Archive for Friday, December 7, 2001

s chances of winning at the Academy Awards

December 7, 2001


— The hyperkinetic musical "Moulin Rouge" topped the National Board of Review's list of the year's best movies Wednesday, boosting its chances for a potential Oscar nomination.

The anachronistic tale of an 1899 French burlesque show set to modern pop tunes was directed by Baz Luhrmann and starred Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.

Co-star Jim Broadbent was named best supporting actor by the group for both his role as a devilish cabaret owner in "Moulin Rouge" and "Iris," in which he played the lover of novelist Iris Murdoch.

Billy Bob Thornton earned the best actor honor for his roles in the neo-noir thriller "The Man Who Wasn't There," the death-row drama "Monster's Ball" and the robbery comedy "Bandits."

"It's gratifying to be recognized for all those films because when you have that many movies out, you're afraid some of them might not be noticed," Thornton said.

"Monster's Ball" and "The Man Who Wasn't There" also were named in the board's list of the year's 10 best films. "Monster's Ball" co-star, Halle Berry, was named best actress.

Many early awards such as the National Board of Review honors are viewed as indicators of a movie's or performer's Academy Award chances.

The board named Todd Field best director for his dark drama about small-town secrets "In the Bedroom."

"I feel deeply touched to be held in such esteem by the National Board of Review," Field said.

"In the Bedroom" ranked No. 2 on the board's list of best movies, and earned a best screenplay award for Field and co-writer Rob Festinger.

The first film in a three-part fantasy drama, "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring," had three awards, including a special achievement honor for director Peter Jackson and a production design award.

Cate Blanchett won for best supporting actress for her roles in "Lord of the Rings," "The Shipping News" and "The Man Who Cried."

The board's top 10 films are:

l Best Picture: "Moulin Rouge," followed by "In the Bedroom," "Ocean's 11," "Memento," "Monster's Ball," "Black Hawk Down," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "The Pledge," "Mulholland Drive."

Other winners include:

l Documentary: "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Adventure."

l Foreign film: "Amores Perros" (Mexico).

l Animated feature: "Shrek."

l Breakthrough performances: Naomi Watts, "Mulholland Drive"; Hayden Christensen, "Life as a House."

l Career achievement award: Jon Voight.

l Career achievement award for film music: John Williams.

l Billy Wilder Award, excellence in direction: Steven Spielberg.

l Directorial debut: John Cameron Mitchell, "Hedwig & the Angry Inch."

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