2001 Leaman Awards - The Part-Time Critic

Friday, June 26, 2020

2001 Leaman Awards

*Last Updated: 7/24/2022

2001 Films Seen: 71
Number of Films with A or A+ Grade: 2
Key Films Still to See: n/a

Brief Summary: A sharp decline in overall quality, but this year is best known for launching the franchises that would come to define the 2000's commercially: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek, Ocean's, and the Fast and the Furious.

Not a "best of" list or a "favorite" list - but a list of the films and sequences (action, drama, comedy, & musical) that I think represent the best the year had to offer. So think of it as a strange mixture of favorite, best, and defining. Once you get to the top ten films, it definitely becomes more defined as a Top Ten list of the year. The number one film is my favorite of the year. 

Honorable Mentions: Enemy at the Gates, Frailty, Heist, Moulin Rouge!, Monsters Ball

25. Rush Hour 2 (B-)
24. Joy Ride (B-)
23. The Man Who Wasn't There (B)
22. In the Mood for Love (B)
21. The Score (B)
20. Bandits (B)
19. Kiss of the Dragon (B) 
18. The Others (B)
17. Iris (B)
16. Tape (B+)
15. The Royal Tenenbaums (B+)
14. Sexy Beast (B+)
13. In the Bedroom (B+)
12. Ali (B+)
11. Training Day (B+)
THE TOP TEN
10. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (B+)    
9. Monsters, Inc. 
8. Shaolin Soccer (B+)
7. Black Hawk Down (B+) 
6. Ocean's Eleven (B+)

5. Memento (A-)

4. Shrek (A-)

3. A Beautiful Mind (A-)

2. Gosford Park (A)

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (A)


FAVORITE ACTION SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
The Very Good:
  • "Assault on Carentan" -Band of Brothers (Commentary)
  • "Escape from the Hotel: Down the Laundry Chute & Out the Laundry Room" -Kiss of the Dragon (Commentary)
  • "Police Station Finale: Lobby, Dojo, & Twins Single Handedly" -Kiss of the Dragon (Commentary)
  • "Finale: Orcs Attack the Fellowship at the Falls of Rauros" -Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Commentary)
  • "London Chase: Mummy Guards vs. Double Decker Bus" -The Mummy Returns (Commentary)
The Great:
  • "Easy Company Assaults a German Battery at Brecourt Manor" -Band of Brothers (Commentary)
  • "Serbian SAMs Take Out an F-18 on Routine Recon" -Behind Enemy Lines
  • "Mayhem in the Mines of Moria" -Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Commentary)
  • "Pearl Harbor Attack and Counterattack" -Pearl Harbor (Commentary)
The Best: "Keeping the Towel On...From Turkish Baths to the Markets" -The Accidental Spy
Commentary: Jackie Chan has publicly made known how his action comedy has been influenced by the silent comedian greats like Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin. I believe that this sequence is his greatest gift to the genre of comedy action and that it’s likely better than anything his influences could have ever imagined (that's right, fight me!). When I created a previous Jackie Chan fight list I didn’t give this an A+, but over time I think the sequence has continued to stand out as a unique masterpiece. Chan plays the titular accidental spy in the film and while relaxing at a Turkish bath he is chased and cornered by bad guys. The simple gimmick behind this chase is that Jackie has to not only get away from the bad guys, but try to keep his towel on or his private parts covered. The chase begins in a Turkish bath (with the slippery floor, water pans, and soaps bringing lots of gags), leads to the rooptops, the street below (in a great stunt with Chan floating down using a set of umbrellas), and most memorably in a densely populated market. It’s the marketplace that Chan loses his towel and must go to very creative lengths to keep himself covered, using a bevy of props that includes spices, baskets, brooms, hats, plates, blankets, serving trays, a newspaper, and tambourines. It could've been a scene of one thing covering him after another, but Chan isn’t satisfied with that, he actually decides to try and use these props to fight against his attackers as well. This mixture all comes together in a sequence that would not just make those silent comedians immensely proud, but I think jealous. I think there’s a touch of Looney Tunes humor here that would also make Chuck Jones proud. This is an all-time great comedic action sequence that could have only come from the genius of Jackie Chan. If you'd like more commentary on Jackie Chan's greatest action sequences, click HERE.


