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March 25th, 2003

Oscar Wrap-up, Weekend Box Office


Despite what's going on in the world, did everyone enjoy the Oscars? I thought it was a really well-done show, even if it was stripped down given world events. The more narrow, low-key attitude worked really well, and I wouldn't mind if future ceremonies were just like the one on Sunday night. Steve Martin was a great host (I thought he was quite good last year too) and it was definitely an enjoyable, memorable evening. With that said, here are my main thoughts on the winners, losers and show in general:

- "Spirited Away" won Best Animated Film. YES! THERE IS JUSTICE IN HOLLYWOOD AFTER ALL! Hopefully the DVD release in a few weeks will get more people interested to see the film, as well as this Friday's theatrical re-release. Take that Disney for screwing it over to some extent!
- Michael Moore gave the same exact speech he gave Saturday night at the Independent Spirit Awards. While the indies were with him, obviously mainstream Hollywood was against his sentiment (did you hear those boos?). Still, I'm glad he won the Oscar because "Bowling For Columbine" was an excellent film (and Steve Martin's line after was priceless).
- I'm really glad Adrien Brody won. To top it off, he gave an excellent speech. It remains to be seen if he'll be A-list now or fade into obscuirity like some past Oscar winners.
- Chris Cooper and Catherine Zeta-Jones wins were well-deserved.
- The musical performances were great, but I was sorely disappointed that the Academy didn't even bother to showcase "Lose Yourself" in some respect (Eminem had no plans to show up anyway and they said the song was a bit dirty). I guess Eminem (like he cares so much about all this stuff) gets the last laugh though. The song won, and that was a nice surprise (gotta love Barbara Streisand's reaction, and on that note, I was surprised she didn't say anything about the war). Hate him or not, I think it is a great song and was one of the best songs from ANYBODY in 2002. The music co-writer who accepted gave a nice little speech, but you gotta love his whacked out outfit.
- I thought Conard L. Hall's son gave a very nice, moving speech to his late father. "Road To Perdition" was a beautifully shot movie.
- Roman Polanski's win surprised many, since the race was so heavy between Rob Marshall and Martin Scorsese. Despite all the news items about his crime from the late 1970s and how many thought it'd hurt his chances, many obviously seperated his personal life from his work on screen. That definitely deserves some kudos. It's nice he finally won an Oscar.
- "Talk To Her" won Best Original Screenplay, and rightfully so. Thankfully it won something (I was very disappointed Spain didn't submit it as their best feature for the Best Foreign Language Feature award). Not only was "Talk To Her" one of my favorite films of 2002, but it was probably the most original live-action film of the year. Its story and characters were brilliant.
- "The Pianist" winning for adapted screenplay also surprised quite a few. I still say "Adaptation" should have won, even if it did extend itself into some pretty original territory.
- "Chicago" was a lock for Best Picture, but it wasn't all rosy for Miramax - "Gangs Of New York" didn't pick up a single award. I found that to be really disappointing, since it was another one of my favorite films of 2002.


Now on to the usual weekend box office report. Once again, Queen Latifah was supreme as Bringing Down The House topped the number one spot yet again with a very strong 16.2 million dollars. Opening in a decent second place was the critically panned adaptation of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher with 15 million. Agent Cody Banks continued to do well with 9.2 million, while the on-the-shelf comedy View From The Top opened with a somewhat lowly 7 million. The Hunted brought in 6.5 million for its second weekend.

Chicago is still remaining steady with 6.2 million while Piglet's Big Movie opened with a decent 6.1 million. Tears Of The Sun took another drop with 4.4 million, while Old School and the week's other new critically lambasted film, Boat Trip, took in 3.9 and 3.8 million respectively.


-Zach B.