One of cinema's great love stories. Along with a whole lot of other things. One of cinema's great films.

One of cinema’s great love stories. Along with a whole lot of other things. One of cinema’s great films.

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 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  *
  2. Traffic  *
  3. Almost Famous  *
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou
  5. Wonder Boys
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. High Fidelity
  8. The Virgin Suicides
  9. Billy Elliot
  10. Best in Show

Analysis:  Gladiator wins the Consensus easily in spite of not winning any critics awards.  It became just the fifth film to win the Oscar, Globe and BAFTA without having won any critics awards (one of which was Lawrence of Arabia, which was released in a year where there was no NYFC awards due to a strike).  But, with addition of the PGA in 1989 and the BFCA in 1995, Gladiator becomes the first film to win all five awards groups without having won a single critics group, something that has only happened once since (Argo).  It’s my #65 film of the year.  Almost Famous comes in second at the Consensus without an Oscar nom which is a rarity, but nothing compared to what will happen the next year.  Erin Brockovich, my #50, is the fifth Consensus nominee.  It’s also the first film to ever go 0 for 5 with the Best Picture awards (nominations from all five awards groups and losing all five), something which 14 films have done since and which has become quite common since the Best Picture lineup at the Oscars was expanded.
There are only 11 **** films on the year (the other is Chicken Run), making this a much weaker year than many recent years.  The Top 20 is the lowest in five years and there won’t be a lower one again until 2008.  Nonetheless, this year has some of my absolute favorite films of all-time, including Crouching Tiger, Almost Famous, O Brother, Wonder Boys and High Fidelity.
The Oscar Score is 43.6, the lowest since 1968, which is a little deceptive.  It’s because films below ***.5 don’t earn any points, so to have three *** nominees, even if they are mid ***, really hurts with the Oscar Score.

  • angleeBest Director
  1. Ang Lee  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)  *
  2. Steven Soderbergh  (Traffic)  **
  3. Joel Coen  (O Brother Where Art Thou)
  4. Cameron Crowe  (Almost Famous)  *
  5. Sofia Coppola  (The Virgin Suicides)
  6. Roger Donaldson  (Thirteen Days)
  7. Curtis Hanson  (Wonder Boys)
  8. Michael Winterbottom  (The Claim)
  9. Stephen Daldry  (Billy Elliot)  *
  10. Stephen Frears  (High Fidelity)

Analysis:  Soderbergh sets what is, by far, a new Consensus record and one which will probably never be broken.  But, that’s partially because five awards groups (Oscars, BAFTA, DGA, Globes, Satellites) nominate him twice.  He still would have set the record even without the extra five nominations but that record would only today (early 2017) be 7th place all-time without them.  He actually lost the DGA, BAFTA and Globe to Ang Lee, who sets a new high for a 2nd place finish at the Consensus, one that won’t be broken until 2011; Lee’s score is also higher than each of the next two winners.
Cameron Crowe earns his only Nighthawk directing nomination.  Sofia Coppola earns her first nomination.  Steven Soderbergh earns his second nomination.  Ang Lee earns his third nom (and second win).  Joel Coen earns his fifth nomination.
In 20th place on the list is Akira Kurosawa for his final film, Madadayo, released originally in 1993 but just now getting a U.S. release.  Kurosawa had been dead for two years by this point.  On my scaled points he gets two final points, moving up to 1110, three short of Alfred Hitchcock for #1, though, to be fair, Hitchcock made a lot more films than Kurosawa did.  They will hold those spots until Spielberg passes them both in 2015.
The Oscar Score is 63.2, the lowest between 1996 and 2008.  Soderbergh is the first Oscar winner not to have been the best choice among the nominees (1991-93, 96, 98-99) or worst choice among the nominees (1994-95, 97) since 1990.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  *
  2. Traffic  **
  3. Wonder Boys  *
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou  *
  5. High Fidelity  *
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. The Virgin Suicides
  8. Quills
  9. The Claim
  10. Aimee and Jaguar

Analysis:  The Coen Brothers earn their sixth writing nom, moving them up to 280 points, just one nom short of the Top 10, though it will take seven more years before they move up into the list.
The Consensus nominees are a little misleading.  Yes, all of my Top 5 earn Consensus nominations but Chocolat actually came in fourth while High Fidelity and O Brother tied for 5th place.  Traffic becomes the first script (adapted or original), since the inception of the BFCA in 1995, to sweep all five writing awards groups.  It has happened three times since, all with adapted scripts.
The top 5 isn’t as high as 1997 but it is the second best to-date and it hasn’t been matched since.
I have read all of the source material except Crouching Tiger and Aimee and Jaguar.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Almost Famous  **
  2. Billy Elliot  *
  3. Best in Show
  4. You Can Count on Me  *
  5. State and Main
  6. Nurse Betty
  7. Chicken Run
  8. Unbreakable
  9. Sitcom
  10. Chuck & Buck

Analysis:  David Mamet earns his third writing nom.  Cameron Crowe earns his fourth nom and his only win.
The other two Oscar (and Consensus) nominees were Erin Brockovich and Gladiator, two films that really didn’t deserve to have accolades for their writing.  They earned a combined five writing nominations while #5-10 on my list earned zero.
Just like American Beauty and Being John Malkovich the year before, Almost Famous (7 noms, 5 wins) and You Can Count on Me (6 noms, 4 wins) split 13 noms and 9 wins between them, taking home all the original screenplay awards.
Billy Elliot is the weakest #2 in this category in five years.  The Top 5 is also the weakest in five years.  In fact, the theme of the alternating categories continues.  From 1999 to 2003, Adapted will earn scores of 31, 41, 36, 40 (out of 45 maximum) while Original will earn 42, 32, 41, 36.  In all four years one will earn 40 or higher and the other won’t pass 36.
Almost Famous is the third straight Oscar winner to win the Nighthawk, the longest such streak since 1974-1977 and only the second streak of more than two years.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Michael Douglas  (Wonder Boys)  *
  2. John Cusack  (High Fidelity)
  3. George Clooney  (O Brother Where Art Thou)
  4. Jamie Bell  (Billy Elliot)
  5. Chow Yun-Fat  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  6. Geoffrey Rush  (Quills)  *
  7. Tom Hanks  (Cast Away)  **
  8. Ralph Fiennes  (Sunshine)
  9. Javier Bardem  (Before Night Falls)  *
  10. Russell Crowe  (Gladiator)  *

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for Jamie Bell and Chow Yun-Fat.  It’s the second nom for John Cusack and Michael Douglas.  It’s the third straight for Clooney but he’ll have to wait five years for his next one.
There’s not much consensus in this year.  For the only time post-1993 no actor wins more than three awards, three different actors win multiple awards and seven different actors win at least one award (none of which are SAG, which went to Benicio del Toro, who everyone else had as supporting).  Or just look at the fact that none of the Oscar nominees make my Top 5 (the fifth nominee, Ed Harris, is my #11).  In the year between his two Consensus awards, Russell Crowe wins his Oscar but comes in 2nd at the Consensus.
With no Oscar nominees in my Top 5, it looks like this would have a terrible Oscar Score, but with all five of them in the Top 11, it’s actually 75.7 which isn’t horrible.

  • Best Actress
  1. Laura Linney  (You Can Count on Me)  *
  2. Renee Zellweger  (Nurse Betty)
  3. Michelle Yeoh  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  4. Julia Roberts  (Erin Brockovich)  **
  5. Bjork  (Dancer in the Dark)
  6. Ellen Burstyn  (Requiem for a Dream)  *
  7. Joan Allen  (The Contender)  *
  8. Maria Schrader  (Aimee and Jaguar)
  9. Juliane Kohler  (Aimee and Jaguar)
  10. Cate Blanchett  (The Gift)

Analysis:  Roberts might seem like the Oscars were finally rewarding her for her career to that point (and because she was young and beautiful – starting in 1997, they really started making a turn towards that for several years), but, because the SAG award didn’t exist in 1992 and 1993, Roberts is actually the first lead actress to sweep all five awards groups, something that wouldn’t happen again until 2005.  She isn’t my choice, but there’s no question that she was easily the consensus choice.
Michelle Yeoh and Bjork earn their only Nighthawk noms.  Julia Roberts, surprisingly, earns her first.  Laura Linney earns her first.  Renee Zellweger earns her second.
The Oscar Score is 77.8, which for Actress is the lowest in six years, though all the other acting categories have had lower scores than that during that time.

  • thirteendaysBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Bruce Greenwood  (Thirteen Days)
  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Almost Famous)
  3. Benicio del Toro  (Traffic)  **
  4. Steven Culp  (Thirteen Days)
  5. Robert Downey, Jr.  (Wonder Boys)
  6. Dylan Baker  (Thirteen Days)
  7. Willem DaFoe  (Shadow of the Vampire)  *
  8. Fred Willard  (Best in Show)
  9. Mark Ruffalo  (You Can Count on Me)
  10. Jeff Bridges  (The Contender)  *

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Bruce Greenwood, Robert Downey and Steven Culp.  It’s the first nominations for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Benicio del Toro.
Del Toro has the most Consensus points between 1994 and 2007, even winning SAG for lead.  But, just like with Actor, I feel the awards missed the boat.  Hell, four of my top six earned a total of zero nominations.
The Oscar Score is a terrible 60.5, the lowest, not just for Supporting Actor, but for any acting category since 1969.

  • cthd-zhang-ziyiBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Zhang Ziyi  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  2. Frances McDormand  (Almost Famous)  **
  3. Frances McDormand  (Wonder Boys)  **
  4. Kate Hudson  (Almost Famous)  *
  5. Julie Walters  (Billy Elliot)  *
  6. Marcia Gay Harden  (Pollock)  *
  7. Kate Winslet  (Quills)
  8. Samantha Morten  (Jesus’ Son)
  9. Judi Dench  (Chocolat)  *
  10. Ludivine Seigner  (Water Drops on Burning Rocks)

Analysis:  Fran McDormand wins the Consensus for both roles because her three critics wins cited both roles.  Of the five awards groups, she would win the BFCA (which still didn’t have nominees at this point) and would lose the other four to four different actresses: Dench (SAG), Harden (Oscar), Walters (BAFTA) and Hudson (Globe).
Harden is still the only Oscar winner in this category to win without a SAG nomination (since SAG began in 1994) and the only one since 1992 to win without a Globe nomination.  In fifth place, she is the second lowest Oscar winner ever at the Consensus Awards (Geena Davis, in 1988, finished outside the Top 5).  She is one of only two Oscar winners since 1993 to win with only one other win (Tilda Swinton is the other).  She is the second straight Oscar winner (and second of three straight) to fail to earn a Nighthawk nomination.
Zhang Ziyi and Kate Hudson earn their only Nighthawk noms.  Marcia Gay Harden earns her first nom (she earns one because of the multiple for Fran).  Julie Walters earns her second.  Frances McDormand earns her fifth and sixth noms.
Fran is just the third second place finisher in the history of this category to earn my highest rating, joining Kari Sylwan (Cries and Whispers) and Dianne Wiest (A Room with a View) and there hasn’t been another one since.  The Top 5 isn’t quite as strong as 1996 but it is the second highest to-date, though each of the next two years will beat it.
The 83.3 Oscar Score is lower than the two previous years (and most years after this) but still the best of the acting categories in this year.
A year after Angelina Jolie fails to earn a Nighthawk nom, Marcia Gay Harden finishes outside my Top 5 – the first time consecutive Oscar winners finish outside my Top 5 since 1964-65.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Traffic
  3. Almost Famous
  4. High Fidelity
  5. O Brother Where Art Thou
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. Wonder Boys
  8. The Virgin Suicides
  9. Billy Elliot
  10. Unbreakable

Analysis:  The Oscars might not have done well with the acting, but they did with Editing.  With four nominees in my Top 7, the Oscar Score is 80.0, the highest since 1991 and the third highest to-date.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  **
  2. O Brother Where Art Thou  *
  3. The Virgin Suicides
  4. The Claim
  5. Traffic
  6. Unbreakable
  7. Solomon and Gaenor
  8. Quills
  9. Cast Away
  10. Winter Sleepers

Analysis:  Roger Deakins (O Brother) earns his sixth nomination and moves up to 150 points and a three-way tie for 7th place.
Crouching Tiger ties Schindler’s List Consensus record of 7 nominations, but, like Schindler, fails to win the ASC.  It loses the ASC to The Patriot.  No film will have more Consensus points again until 2011.
O Brother is the weakest #2 in this category since 1982.  The Top 5 is the weakest in five years.  The Oscar Score isn’t any better; at 63.9, its the lowest in five years and the third lowest since 1980.  In spite of that, Crouching Tiger is the third straight Oscar winner to win the Nighthawk, only the second such streak (following 1960-62) and in 2001 the streak will stretch to four years.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Requiem for a Dream
  3. Unbreakable
  4. The Claim
  5. Chocolat
  6. Gladiator
  7. Winter Sleepers
  8. Malena
  9. Sunshine
  10. X-Men

Analysis:  These are the second straight nominations for Michael Nyman and Rachel Portman.  It’s the first nominations for Tan Dun and Clint Mansell and the second nom for James Newton Howard.  It’s the first time in four years that John Williams doesn’t earn a nomination.
The score for Requiem is the first 2nd place finish in this category for a score that earns my highest rating since 1993, though, with John Williams competing against Lord of the Rings, it will happen again each of the next two years.
Another weak category for the Oscar Score.  It’s 65.8, the lowest in ten years and the second lowest since 1979.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. The Perfect Storm
  3. Almost Famous
  4. High Fidelity
  5. Cast Away
  6. X-Men
  7. Space Cowboys
  8. Gladiator
  9. Thirteen Days
  10. O Brother Where Art Thou

Analysis:  Gladiator is the second straight Oscar winner to fail to earn a Nighthawk nom, the first time this has happened in this category since 1968-69.

  • crouching_tiger_hidden_dragon_zhang_ziyi4Best Art Direction:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Quills
  3. O Brother Where Art Thou
  4. The Claim
  5. The Cell
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  7. The Virgin Suicides
  8. High Fidelity
  9. Aimee and Jaguar
  10. The House of Mirth

Analysis:  Quills is the lowest #2 in this category since 1986.  Crouching Tiger wins it by a mile.  The Top 5 is the weakest since 1986.  Also, by going with films like Gladiator and Vatel rather than O Brother, The Claim or The Cell, the Oscar Score is 75.8, the lowest in five years.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. X-Men
  3. The Perfect Storm
  4. Hollow Man
  5. The Cell
  6. Gladiator
  7. Mission: Impossible 2
  8. Cast Away
  9. Space Cowboys
  10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Analysis:  After doing it only twice from 1964 to 1997, for the second time in three years, the Academy gives the Oscar to the weakest of the nominees.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. The Perfect Storm
  3. X-Men
  4. Gladiator
  5. Space Cowboys
  6. Cast Away
  7. Thirteen Days
  8. Mission: Impossible 2
  9. U-571
  10. Fantasia 2000

Analysis:  With the advent of better sound technology, this is the second best Top 5 to-date, yet is weaker than each of the next ten years.  For the second year in a row, the Oscar goes to the weakest nominee (there were only two nominees), the only times this has happened in consecutive years in this category.  In fact, this is the first time in the history of the category where there were even back-to-back Oscar winners that aren’t the best choice of the nominees.

  • cthd-costumesBest Costume Design:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. O Brother Where Art Thou
  3. Quills
  4. Gladiator
  5. The Claim
  6. Sunshine
  7. The House of Mirth
  8. Aimee and Jaguar
  9. Solomon and Gaenor
  10. Vatel

Analysis:  The Top 5 is the weakest since 1987 and this category won’t be this weak again until 2009.  Crouching Tiger easily wins this and I can’t fathom how the Oscars didn’t see that.
The other two Oscar nominees were the Grinch and, somehow, 102 Dalmations.  That results in an Oscar Score of 72.7, the lowest since 1989.

  • Best Makeup
  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  3. X-Men
  4. Shadow of the Vampire
  5. The Cell
  6. The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
  7. Quills
  8. Gladiator

Analysis:  The Grinch is a crappy film but the makeup was good.  It’s the first Oscar winner to win the Nighthawk since 1994.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “A Love Before Time”  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  2. Things Have Changed”  (Wonder Boys)
  3. Someday Out of the Blue”  (The Road to El Dorado)
  4. I Have Seen It All”  (Dancer in the Dark)
  5. Fever Dog”  (Almost Famous)
  6. New World”  (Dancer in the Dark)

Analysis:  Oscars.org, when it existed, listed songs from different films.  They listed 52 songs, from 35 different films.  I have seen 26 of those films, accounting for 43 songs.  They don’t list “Cvalda”, which is actually my top song from Dancer in the Dark, so I didn’t include it, but it would have been fourth on the list.  I’m surprised how much I did like the songs given that I agree with Dan Savage, that Bjork is a wailing Icelandic banshee.
A really really weak year.  It’s the weakest Top 5 since 1981 and as you can see, I only have six songs on my entire list.