FAVORITE DRAMATIC SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
The Very Good:
  • “A Clever Final Score is Revealed” -Bandits
  • "Five Men with Five Shots: Hiding with the Comrade Comissar" -Enemy at the Gates
  • “You’re the Reason” -In the Bedroom
  • “The Son is Murdered” –In the Bedroom
  • “Rehearsing the Moment She Asks her Husband of his Infidelity” –In the Mood for Love
  • “Natalie’s Double Take Bait” -Memento
  • "Pushing His Son a Little Too Far: Taking his Own Life" –Monster's Ball
  • “Swat Team Exits – the Team Enjoys the Bellagio” -Ocean’s Eleven
  • “Hospital Takes the Casualties of the Attack on Pearl Harbor” –Pearl Harbor
  • "Trying to Understand the Truth: Was it Rape?" –Tape
  • "Hoyt Sits Down for a Hand of Cards and Finds Himself at the End of a Shotgun" –Training Day 
The Great:
  • “Bar Insight: Nash Discovers His Governing Dynamics Theory” –A Beautiful Mind
  • “The House Soaks in a Hollywood Star’s Songs” -Gosford Park
  • “The Sisters Console Each Other in the End” -Gosford Park
  • “The Fall of Boromir” –The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • “The Fall of Gandalf” –The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • “Finale: Frodo Decides to Leave the Fellowship” –The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Best: “Gandalf Consults Frodo in the Mines of Moria” –The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE COMEDIC SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
Not a category I kept good track of - One of the toughest TBH

The Very Good:
  • n/a 
The Great:
  • n/a
The Best: n/a 


FAVORITE MUSICAL SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
*Coming Soon
The Very Good:
  • n/a
The Great:
  • n/a 
The Best: n/a

BEST DIRECTOR
Nominees: 
  • Robert Altman Gosford Park
  • Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind
  • Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Christopher Nolan Memento
  • Steven Soderbergh Ocean's Eleven
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE FILM ENSEMBLE
Nominees: 
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Gosford Park
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Ocean's Eleven
  • Sexy Beast
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE MALE PERFORMANCES
Nominees: 
  • Sean Bean The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Jim Broadbent Moulin Rouge!
  • Ben Kingsley Sexy Beast
  • Jude Law A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Ian McKellan The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Jim Broadbent Iris
  • Russell Crowe A Beautiful Mind
  • Will Smith Ali
  • Denzel Washington Training Day
  • Tom Wilkinson In the Bedroom 
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE FEMALE PERFORMANCES
Nominees: 
  • Halle Berry Monster's Ball
  • Cate Blanchett Bandits
  • Maggie Cheung In the Mood for Love
  • Jennifer Connelly A Beautiful Mind
  • Judi Dench Iris
  • Helen Mirren Gosford Park
  • Sissy Spacek In the Bedroom
  • Marisa Tomei In the Bedroom
  • Naomi Watts Mulholland Dr.
  • Kate Winslet Iris
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE SCREENPLAY
(original or adapted)
Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Bandits
  • Iris
  • Gosford Park
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Memento
  • Monster's, Inc.
  • Ocean's Eleven
  • Shaolin Soccer
Commentary: n/a


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
*No eligible documentaries
Nominees:
  • n/a
Commentary: n/a



BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Nominees: 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Osmosis Jones
  • Shrek
Commentary: n/a

BEST FILM EDITING
Nominees: 
  • Amelie
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Memento
  • Ocean's Eleven
Commentary: n/a



BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Nominees: 
  • Ali
  • Black Hawk Down
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Man Who Wasn't There
Commentary: n/a


BEST ART DIRECTION
Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Gosford Park
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Moulin Rouge!
Commentary: n/a


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Jurassic Park III
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Pearl Harbor
Commentary: n/a


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Nominees: 
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Gosford Park
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Pearl Harbor
Commentary: n/a


BEST SOUND DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Mummy Returns
  • Pearl Harbor
Commentary: n/a


BES COSTUME DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Gosford Park
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Moulin Rouge!
Commentary: n/a



BEST MAKE-UP & HAIR DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Gosford Park
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Moulin Rouge!
Commentary: n/a
BIGGEST GUILTY PLEASURE
Nominees: 
  • Joy Ride
  • The Mummy Returns
  • The One
Commentary: n/a



MOST SURPRISING FILM
Nominees: 
  • Gosford Park
  • Kiss of the Dragon
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Commentary: n/a



MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM
Nominees: 
  • Hannibal
  • K-Pax
  • Pearl Harbor
Commentary: n/a



MOST UNDERRATED FILM

Nominees: 
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Kiss of the Dragon
  • The Score
Commentary: n/a



MOST OVERRATED FILM
Nominees: 
  • Amelie
  • Mulholland Dr.
  • Wet Hot American Summer
Commentary: n/a



WORST FILM
Nominees: 
  • Bully
  • Freddy Got Fingered
  • Hannibal
  • Mulholland Dr.
  • Scary Movie 2
Commentary: n/a



BEST COMPILATION OF WORK
Nominees:
  • Jim Broadbent (Iris & Moulin Rouge!)
Commentary: n/a


ERIC BANA AWARD
*Given for the best performance in a bad film (See 2004's Troy)
Nominees:
  • Naomi Watts Mulholland Drive
Commentary: n/a

THE END!

"Female Colleague: But you haven't answered my question. If a robot could genuinely love a person what responsibility does that person hold toward that Mecha in return? It's a moral question, isn't it?
Professor Hobby: The oldest one of all. But in the beginning, didn't God create Adam to love him?" -Artificial Intelligence: A.I.

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