Lebanon), second (Colombia), third (Indonesia, Serbia), fifth (Philippines), sixth (Hong Kong, Portugal), eighth (Norway), ninth, including three in a row (Finland), 10th (Taiwan), 12th including four in a row (Canada), 14th (Netherlands), 14th out of 20 submissions (Iceland) and 16th (Austria, Japan)

Films Eligible in This Year But Originally Released in a Different Year:

  • The Deluge  (1974)
  • The Lovers on the Bridge  (1991)
  • Beyond the Clouds  (1995)
  • Midaq Alley  (1995)
  • The Stendahl Syndrome  (1995)
  • Floating Life  (1996)
  • The King of Masks  (1996)
  • Pusher  (1996)
  • Abre Los Ojos  (1997)
  • Bandits  (1997)
  • The Castle  (1997)
  • The City  (1997)
  • Destiny  (1997)
  • Funny Games  (1997)
  • The Harmonists  (1997)
  • Lucie Abrac  (1997)
  • The Mirror  (1997)
  • My Son the Fanatic  (1997)
  • Perfect Blue  (1997)
  • Princess Mononoke  (1997)
  • Same Old Song  (1997)
  • After Life  (1998)
  • The Apple  (1998)
  • Autumn Tale  (1998)
  • B.Monkey  (1998)
  • Besieged  (1998)
  • Cabaret Balkan  (1998)
  • Children of Heaven  (1998)
  • The Dinner Game  (1998)
  • The Dream Life of Angels  (1998)
  • Eternity and a Day  (1998)
  • Following  (1998)
  • Goodbye Lover  (1998)
  • The Grandfather  (1998)
  • Gypsy Lore  (1998)
  • Jeanne and the Perfect Guy  (1998)
  • L’Ennui  (1998)
  • Late August, Early September  (1998)
  • The Legend of 1900  (1998)
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels  (1998)
  • My Name is Joe  (1998)
  • The Red Violin  (1998)
  • Run Lola Run  (1998)
  • Show Me Love  (1998)
  • West Beirut  (1998)
  • Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl  (1998)

Note:  These 46 films average a 68.2, although if you take out Funny Games and Beseiged, it goes up to 70.2.  These films earn 10 Nighthawk nominations and win two awards, with only 5 of those being Foreign Film awards.  There are three **** films (Princess Mononoke, Run Lola Run, Following) and several ***.5 films.

Films That Weren’t Eligible at the Oscars:

  • Abre Los Ojos
  • The Acid House
  • The Apple
  • Autumn Tale
  • B.Monkey
  • Bandits
  • Beyond the Clouds
  • Black Cat, White Cat
  • Cabaret Balkan
  • The Castle
  • Children of Heaven
  • The Deluge
  • Destiny
  • The Dinner Game
  • The Dreamlife of Angels
  • Earth
  • Eternity and a Day
  • Floating Life
  • Following
  • Funny Games
  • The Gambler
  • The Grandfather
  • Gypsy Lore
  • The Harmonists
  • The King of Masks
  • Last Night
  • Late August, Early September
  • L’Ennui
  • The Lovers on the Bridge
  • Lucie Aubrac
  • Midaq Alley
  • The Mirror
  • New Rose Hotel
  • Perfect Blue
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Run Lola Run
  • Same Old Song
  • Show Me Love
  • The Stendhal Syndrome
  • Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train
  • West Beirut

Note:  This is different from the list below.  Starting in 1994, I have full lists from Academy press releases of all the eligible films.  But there are a lot of films in each year that weren’t officially eligible for a variety of reasons but were released in what would normally be considered qualifying runs.  So, these are films that were listed on oscars.org (unlike the list below), but weren’t actually eligible for the Oscars.  I ignore that, of course, and these films are all eligible for the Nighthawks.  But having them on the list helps me know what year they were “eligible” even if they really weren’t.  Bear in mind that some of these films were eligible (and sometimes even nominated) for Best Foreign Film in their original release year.

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • Beresina, or The Last Days of Switzerland
  • The Color of Lies
  • The Famous Paparazzo
  • Ferdinand and Carolina
  • Glue Sniffer
  • Grey Owl
  • Here Comes the Dawn
  • King of Comedy
  • Lotus Lantern
  • Lover’s Grief Over the Yellow River
  • Luna Papa
  • Manuelita
  • Molokh
  • A Monkeys Tale
  • Mrs. Salkim’s Diamons
  • New Adventures of Pinnochio
  • No One Writes to the Colonel
  • Pusher
  • Red Dust
  • Return of the Idiot
  • Une pour toutes

Note:  I used to use the list at Oscars.org for deciding which year films are eligible in before it went apparently defunct.  Thankfully, I copied all the lists while it was still live.  Some films, however, didn’t appear in that database.  For those films, I use the IMDb.  These are the films that weren’t listed in the Oscars.org database but that end up in this year.
As is usually the case, most of these are Foreign films which never got an L.A. release.  The films marked in orange were those that were submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars (not necessarily in this year).

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year:

  • Aimee and Jaguar  (2000)
  • Beau Travail  (2000)
  • Beautiful People  (2000)
  • The Colour of Paradise  (2000)
  • Criminal Lovers  (2000)
  • The Cup  (2000)
  • East is East  (2000)
  • East-West  (2000)
  • Fantasia 2000  (2000)
  • The Five Senses  (2000)
  • From the Edge of the City  (2000)
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai  (2000)
  • The Girl on the Bridge  (2000)
  • Godzilla 2000  (2000)
  • Goya in Bordeaux  (2000)
  • Grizzly Falls  (2000)
  • The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest  (2000)
  • Mifune  (2000)
  • The Ninth Gate  (2000)
  • Not of This World  (2000)
  • Not One Less  (2000)
  • Orfeu  (2000)
  • Pan Tadeusz  (2000)
  • Pola X  (2000)
  • Ratcatcher  (2000)
  • Running Free  (2000)
  • Shower  (2000)
  • Solomon and Gaenor  (2000)
  • Spring Forward  (2000)
  • Taboo  (2000)
  • The Terrorist  (2000)
  • Time Regaind  (2000)
  • The Wind Will Carry Us  (2000)
  • Wonderland  (2000)
  • Himalaya  (2001)
  • Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade  (2001)
  • Journey to the Sun  (2001)
  • Under the Sun  (2001)
  • Yana’s Friends  (2001)
  • Captain Pantoja and the Special Services  (2002)
  • Shiri  (2002)
  • Tuvalu  (2002)
  • All My Loved Ones  (2003)
  • Gloomy Sunday  (2003)
  • Herod’s Law  (2003)
  • A Slipping Down Life  (2004)
  • Ringu 2  (2005)
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas  (2011)

Note:  These 48 films average 62.3.  That’s because there are no **** films, only two ***.5 films (Aimee and Jaguar, Fantasia 2000) and those are balanced out by a *.5 film (Tuvalu) and a .5 film (Godzilla 2000).

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