  • chicken_run_ver2Best Animated Film:
  1. Chicken Run  **
  2. Fantasia 2000  *

Analysis:  It’s the first Nighthawk nomination and win for Aardman (because it’s their first feature film), who will also win in 2005 and 2006 and will eventually have the fourth most points, behind only Disney, Pixar and Ghibli.
Chicken Run sets a new Consensus high with 5 noms and 4 wins, the first film to ever win multiple critics awards (the NBR award is new this year and it’s only the second year of the NYFC) but it actually loses the Annie to Toy Story 2 because of their bizarre eligibility dates at this point.  There are many who believe that the lack of any Oscar recognition for Chicken Run (in any category) helps lead to the Animated Film category being instituted the next year.

  • crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon_poster_goldposter_com_7Best Foreign Film:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  **
  2. Amores Perros  *
  3. The Princess and the Warrior
  4. Faithless
  5. The Widow of St. Pierre
  6. Under the Sand
  7. Divided We Fall
  8. The Road Home
  9. Code Unknown

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  There are none listed this year because every submitted film that made my list earned a nomination.

Analysis:  After three straight nominations in the 90’s, Ang Lee (and Taiwan) wins his first Nighthawk.  Mexico earns its first nomination in eight years.  For the first time since 1982-83, Japan has no nominee for two straight years.
Tom Tykwer and Patrice LeConte both earn their second nominations.  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu earns his first.  Michael Haneke earns his first Top 10 finish.  Zhang Yimou earns his first Top 10 finish in five years, but it’s his first of three straight (though with only one nomination to show for it).
Crouching Tiger is the best winner in this category since Cries and Whispers and is the sixth winner in this category to earn a 99 (joining Grand Illusion, Children of Paradise, Rashomon, The Seventh Seal and Cries and Whispers).  Amores Perros is the best #2 in this category since 1987 and The Princess and the Warrior is the best #3 since 1988.  It’s the best Top 5 in this category since 1973 and the 7th best to-date.  Though the Top 10 is beaten by 1997 and 1994, it’s still the 8th best to-date.
A year after All About My Mother becomes only the second film to sweep the Oscar, Globe and BAFTA (and the first to also win the BFCA), Crouching Tiger does the same, though it wins two fewer critics awards than Mother did.  No film will win all three awards again until 2012.
Because every submitted film that earned ***.5 or better earned a nomination, the Oscar Score is a perfect 100 for only the second time since 1985 and for the last time to-date.
Crouching Tiger is the second straight Oscar winner to win the Nighthawk, the first time this has happened since 1973-74.  No Oscar winner will win the Nighthawk again until 2011.

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.

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (810)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup, Original Song
  • Almost Famous   (320)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Sound, Original Song
  • O Brother Where Art Thou  (255)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Wonder Boys  (230)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Song
  • Traffic  (215)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography
  • High Fidelity  (120)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Sound
  • You Can Count on Me  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Billy Elliot  (105)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Thirteen Days  (90)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Claim  (85)
    • Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • The Virgin Suicides  (70)
    • Director, Cinematography
  • The Perfect Storm  (60)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • X-Men  (50)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • The Cell  (50)
    • Art Direction, Visual Effects, Makeup
  • Dancer in the Dark  (45)
    • Actress, Original Song
  • Best in Show  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • State and Main  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Chicken Run  (40)
    • Animated Film
  • Nurse Betty  (40)
    • Actress
  • Erin Brockovich  (35)
    • Actress
  • Quills  (35)
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Gladiator  (35)
    • Sound Editing, Costume Design
  • Unbreakable  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Chocolat  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Requiem for a Dream  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Cast Away  (20)
    • Sound
  • Hollow Men  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • Space Cowboys  (20)
    • Sound Editing
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas  (20)
    • Makeup
  • Fantasia 2000  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Madadyo  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1993)
  • Sitcom  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1998)
  • Aimee and Jaguar  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1999)
  • Shadow of the Vampire  (10)
    • Makeup
  • The Road to El Dorado  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  Lead by Crouching Tiger, the winners, as a whole, are the best to-date, although they will be beaten by each of the next two years.  The Tech winners, as a whole, are the best since 1990 and tied with several years for the top to-date.  The second place finishers, on the whole, however, are the weakest in five years, most notably in the Tech categories.  The difference between the winners and the #2 finishers are the highest since 1991 and the second highest since 1983.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Winter Sleepers

Analysis:  My #19 film, a high ***.5 film from Tom Tykwer.  Its best finish is 6th place (in Foreign Film in 1997, a very good year in that category) and it earns two other Top 10 finishes (Cinematography, Original Score), as well as four more Top 20 finishes.

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

  • Criminal Lovers

Analysis:  My #25 film, a high *** from Francois Ozon, but as a *** film it doesn’t make the Foreign Film list and its only Top 20 finish is in 19th place, for Best Director.  Every film that earns **** or ***.5 earns at least one Top 10 finish.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Patriot

Analysis:  Pair a star who likes his blood with a crappy director and get a pretty bad film about the American Revolution.  But the guilds liked it (it won the ASC and two Makeup awards and earned nominations for Sound, Art Direction and Sound Editing) and it earned three Oscar nominations (Cinematography, Sound, Score).  It did make my list for Cinematography (18th place) and Sound (16th place).

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Traffic
  3. Thirteen Days
  4. The Virgin Suicides
  5. Billy Elliot

Analysis:  Crouching Tiger actually won Best Foreign Film, making it ineligible for Best Picture at the Globes.
All five of these films are **** but that’s it for **** Dramas in this year.  The ***.5 films, in order are: The Claim, X-Men, Unbreakable, You Can Count on Me, Aimee and Jaguar, Winter Sleepers, Quills, Madadayo and Sunshine.

  • Best Director
  1. Ang Lee  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  2. Steven Soderbergh  (Traffic)
  3. Sofia Coppola  (The Virgin Suicides)
  4. Roger Donaldson  (Thirteen Days)
  5. Michael Winterbottom  (The Claim)

Analysis:  It’s a director who’s winning for the second time followed by four directors earning their only Drama noms.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Traffic
  3. Thirteen Days
  4. The Virgin Suicides
  5. Quills
  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Billy Elliot
  2. You Can Count on Me
  3. Unbreakable
  4. Yi Yi
  5. Cast Away

Analysis:  A really, really weak year, the worst since 1984.  Billy Elliot is also the weakest winner since 1984.  It earns less than half the points of the year before.

  • jamie-bellBest Actor:
  1. Jamie Bell  (Billy Elliot)
  2. Chow Yun-Fat  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  3. Geoffrey Rush  (Quills)
  4. Tom Hanks  (Cast Away)
  5. Ralph Fiennes  (Sunshine)

Analysis:  This is the only Drama nom for Jamie Bell and Chow Yun-Fat, the first Geoffrey Rush, and the second for Tom Hanks.  It’s the sixth for Ralph Fiennes in just eight years and he is now up to 305 points.
With the top three actors on my overall list in Comedy, this is the weakest Top 5 in Drama since 1987 and Jamie Bell is also the weakest winner since 1987.  The other three Globe nominees were Michael Douglas (listed by me in Comedy), Javier Bardem (my #6) and Russell Crowe (my #7).

  • linneyBest Actress
  1. Laura Linney  (You Can Count on Me)
  2. Michelle Yeoh  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  3. Julia Roberts  (Erin Brockovich)
  4. Ellen Burstyn  (Requiem for a Dream)
  5. Joan Allen  (The Contender)

Analysis:  The fifth Globe nominee was Bjork (see Comedy Actress), so the Globes did a solid job with this one.
Michelle Yeoh earns her only Drama nom, Laura Linney and Julia Roberts earn their first, Joan Allen her fifth and Ellen Burstyn her fifth (and first since 1980).

