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ENTERTAINMENT Thursday January 23, 2003
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Awards Amok!
A recap of the awards shows over winter break

by Eric Todd Patton
January 23, 2003

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began the Oscars as an attempt to honor actors for their achievements in film. But as people know, actors need to be honored over and over again, so soon there was enough awards shows to make your television want to explode from being subject to far too many overly sentimental acceptance speeches.

I will not overview the entire plethora of awards; we will be just looking at the Critic's Choice Awards, People's Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. Sadly, that does not cover all of the awards.

The Critic's Choice Awards are produced by the Broadcast Critics Association. Their choices rarely reflect what to expect at the Oscars, but is still a somewhat amusing show to watch. Those honored were: Best Supporting Actress - Catherine Zeta Jones for "Chicago"; Best Supporting Actor - Chris Cooper for "Adaptation"; Best Actress - Julianne Moore for "The Hours"; Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis for "Gangs of New York" and Jack Nicholson for "About Schmidt"(TIE); Best Director - Steven Spielberg; Best Writer - Charlie Kaufman; and Best Picture - "Chicago."

The highlight of this show was the acceptance of the best actor awards given to two of three nominees. The only one who did not win was Robin Williams for "One Hour Photo," yet he joined Nicholson and Day-Lewis on stage to give the most entertaining acceptance in Critic's Choice show history. I believe during the comic rampage Williams spanked Nicholson, Nicholson admitted to being high and wanting to spank Maggie Gyllenhaal and finally Williams shouted a 'f*** you' to the Broadcast Critics.

Now if people feel left out by all the other awards, they have started the People's Choice Awards. The actors seem to love this because the audience members choose the best performances, but we all know that most people in the audience are not credible critics, so it is not called the "best" categories, it is the "favorite" categories. This year the people chose "Spider-Man" and "Lord of the Rings" as the favorite movies of the year, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" as favorite comedy, Mel Gibson as favorite actor, and Julia Roberts as favorite actress.

This show I did not enjoy. It is what would happen if Nickelodeon television got a hold of an award show. Wait! Nickelodeon does have an award show. Well, this is a cross between the Kid's Choice and MTV Movie Awards ... and not something I want them to televise again.

And now for what seems to be the most credible award show before the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes. But Alec Baldwin, when appearing on "The Simpsons," let us know what the Golden Globes really mean; "... and we just threw Homer out like a Golden Globe award."

The Hollywood Foreign Press are the only ones involved in the voting and most often have the most accurate predictions for what we can see at the Oscars. Like the Oscars, they manage to drag the show on for as long as humanly possible with winners thanking people that nobody outside that particular production have ever heard of. The winners were: Best Supporting Actress - Meryl Streep for "Adaptation"; Best Supporting Actor - Chris Cooper for "Adaptation"; Best Actor Musical or Comedy - Richard Gere "Chicago"; Best Actress Musical or Comedy - Rene Zellweger for "Chicago" ; Best Screenplay - "About Schmidt"; Best Director - Martin Scorsese for "Gangs of New York"; Best Comedy/Musical - "Chicago"; Best Actor Drama - Jack Nicholson for "About Schmidt"; Best Actress Drama - Nicole Kidman for "The Hours" and Best Picture Drama - "The Hours."

Do I agree? For the most part. I loved "Adaptation" and "Chicago." I cared less for "Gangs of New York" but Scorsese directed it flawlessly. As far as "The Hours" goes, I have yet to see it. What a horrible critic I am.

And after we emerge from the horrible abundance of award shows, what does it all mean? Practically nothing. One group of awards doesn't mean any more than the other. There were winners differing from each other in every single category depending on which award show you want to listen to. And I did not mention the SAG Awards, the AFI Awards, New York Film Critic Circle Awards, Los Angeles Critic Awards, winners from Cannes, British Academy Awards, Producers Guild Awards, National Society of Film Critic's Awards, ASC Awards and the very un-prestigious Golden Raspberry Awards given to the worst films of the year.

Sound like enough awards for you? By the end of this, with such diversity among those nominated, how is one to keep straight what is or is not a good movie? Well, the answer is simple... read all the reviews and opinions of your local movie critic, Eric Todd Patton.



Awards Amok!
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