decade revisited: 2002, part 2
The Nominees: So the low-down on this crop of contenders is as follows – it’s a perfectly dandy and perfectly inoffensive fivesome. The trio of Lord of the Rings actors are great fun in the second entry of the series, and McKellen is definitely the standout in the film (a fact I still believe to be true seven years later). As for Hanks and Harris, the former’s take on Carl Hanratty is harmless fun (if not necessarily one of his standout roles) and the latter is a lovely fatherly role from one of the most beloved and gifted British actors of his time (plus it was his last on-screen film performance before his untimely death in October 2002).
Revisions: It’s too hard for me to give up on Gandalf in this situation (and, for that matter the hilarious and well-crafted Gimli) in The Two Towers so the two of them would remain. The other three, though admirable, would likely be replaced by some current personal favorites such as Nicholas Hoult for About a Boy, Chris Cooper for Adaptation, and Dennis Quaid for Far from Heaven (definitely the shining star of the movie). As far as the win goes, I think I may just have to agree with Oscar on this one and award the awesomely bizarre performance from Cooper.
The Nominees: Here’s my take on my choices from 2002 – these five ladies can still hold up now, but there are some obvious weak spots, especially considering the other 2002 fare that I’ve seen and fallen in love with since. The good: Zeta-Jones is still phenomenal in Chicago, one of the best musical performances to date. Morton has only gotten better in her later films, so choosing her was know one-time fluke (plus I thought her take in Minority Report was highly underrated). And Smith is hard-pressed to ever not be fantastic. So, maybe my choice of Watson was a little silly, but Harry Potter fever was rampant, and I simply couldn’t help it. And as far as Griffiths goes, I always enjoy her in everything she does (thank you very much, Muriel’s Wedding).
Revisions: It seems the ladies that would remain would be Zeta-Jones and Morton, whose performance stand up best to the test of time. For the other three slots? I would opt for some other great unsung performances of the year (and one critically lauded one) – Julianne Moore for The Hours, Michelle Pfeiffer for White Oleander, and Meryl Streep for Adaptation. And sorry Catherine, but I think I might be compelled to offer the award for Streep. It just happens to be one of my favorite screen performances.