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Bruce Greenwood  (Thirteen Days)
  2. Benicio del Toro  (Traffic)
  3. Steven Culp  (Thirteen Days)
  4. Dylan Baker  (Thirteen Days)
  5. Willem DaFoe  (Shadow of the Vampire)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Dylan Baker and Willem DaFoe and the first for Benicio del Toro.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Zhang Ziyi  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  2. Julie Walters  (Billy Elliot)
  3. Marcia Gay Harden  (Pollock)
  4. Kate Winslet  (Quills)
  5. Samantha Morten  (Jesus’ Son)

Analysis:  Zhang Ziyi and Julie Walters earn their only Drama noms, Marcia Gay Harden earns her first, Samantha Morten earns her second and Kate Winslet her fourth.

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (400)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Thirteen Days  (255)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Billy Elliot  (230)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Traffic  (165)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • The Virgin Suicides  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • You Can Count on Me  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Quills  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Cast Away  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor
  • The Claim  (45)
    • Director
  • Unbreakable  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Yi Yi  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Sunshine  (35)
    • Actor
  • Erin Brockovich  (35)
    • Actress
  • The Contender  (35)
    • Actress
  • Requiem for a Dream  (35)
    • Actress
  • Shadow of the Vampire  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Jesus’ Son  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • Pollock  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  There are 5 more films than the year before.  The Drama categories, as a whole, are the second weakest since 1988 and there won’t be a weaker year until 2009.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • X-Men

Analysis:  My #14 film of the year and the #7 Drama.  But none of the acting is strong enough to make the list.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Almost Famous
  2. O Brother Where Art Thou
  3. Wonder Boys
  4. High Fidelity
  5. Best in Show

Analysis:  This is the best Top 5 in four years, though 2001 will soundly defeat it.  Almost Famous is also the best winner in four years.
For once, there are actually more **** Comedy films than Drama, with Chicken Run not making the Top 5.  There are then a few ***.5 films as well: State and Main, Nurse Betty, Fantasia 2000 and Sitcom.

  • Best Director
  1. Joel Coen  (O Brother Where Art Thou)
  2. Cameron Crowe  (Almost Famous)
  3. Curtis Hanson  (Wonder Boys)
  4. Stephen Frears  (High Fidelity)
  5. David Mamet  (State and Main)

Analysis:  Curtis Hanson, Stephen Frears and David Mamet all earn their only Comedy noms.  Cameron Crowe, on the other hand, earns his fourth nomination (every film he’s directed to this point) and Joel Coen finally wins with his sixth nomination.  That moves Coen up to 315 Comedy points and a tie for 6th place.  Coen, like Crowe, has earned a nomination for every Comedy film he’s directed up to this point but also has two Drama noms.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Wonder Boys
  2. O Brother Where Art Thou
  3. High Fidelity
  4. Fever Pitch
  5. Chocolat

Analysis:  This is the fifth Comedy writing nom for the Coen Brothers; this puts them at 240 points and they move into the Top 10.
This is a very solid Top 5, tied for the second highest to-date with 1964 and behind only 1940.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Almost Famous
  2. Best in Show
  3. State and Main
  4. Nurse Betty
  5. Chicken Run

Analysis:  This is the only Comedy writing nom for David Mamet.  It’s the fifth nomination and third win for Cameron Crowe, moving him to 320 points and a tie for 7th place.
This is the weakest Top 5 in five years but it’s still a hell of a lot better than the Drama Top 5.

  • wonder_boys_173Best Actor:
  1. Michael Douglas  (Wonder Boys)
  2. John Cusack  (High Fidelity)
  3. George Clooney  (O Brother Where Art Thou)
  4. William H. Macy  (State and Main)
  5. Colin Firth  (Fever Pitch)

Analysis:  Michael Douglas was nominated at the Globes in Drama.  The other Globe nominees were Mel Gibson (What Women Want), Jim Carrey (Grinch) and Robert De Niro (Meet the Parents).  The Carrey nomination is tolerable but the other two aren’t.  If they had been daring, they could have gone with Donal Logue for The Tao of Steve.
It’s the only Comedy nom for Colin Firth.  Remember, by the way, that this is the British Fever Pitch, the one actually about soccer, like the book.  It’s the second for William H. Macy and Michael Douglas, the third for John Cusack and the third straight for Clooney.

  • still-of-renee-zellweger-in-nurse-betty-2000-large-pictureBest Actress
  1. Renee Zellweger  (Nurse Betty)
  2. Bjork  (Dancer in the Dark)
  3. Emily Watson  (Trixie)
  4. Juliette Binoche  (Chocolat)
  5. Tracey Ullman  (Smalltime Crooks)

Analysis:  Bjork was nominated for Drama, making me wonder how the Globes missed that the film is a Musical (yes, the subject is dark, but it’s still a Musical).  They nominated Brenda Blethyn (Saving Grace), which is barely tolerable and Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality) which is not.
Bjork, Emily Watson, Juliette Binoche and Tracey Ullman earn their only Comedy noms.  Renee Zellweger earns her second nom and first win; it’s also the first of four straight noms for her.
Renee Zellweger is the strongest winner in this category in four years.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Almost Famous)
  2. Robert Downey, Jr.  (Wonder Boys)
  3. Fred Willard  (Best in Show)
  4. Morgan Freeman  (Nurse Betty)
  5. Jack Black  (High Fidelity)

Analysis:  It’s the only Comedy nom for Fred Willard, the first for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jack Black and the second for Morgan Freeman and Robert Downey.
This is the 5th best Top 5 in this category to-date and it won’t be beaten again until 2013.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Frances McDormand  (Almost Famous)
  2. Frances McDormand  (Wonder Boys)
  3. Kate Hudson  (Almost Famous)
  4. Judi Dench  (Chocolat)
  5. Lupe Ontiveros  (Chuck & Buck)

Analysis:  Kate Hudson and Lupe Ontiveros earn their only Comedy noms, Judi Dench earns her second and Frances McDormand earns her second win and second and third noms.
This Top 5 is weaker than each of the last two years but stronger than almost all years before 1998.
Frances McDormand is just the fourth person in this category to earn my highest rating, joining Harriet Andersson (Smiles of a Summer Night) and Dianne Wiest (A Room with a View, Bullets over Broadway).

  • Almost Famous  (375)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Wonder Boys  (305)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • O Brother Where Art Thou  (215)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • High Fidelity  (200)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Nurse Betty  (140)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Best in Show  (120)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • State and Main  (120)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Chocolat  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Fever Pitch  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Chicken Run  (75)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Dancer in the Dark  (35)
    • Actress
  • Smalltime Crooks  (35)
    • Actress
  • Trixie  (35)
    • Actress
  • Chuck and Buck  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  The Comedy categories, as a whole, are the third best to-date and won’t be beaten until 2013.  The winners, on the whole, are also tied for the third best to-date and also won’t be beaten until 2013.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Fantasia 2000

Analysis:  My #22 film of the year and my #9 Comedy / Musical.  But it doesn’t have any acting, or really, any script, so the only place it even makes the list is in Picture.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  215

By Stars:

  • ****:  11
  • ***.5:  13
  • ***:  98
  • **.5:  44
  • **:  26
  • *.5:  9
  • *:  8
  • .5:  5
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  59.54

Analysis:  The score plummets by almost four points.  It’s the lowest score since 1987 and the biggest drop since 1974.  It’s because there are three more films than the year before, but fewer **** and ***.5 films combined in this year than there were ***.5 films in 1999.  In fact, the **** and ***.5 only make up 11.16% of the total films, the lowest total since 1986.  The films that are *** or better only make up 56.74% of the total films, the lowest since 1992.

