The 35th annual meeting of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle kicked off Monday with an unlikely team of contributors: Charlie's Angels.
The event, held annually at the home of educator James Loutzenhiser, was co-hosted by a trio of comedians from the improv troupe Funny Outfit, who performed a parody of the three "buxom and vain" members of Charlie's Angels.
However, it marked the only appearance of the evening for the Angels, whose feature film was nowhere to be found on the final list of year-end honors.
Comprised of print, television, radio and online critics from the Greater Kansas City area, the 18 voting members of the organization (including Loey Lockerby, Dan Lybarger and Jon Niccum from The Mag), cast ballots in nine categories.
Films were eligible if they held advance screenings or opened in the Kansas City area during 2000. The winners of this year's awards are:
Best Picture: "Traffic"
Best Director: Steven Soderbergh, "Traffic"
Best Actor: Geoffrey Rush, "Quills"
Best Actress: Ellen Burstyn, "Requiem for a Dream"
Best Supporting Actor: Benicio Del Toro, "Traffic"
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Hudson, "Almost Famous"
Best Animated Film: "Chicken Run"
Best Documentary: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg"
Best Foreign Language Film: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
"I don't think this was a particularly good year for films," Loutzenhiser says. "It was a struggle to get the lists all filled up with nominees. But I was very happy with how things eventually turned out."
The Webster University professor points to the award for Burstyn as a personal favorite.
"She was really marvelous as the drug-addicted mother in 'Requiem for a Dream,'" he says. "It was a very brave role."
The awards list is published nationally by Variety, in addition to being picked up by numerous regional outlets such as The Kansas City Star.
Loutzenhiser adds, "Publications like The New York Times will often run studio ads around Oscar time touting this so-and-so actress as winning the KC award. We frequently get some of those."
The first film to win the Kansas City Film Critics Circle award for Best Picture was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1966.