My Year at the Theater:

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

  • Fantasia 2000  –  I don’t remember this as one of the early first dates with Veronica, so maybe it wasn’t.  I did love it, though, especially the flamingo with the yo-yo.  Not as good as the original (although Veronica definitely prefers this one) but still very good.
  • The Tigger Movie  –  This was definitely an early date with Veronica.  Mediocre at best, but still, I have always identified with Tigger and there are some great fun moments (“I’m sinking.  No one will miss me.”).
  • Wonder Boys  –  Definitely an early date with Veronica.  Had seen the trailer, so I read the book, recommended the book at work (Barnes & Noble, where Veronica and I both worked) and then we went to the film and I bought the soundtrack.
  • High Fidelity  –  Another early date with Veronica.  I had read her copy of the book and loved it, thought it was me, as should be obvious from my full review of it.
  • Gladiator  –  Went to this on May 7, the opening Sunday, with George and John Ramirez (who had moved out to Portland and was my new roommate) immediately upon conclusion of the Heat-Knicks playoff game (we had to rush out of the house as soon as the game ended although we lived only a few blocks from Westgate theater where we were seeing it).  “I am terribly vexed,” immediately entered the pantheon for John and I for worst line readings ever (along with “You rebel scum” and “Is it still raining?  I hadn’t noticed.”).
  • Mission: Impossible II  –  Veronica and I were working at the bookstore at PCC – Rock Creek and we had a co-worker, Julie, who was great at getting movie passes.  She had a pass to the preview of this and the three of us saw it together at the Lloyd Center the week before it opened.  V and I were both into John Woo (he hadn’t really begun to suck yet) and were excited, although the movie is kind of meh.  Still, had a two guns held sideways scene.  And pigeons.
  • Me, Myself and Irene  –  Circumstances arose that ended with me leaving the job at PCC.  George and Dustin took me to this to cheer me up.  It would have failed miserably if not for the foul-mouthed genius sons who are pretty damn funny.
  • Chicken Run  –  I have always been able to remember the release date of Chicken Run because of its awesome parody of the Gladiator ads.  “On June 23rd, a chicken will rise” has been said by me so much that Veronica could probably tell you the release date for Chicken Run by now.  Still one of my all-time favorite ads.
  • Scary Movie  –  Another movie for John and I on opening weekend at Westgate.  Very uneven with some funny lines (“We’re here reporting live for ‘Black T.V.’, white folks are dead so we gettin’ the fuck out of here.  Drive, motherfucker, drive!”).  “Drive, motherfucker, drive!” became one of the things John would say to me for a while.
  • X-Men  –  Another one that Julie got a pass for which delighted me no end for any number of reasons.  1 – I have been an X-Men fan pretty much my whole life, but most especially since 1984 when my brother John brought home The Dark Phoenix Saga.  2 – I had been waiting for a really good comic book movie (as Dork Tower put it, although they were talking about Spider-Man: “They made good comic book movies before you know.”  “The suckiness of Batman & Robin negated it.  It’s a matter / anti-matter thing.”).  3 – I had been a big Ian McKellen fan since Richard III and now he was not only Magneto, but he had already finished filming his role as Gandalf.  4 – I was a ST:TNG fan, so having Patrick Stewart as Professor X was awesome.  I was not disappointed by this film.  It was exactly what I wanted: not a storyline from one of the actual comics, but completely true to the characters.  I saw this with Veronica, Kari (the first meeting between V and K) and Julie.
  • The Replacements  –  It had been a month with no good movies to go see.  Veronica and I were at the Bite in Portland and she wanted to go to this (she likes Keanu) so I said “Fine, but then in a couple of weeks we’re going to see Kirsten Dunst in the cheerleader outfit.”  She was okay with that.
  • Bring It On  –  I totally had the right idea.  My movie was actually pretty good and hers sucked (she will fully admit to both things).  I remember we saw this at Westgate and saw a trailer for the movie we both knew would be the next movie we would see.
  • Almost Famous  –  The trailer won us over.  Then we saw it on opening night and the film won us over.  Completely.  We saw it together at Evergreen.  Then I took John to see it in downtown Portland a week or so later.  He had the best reaction: “Can you imagine having to be the factcheck girl at Rolling Stone?  ‘Hunter, what is this shit?'”
  • Dancer in the Dark  –  This is a little deceptive.  This came out in mid-September but John and I saw it on Thanksgiving day.  I had really liked Breaking the Waves and didn’t know that I would soon loathe von Trier and his films.  John liked Bjork (yeah, our musical tastes don’t line up all that much).  So, down in San Jose for Thanksgiving, we went to Taco Bell for lunch then watched this.  We ended up in the front row.  Thanks to the combination of Taco Bell and the shaky camerawork, we spent the rest of the day completely nauseous.
  • Best in Show  –  This opened in late September but Veronica and I probably didn’t see it until it expanded in mid-October.  We loved it.  Loved Fred Willard in it and every idiotic thing he said.
  • Billy Elliot  –  This opened in mid-October but I probably didn’t see it (I’m fairly certain I saw it alone) until awards season started in December.  Great film, great performance.
  • Pay It Forward  –  Veronica and I saw this together and she just bawled.  Not very good.
  • Charlie’s Angels  –  Definitely a Veronica choice.  I’ve never even seen the show and I don’t much care for two of three angels (I do like Lucy Liu).
  • Unbreakable  –  Another movie John and I saw at Thanksgiving.  We saw it the day after Thanksgiving at the Century theater in San Jose where I had worked in 1994 and where John’s aunt had been the regional manager.  Excellent film and John and I both really liked it and felt it had been badly marketed.
  • Quills  –  Awards season had begun with the NBR as it often does, and Quills won Best Picture.  Veronica and I had discussed seeing it together, but it turns out we both went to see it separately that weekend and then were both so disturbed that we both said to the other that if they wanted to see it, they had to see it alone.  I have seen it once since (I have already written it up for the Adapted Screenplay project) and it’s still disturbing.  Joaquin Phoenix was much, much better in this than in his Oscar nominated role in Gladiator.  He won the NBR for both.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  –  I know almost nothing about this before Veronica and I saw a trailer for it.  We both liked Chow Yun-Fat (because of the John Woo films) and she had made me a fan of The Heroic Trio which not only had Michelle Yeoh, but also the kind of visual effects on display here (yes, that was our frame of reference for that kind of thing, not The Matrix).  Then it started getting awards attention (it won Best Picture at the LAFC and earned a Best Director nomination at the Globes).  They decided, instead of just waiting for the expected wider rollout on 12 January, to put it in a bunch more screens starting the weekend before Christmas.  However, Portland couldn’t do that – the film was locked into an exclusive first-run at Cinema 21 and because of the way Cinema 21 worked, the day couldn’t be moved.  However, thanks to the fairly new arrival of Fandango, I was able to find a theater where it was playing in Seattle.  So, Veronica and I drove all the way to Seattle on Friday, 29 December and saw it there.  It was a three hour drive each way and almost cost us a hotel room because we made it back to the parking garage with less than five minutes before they closed, but it was totally worth it.  One of the greatest films ever made.
  • Chocolat  –  Veronica and I went to see this, probably around the time of the Oscar nominations.
  • Thirteen Days  –  I saw this with John on opening day.  We drove all the way out to the Century at Eastport, since we had both worked at Century theaters.  It moved both of us greatly, as we are both JFK and RFK fans and John’s mother is actually related to the Kennedys.  Coming out of the theater, we discussed what might have happened if not for that bastard Sirhan Sirhan and what Robert McNamara might have done if he hadn’t been side-tracked by Vietnam.  This showing also had the trailer for Fellowship of the Ring which put me through the roof.
  • O Brother Where Art Thou  –  Veronica and I went to see this with Michael Cappabianca at the Fox Tower, which was still really new.  Simply loved it.  Hilarious.
  • State and Main  –  I think John and I went to this.  Quite good and surprising to see Mamet could do a comedy like this.
  • The Gift  –  Definitely saw this with Veronica.  She’s always been big on Sam Raimi, plus it had Cate Blanchett (it also had Keanu, for her).  Quite good.
  • Traffic  –  I think I went to see this on my own.  Great film and I was stunned when it didn’t win Best Picture after it won all its other nominations.  You know, no big deal, it was only the first film in nearly half a century to win Director and Screenplay but not win Picture.
  • Shadow of the Vampire  –  I must have seen this with Veronica because she’s seen this.  DaFoe is good but the film never quite rises above ***.

Endnote:  That’s actually one fewer film than the year before, which wasn’t what I was expecting.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  There is a drop from 1999, down from #42 to #50.  This is the last dip before a stretch of really strong years and there won’t be a weaker year until 2008 (in fact, 2008 is the only year since that is weaker).  Yes, it has Crouching Tiger (#14) and Traffic (#67).  Traffic is the 13th best #2 film.  But then it has three mid *** films.  Erin Brockovich is the 5th weakest #3 film.  The year, in a sense, is saved by Gladiator from being worse.  Yes, it’s in the bottom 10 of Oscar winners (10th worst).  But, at #408, it’s well in the middle of the pack for being the weakest nominee of the year.  It does continue the streak, though, which began in 1991, of the Academy giving the Oscar to either the best of the nominees or the worst, a streak that won’t end until 2004.  At #65 in the year, Gladiator is also only the 8th winner to finish outside the Top 50 in its year.

The Winners:  The winners, overall, average 6.74, worse than each of the previous two years.  But that’s mainly because of the 65th place film Gladiator winning Best Picture.  If you take that out the average drops all the way to 3.5, the best in nine years.  In fact, outside of Best Picture, no winner ranks below 10th and only Actor, Sound and Sound Editing rank below 6th.  Among the nominees, the average is 2.16, which is a slight improvement over the previous year.  That’s because the Academy only made the best choice in six categories (the four Oscars for Crouching Tiger as well as Original Screenplay and Makeup), the fewest since 1987.

The Nominees:  Things took a big step back in this year.  The overall Oscar Score is 70.8, which is only three points lower than the year before but is the lowest score in five years and the second lowest since 1985.  The Tech scores take a small dip (down to 71.4) but it’s really the acting and major categories where the problems are.  The major categories earn a 64.7, the lowest in five years and the second lowest since 1987.  But the acting really takes a dive.  For only the third time since 1987 no acting category scores above a 90.  Worse, only one scores above an 80, the lowest since 1985.  The overall acting score is 74.1, the lowest since 1985 and the second lowest since 1968.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This is one of the best years in history.  It was the second best to-date (behind only 1996) and is still fourth best (behind 2013 and 2007).  And that was even with choosing a film that definitely wasn’t good enough to belong (Chocolat) but that also earned an Oscar nomination (just the sixth time in history that the winner in this category didn’t earn a Best Picture nom at the Oscars but one of the nominees did).  But the winner (Almost Famous) is the right choice and there were three great nominees (O Brother Where Art Thou, Best in Show, Chicken Run).  If they had considered Wonder Boys a Comedy and bumped Chocolat or nominated High Fidelity (which was nominated for Actor) instead of Chocolat, this year would go up to #2, although even if both of those were in and you bumped Chocolat and Chicken Run it would still only be #2 because you just can’t beat 2013.  The year before had been a big jump up (from #30 in 1998 to #18 in 1999) and there wouldn’t be a year outside the Top 20 again until 2006.  Even with Chocolat, this is one of only 10 years in which all the nominees are in the Top 200 (out of 334) and it’s one of only four with four nominees in the Top 100.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (reviewed here)

2  –  Traffic  (reviewed here)

3  –  Almost Famous  (reviewed here)

4  –  O Brother Where Art Thou  (reviewed here)

5  –  Wonder Boys  (reviewed here)

The Razzies:  Well, the Razzies had no problem spotting the worst picture of the year, heaping Razzie love on Battlefield Earth.  Anyone could see that coming from a mile away.  They also nominated Little Nicky, one of my worst films of the year.  Two of their nominees are also * films (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas).  The last nominee, The Next Best Thing, I think earned its nomination because of the terrible performance by Madonna and because they like to pick on stars but I find the film to be no worse than low **.  In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t nominate What Planet Are You From?, which was a much worse disaster, artistically and financially and is the kind of film they like to puncture.  I understand them passing over generic crappy comedies (Dude Where’s My Car), fantasy (Dungeons & Dragons) and horror (Godzilla 2000, Dracula 2000).  But they really missed the boat on What Planet Are You From?, a film that gives Mike Nichols the third highest differential ever in my film ratings between best film and worst film, of 93 points.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Battlefield Earth
  2. What Planet Are You From?
  3. Little Nicky
  4. Dude Where’s My Car
  5. Dungeons & Dragons

note:  Battlefield Earth, of course, is the zero star film.  The other four are all .5 films, as well as Godzilla 2000.  Two of the bottom five are New Line films (Little Nicky, Dungeons & Dragons).  Dungeons & Dragons also contends with Anaconda and The Avengers for Worst Performance Ever Given by a Former Oscar Winner, in this case Jeremy Irons.
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: Disney’s The Kid, Drowning Mona, Duets, Get Carter, Highlander: Endgame, The Ladies Man, The Little Vampire, Reindeer Games, Road Trip, The Skulls, Snow Day, Urban Legends: Final Cut, The Whole Nine Yards.

Before Kirk Cameron, John Travolta proves that adherence to your religion over quality can make for a shitty film.

Before Kirk Cameron, John Travolta proves that adherence to your religion over quality can make for a shitty film.

Battlefield Earth  (dir. Roger Christian)

A variety of things can contribute to the making of a bad film.  One of them, utter stupidity, was the hallmark of Deuce Bigelow, the worst film of 1999.  It had a terrible script with a terrible idea.  That’s also in play here, with this film about the alien Psychlos (really?  I mean, seriously, really?) who took over Earth 1000 years ago.  The buildings are still standing, miniature golf courses have held up and there are still groups of people who manage to survive, although none of that should be possible.  Then there is the complicated plot about what Terl, the Psychlo (really?) played by John Travolta wants to do to escape from his exile on Earth.  There will also be the Earth rebellion that will be lead and involves the destruction of the alien dome that lets in the poisonous atmosphere because, after 1000 years on Earth, the Psychlos (really?) haven’t come up with a better way to deal with our atmosphere and haven’t read John Christopher’s magnificent Tripods trilogy (soon to be a Great Read) in which that plot point was already used and almost certainly ripped off by Hubbard for his shitty novel in the first place.

But a stupid or incomprehensible plot (or, you know, both) is only part of what we have in this insipidly stupid film.  There is also shitty acting.  John Travolta, forgetting everything that made him such a great actor in Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty, goes back down into the career black hole he had pulled himself out of.  Barry Pepper looks like an incompetent newcomer instead of a major player in Best Picture nominees in each of the two previous years.  Sabine Karsenti is supposedly a graduate of the Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler schools which makes me wonder if they lowered their standards given that her line deliveries wouldn’t look out of place in a Russ Meyer film.

But even then, you can have basic competence when it comes to filmmaking.  Battlefield Earth fails that test with ease.  Pick any scene at random and look at the cinematography (bizarre angles, presumably to make up for the terrible art direction, makeup and visual effects) and editing (constant chopping that just gives you a headache).  The screenplay and the basic incompetence are in there from the first shot, where the magnificent spiked fence is lowered in the human settlement to keep others out, although given the easily scaled hills around it, you wonder what the point of it is, since someone could easily go up and around it.

To top it off, there is even the bizarre break from reality that John Travolta has in relation to this film.  In a lot of shitty films, the people involved grasp that it became bad at some point and start distancing themselves from it (of, if good natured about it, like say Sandra Bullock, embrace it and accept their Razzie).  But Travolta, for years would continue to insist on its quality and its financial success.  He seems to be the only person not to grasp what a disaster it was on every level.

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (17)  ***
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (14)  **
  • Most Nighthawk Points:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (810)  ***
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Hollow Man
  • 2nd Place Award:  Traffic  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing)
  • 6th Place Award:  Thirteen Days  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing)  ****
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  /  Thirteen Days  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (400)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Requiem for a Dream
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:   Almost Famous / Wonder Boys  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:   Almost Famous  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:   Almost Famous  (375)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Trixie

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

***  – The third most points to-date, behind only Bonnie and Clyde and The Godfather and tied for the third most nominations ever.
****  –  The most 6th place finishes ever.

Progressive Leaders:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Wizard of Oz  /  The Godfather  (18)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  The Wizard of Oz  /  Bonnie and Clyde  /  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (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:  105 (47)  –  Thirteen Days  (64.6)
  • Foreign:  66  –  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (64.7)
  • Comedy:  41 (4)  –  Wonder Boys  (54.7)
  • Kids:  17 (4)  –  Chicken Run  (54.1)
  • Horror:  12 (4)  –  The Cell  (43.1)
  • Crime:  9 (2)  –  Traffic  (63.2)
  • Action:  9 (2)  –  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (58.9)
  • War:  5 (1)  –  Tigerland  (55.4)
  • Musical:  4  –  Almost Famous  (82.8)
  • Sci-Fi:  4  –  Red Planet  (29.8)
  • Suspense:  3 (1)  –  Mission: Impossible II  (58)
  • Adventure:  2 (1)  –  When the Rain Lifts  (72.5)
  • Mystery:  2 (1)  –  Werckmaster Harmoniak  (65)
  • Fantasy:  1  –  Dungeons & Dragons  (6)
  • Western:  0

Analysis:  Dramas account for 49.1% of all the films, the most since 1949; the 105 Dramas are a new high.  For the third time in four years, the non-genre films (Drama, Comedy, Musical) account for over 70% of the films, even though Comedy and Musical are both down.  For the first time since 1980, I haven’t seen multiple Fantasy films; in spite of that, this decade will have almost twice as many as any previous decade.  The Foreign films are down by one from the year before but still the second most to-date.  The 17 Kids films are a new high in this final year before the Best Animated Film category begins at the Oscars.  The 4 Sci-Fi films are the lowest in five years and the average is the lowest since 1965.  The 3 Suspense films are the lowest since 1981.  But the 5 War films are the most since 1989 but the average is the lowest since 1985.  The Comedies are terrible, with their lowest average since 1987.  Musicals have by far their highest average ever.
Crouching Tiger is only the second Action film to win the Nighthawk, with the first also being a Foreign film (Seven Samurai).  Crouching Tiger is also the only Foreign film after 1985 to win the Nighthawk and it’s the first Foreign film not directed by Bergman (four times) or Kurosawa (also four times) to win the Nighthawk since 1949.  It’s the first Action film to even make the Top 10 since 1981.  Because I count Almost Famous as a Musical, this is the first year with two Musicals in the Top 10 since 1984 (when I counted Amadeus).

Studio Note:  Miramax will hit a lull in this year with only 11 films, its lowest total since 1993.  Dreamworks has its biggest year with 9 films, including Almost Famous.  USA Films has its second of its three big years, including Traffic.  Billy Elliot is my first film from Focus Features and Spring Forward is my first film from IFC (who will be in the Top 20 all-time total by the end of the decade).  New Line will have 9 years, tying its highest output for me, but will never again have more than six.  It will be the majors that provide the most films: 14 each from Columbia / Sony and from Disney, followed by 12 each from Fox and Paramount.  Sony Pictures Classics (separate from Sony) will have 12 films, including its second Nighthawk winner.
No studio will dominate the top films.  There are two Top 10 films from Disney and two from Paramount (actually, from Paramount Classics) and no studio will have more than 3 films in the Top 20 and only Disney and Paramount manage that.  This is the only year from 1989 to 2008 in which no Miramax film makes the Top 20 (in fact no Miramax film makes the Top 40).

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

  1. Chicken Run  (****, Park / Lord, Aardman (DreamWorks))
  2. Fantasia 2000  (***.5, Algar, Disney)
  3. The Emperor’s New Groove  (***, Dindal, Disney)
  4. The Road to El Dorado  (***, Bergeron / Finn, DreamWorks)
  5. Kirikou and the Sorceress  (***, Ocelot, ArtMattan Productions)
  6. Titan AE  (***, Bluth, 20th Century-Fox)
  7. Dinosaur  (***, Zondag / Leighton, Disney)
  8. The Tigger Movie  (**.5, Falkenstein, Disney)
  9. Digimon: The Movie  (**.5, Yamashita, 20th Century-Fox)
  10. X: The Movie  (**.5, Rintaro)
  11. Rugrats in Paris  (**.5, Bergovist / Demeyer, Paramount)
  12. Sailor Moon R: The Movie  (**, Ikuhara, Toei)
  13. Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists  (**, Ricks, Phaedra Cinema)
  14. Thomas and the Magic Railroad  (**, Allcroft, Destination Films)
  15. Pokemon The Movie 2000  (**, Yuyama, Warner Bros)

Note:  X wasn’t Oscar eligible but oscars.org did list it before the site went dark.  Kirikou and the Sorceress, Sailor Moon and Sinbad weren’t listed.
Fifteen films is a new high, as is the four films from Disney, although both numbers will fall very soon.  This is also the first year with multiple Fox films but that will also become a regular thing.
A reminder that this is the last year where this section will be here.  After this, it will be part of the ongoing History of the Academy Awards: Best Animated Film posts.

80 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):

  • 6ixtynin9  (Ratanaruang, Thailand)  *
  • Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets  (Ayouch, Morocco)  *
  • Amores Perros  (Gonzalez Inarritu, Mexico)  **
  • Anatomy  (Ruzowitzky, Austria)
  • Angels of the Universe  (Fridriksson, Iceland)  *
  • Battle Royale  (Fukasaku, Japan)
  • Before Night Falls  (Schnabel, USA)
  • Big Animal  (Stuhr, Poland)
  • The Cherry Orchard  (Cacoyannis, Greece)
  • Chunhyang  (Im, South Korea)  *
  • The Circle  (Panahi, Iran)
  • Code Unknown  (Haneke, Austria)
  • La Commune (Paris, 1871)  (Watkins, France)
  • Coronation  (Caiozzi, Chile)  *
  • The Crimson Rivers  (Kassovitz, France)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (Lee, Taiwan)  ***
  • Dead or Alive 2  (Miike, Japan)
  • Devil Gold  (Ramon Novoa, Venezuela)  *
  • Devils on the Doorstep  (Jiang, China)
  • Digimon: The Movie  (Yamashita, Japan)
  • Divided We Fall  (Hrebejk, Czech Republic)  **
  • Escaflowne  (Akane, Japan)
  • Eureka  (Aoyama, Japan)
  • Everybody’s Famous  (Deruddere, Belgium)  **
  • Faat Kine  (Sembene, Senegal)
  • Faithless  (Ullmann, Sweden)
  • Glamour  (Godros, Hungary)  *
  • Hey Ram!  (Hassan, India)  *
  • His Wife’s Diary  (Ucitel, Russia)  *
  • Human Resources  (Cantet, France)
  • Humanite  (Dumont, France)
  • I’m Going Home  (de Oliveira, Portugal)
  • In the Mood for Love  (Wong, Hong Kong)  *
  • In Vanda’s Room  (Costa, Portugal)
  • Joint Security Area  (Park, South Korea)
  • Kadosh  (Gitai, Israel)
  • Kippur  (Gitai, Israel)
  • Letter to America  (Triffonova, Bulgaria)  *
  • Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease  (Zanussi, Poland)  *
  • Little Otik  (Svankmajer, Czech Republic)
  • Little Senegal  (Bouchareb, Algeria)  *
  • Maelstrom  (Villeneuve, Canada)  *
  • Malena  (Tornatore, Italy)
  • Marshal Tito’s Spirit  (Bresan, Croatia)  *
  • Me You Them  (Waddington, Brazil)  *
  • Merci pour le chocolat  (Chabrol, France)
  • Merry Christmas  (Bender, Argentina)  *
  • Nico and Dani  (Gay, Spain)
  • Nine Queens  (Bielinsky, Argentina)
  • One Hundred Steps  (Giordana, Italy)  *
  • Pokemon The Movie 2000  (Yuyama, Japan)
  • The Prince of Light: The Legend of Ramayana  (Sako / Mohan, Japan)
  • The Princess and the Warrior  (Tykwer, Germany)
  • Republic Landscape  (Sulik, Slovakia)  *
  • Ringu O: Basudei  (Tauruta, Japan)
  • The Road Home  (Yimou, China)
  • Sade  (Jacquot, France)
  • Scarlet Diva  (Argento, Italy)
  • Seven Songs from the Tundra  (Lapsui, Finland)  *
  • Sky Hook  (Samardzic, Serbia)  *
  • Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine  (Farmanara, Iran)
  • Songs from the Second Floor  (Andersson, Sweden)  *
  • The Stranger  (Spielmann, Austria)  *
  • Suzhou River  (Lou, China)
  • The Taste of Others  (Jaoui, France)  **
  • Tears of the Black Tiger  (Sasanatieng, Thailand)
  • The Terrorist  (Sivan, India)
  • Time and Tide  (Tsui, Hong Kong)
  • A Time for Drunken Horses  (Ghobadi, Iran)  *
  • Time of Favor  (Cedar, Israel)  *
  • Together  (Moodysson, Sweden)
  • Under the Sand  (Ozon, France)
  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust  (Kawajiri, Japan)
  • The Vertical Ray of the Sun  (Tran, Vietnam)  *
  • Water Drops on Burning Rocks  (Ozon, France)
  • Werckmaster Harmoniak  (Tarr, Hungary)
  • When the Rain Lifts  (Koizumi, Japan)  *
  • The Widow of St. Pierre  (LeConte, France)
  • With a Friend Like Harry  (Moll, France)
  • Yi Yi  (Yang, Taiwan)

Note:  The 80 films are a new high by quite a ways.  There are 10 films from Japan, the first time it has reached double-digits since 1969 but it’s France that leads the way with 11 (of course).  I have my first film from Morocco.  I have my first film from Senegal in eight years and my first from Bulgaria in seven years.  I have two Thai films for the first time, though it will happen several more times in the next decade.  For the only time, I have three films from Austria.  I have two films from South Korea for only the second time, though that will become quite common.  I have three Israeli films for the first time.  I have two films from Argentina for the first time since 1961.  I have three films from Sweden for the first time since 1969.  Drama films dominate, with 51 of the 80 films being classified as such.  There are no Westerns, but the other 13 genres are represented, the most genres in one year since 1970.

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

  • China:  Breaking the Silence  (dir. Zhou)
  • Denmark:  A Place Nearby  (dir. Rostrup)
  • Ecuador:  Dreams from the Middle of the World  (dir. Estrella)
  • Georgia:  27 Missing Kisses  (dir.  Djordjadze)
  • Germany:  No Place to Go  (dir. Roehler)
  • Greece:  Peppermint  (dir.  Kapakas)
  • Nepal:  Mask of Desire  (dir.  Sherpa)
  • Netherlands:  Little Crumb  (dir. Peters)
  • Norway:  Odd Little Man  (dir.  Leikanger)
  • Philippines:  The Anak  (dir. Quintos)
  • Portugal:  Too Late  (dir. Zanussi)
  • Spain:  You’re the One  (dir. Luis Garci)
  • Switzerland:  Gripsholm  (dir. Koller)
  • Turkey:  Run for Money  (dir. Erdem)

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 30 for 46 (65%), the lowest it will be until 2013, which makes it ironic that my total Foreign films list goes up by so much.  The number of submissions goes down by one.
The countries that are out after submitting in 1999 are Bhutan (who hasn’t submitted since), Tajikistan (back in 2005), Peru, Indonesia, Colombia, Lebanon, Romania and the UK.  In this year are Ecuador (first time submission), Algeria, South Korea, Bulgaria, Chile, and back after just one year off, Morocco and Thailand.  Thailand, Chile and Bulgaria haven’t missed a submission since.
This is my only miss (Germany), first miss (Ecuador, obviously, Georgia, Nepal), second (Turkey), third (China), sixth (Greece, Philippines), seventh (Portugal), ninth (Norway), 12th (Switzerland), 15th (Netherlands), 17th (Spain) and 24th (will someone please send me some Danish films already, though thankfully I won’t miss again until 2007).

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

  • Boy Meets Girl  (1984)
  • A Successful Man  (1987)
  • Madadayo  (1993)
  • Sailor Moon R: The Movie  (1993)
  • A Moment of Innocence  (1995)
  • Devil’s Island  (1996)
  • X: The Movie  (1996)
  • Croupier  (1997)
  • Fever Pitch  (1997)
  • Left Luggage  (1997)
  • Winter Sleepers  (1997)
  • The Adopted Son  (1998)
  • Claire Dolan  (1998)
  • Kirikou and the Sorceress  (1998)
  • Orphans  (1998)
  • Sitcom  (1998)
  • Aimee and Jaguar  (1999)
  • Beau Travail  (1999)
  • Beautiful People  (1999)
  • The Colour of Paradise  (1999)
  • Criminal Lovers  (1999)
  • The Cup  (1999)
  • East is East  (1999)
  • East-West  (1999)
  • Fantasia 2000  (1999)
  • The Five Senses  (1999)
  • From the Edge of the City  (1999)
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai  (1999)
  • The Girl on the Bridge  (1999)
  • Godzilla 2000  (1999)
  • Goya in Bordeaux  (1999)
  • Grizzly Falls  (1999)
  • The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest  (1999)
  • Mifune  (1999)
  • The Ninth Gate  (1999)
  • Not of This World  (1999)
  • Not One Less  (1999)
  • Orfeu  (1999)
  • Pan Tadeusz  (1999)
  • Pola X  (1999)
  • Ratcatcher  (1999)
  • Running Free  (1999)
  • Shower  (1999)
  • Solomon and Gaenor  (1999)
  • Spring Forward  (1999)
  • Taboo  (1999)
  • The Terrorist  (1999)
  • Time Regaind  (1999)
  • The Wind Will Carry Us  (1999)
  • Wonderland  (1999)

Note:  These 60 films average a 64,4.  There are several ***.5 films but aside from Fantasia 2000‘s nomination for Best Animated Film, they only earn Best Foreign Film nominations.

Films That Weren’t Eligible at the Oscars:

  • The Adopted Son
  • Aimee & Jaguar
  • Animal Factory
  • Beau Travail
  • But I’m a Cheerleader
  • Croupier
  • Devil’s Island
  • East-West
  • Fever Pitch
  • From the Edge of the City
  • George Washington
  • Grizzly Falls
  • Human Resources
  • Humanite
  • Kadosh
  • Kippu
  • Left Luggage
  • The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest
  • Love & Sex
  • Madadayo
  • A Moment of Innocence
  • Not of This World
  • Orfeu
  • Orphans
  • Pan Tadeuse
  • Pola X
  • Praise
  • Sitcom
  • Solomon and Gaenor
  • A Successful Man
  • Such a Long Journey
  • Taboo
  • The Terrorist
  • Time Regained
  • Water Drops on Burning Rocks
  • Went to Coney Island on a Mission From God . . . Be Back by Five
  • The Wind Will Carry Us
  • Winter Sleepers
  • X
  • Yi Yi

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:

  • Angels of the Universe
  • Battle Royale
  • Boy Meets Girl
  • Chunhyang
  • Claire Dolan
  • Coronation
  • The Cup
  • Devil Gold
  • Hey Ram!
  • His Wife’s Diary
  • In Vanda’s Room
  • Kirikou and the Sorceress
  • Letter to America
  • Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • Marshal Tito’s Spirit
  • One Hundred Steps
  • Republic Landscape
  • Ringu 0: Basudei
  • Sailor Moon R: The Movie
  • Seven Songs from the Tundra
  • Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists
  • Sky Hook
  • The Stranger
  • Werckmaster Harmoniak
  • When the Rain Lifts

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:

  • Aberdeen  (2001)
  • Amores Perros  (2001)
  • Better than Sex  (2001)
  • Brother  (2001)
  • Chopper  (2001)
  • The Circle  (2001)
  • The Crimson Rivers  (2001)
  • Divided We Fall  (2001)
  • Eureka  (2001)
  • Everybody’s Famous  (2001)
  • Everything Put Together  (2001)
  • Faat Kine  (2001)
  • Faithless  (2001)
  • Glamour  (2001)
  • The Golden Bowl  (2001)
  • In the Mood for Love  (2001)
  • Joint Security Area  (2001)
  • The King is Alive  (2001)
  • Last Resort  (2001)
  • Liam  (2001)
  • Little Senegal  (2001)
  • The Luzhin Defence  (2001)
  • Me You Them  (2001)
  • Memento  (2001)
  • The Million Dollar Hotel  (2001)
  • The Prince of Light: The Legend of Ramayana  (2001)
  • The Princess and the Warrior  (2001)
  • Rain  (2001)
  • The Road Home  (2001)
  • Sexy Beast  (2001)
  • Signs & Wonders  (2001)
  • Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine  (2001)
  • Songcatcher  (2001)
  • The Taste of Others  (2001)
  • Time and Tide  (2001)
  • Together  (2001)
  • Under the Sand  (2001)
  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust  (2001)
  • The Vertical Ray of the Sun  (2001)
  • The Widow of St. Pierre  (2001)
  • With a Friend Like Harry  (2001)
  • The Cherry Orchard  (2002)
  • Code Unknown  (2002)
  • Devils on the Doorstep  (2002)
  • Escaflowne  (2002)
  • Esther Kahn  (2002)
  • Gangster No. 1  (2002)
  • How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog  (2002)
  • I’m Going Home  (2002)
  • Little Otik  (2002)
  • Maelstrom  (2002)
  • Merci pour le chocolat  (2002)
  • Nico and Dani  (2002)
  • Nine Queens  (2002)
  • Sade  (2002)
  • Scarlet Diva  (2002)
  • Time of Favor  (2002)
  • The Town is Quiet  (2002)
  • Tully  (2002)
  • The Weight of Water  (2002)
  • Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets  (2003)
  • La Commune (Paris, 1871)  (2003)
  • Dead or Alive 2  (2003)
  • Merry Christmas  (2003)
  • Songs from the Second Floor  (2003)
  • Big Animal  (2004)
  • 6ixtynin9  (2005)
  • Tears of the Black Tiger  (2007)

Note:  These 68 films average a 65.6.  Some of them have big implications for future Nighthawk Awards (namely Memento and Sexy Beast).  There are three **** films (Memento, Amores Perros, The Princess and the Warrior) and a whopping nine ***.5 films.

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