Best of the Rest:
Movies of 2003...
Best Chick Flick: Mona Lisa Smile
Forget all the romantic comedies released this year (and some are forgettable, ahem, Alex & Emma) - producers finally got it right. Women don't want to see the same old formulaic dribble about a boy meeting a girl, losing her, and then redeeming himself and getting the girl again. No! They want to see a cast of talented women in good roles, bonding over the oppression of women and the lack of good men out there. So Sony finally heard our cries and scripted up a movie about a young, plucky teacher who changes the lives of her students forever, cast Julia Roberts in the starring role, and called it Mona Lisa Smile.
Best Cinematography: The Last Samurai
Forget Tom Cruise's giant head. If you have one reason, and one reason alone, to watch The Last Samurai, go for the cinematography. From the rolling countryside to the sprawling metropolis of a Japan caught between the Old World and the New World, the camera seemingly sweeps across time to capture each moment on the big screen (for you movie buffs, the film was actually shot in several locations - Japan, New Zealand, and California). And if you have two reasons to watch The Last Samurai, go see it for Ken Watanabe as Katsumoto.
Best Ensemble Cast: Love Actually
This holiday season, nothing was a better feel-good movie than Love Actually, a little British film with the biggest cast this side of the continent. From Bill Nighy (I Capture the Castle, Underworld) to Colin Firth (Bridget Jones' Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) to Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode I and II) to Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Treasure Planet) to Kiera Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham) to Hugh Grant (Bridget Jones' Diary, Two Weeks Notice) to Laura Linney (The Life of David Gale) - and the list goes on - you can find any actor to suit your tastes. Although each plays a small role in the grander scale of things, they all come together to make one of the most heartwarming movies we've seen a long time.
Best Heroine: Trinity, The Matrix
Forget Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (okay, don't forget, but just put her aside for a second), and think back…way back to 1999, when Carrie-Ann Moss first walked onto the screen in her leather jacket and boots. Although The Matrix trilogy was all about Neo, Trinity also played a large role, and thankfully, not only as the love interest. Where would Neo be without her? And honestly, who wears leather better?
Best Overuse of the Word "Hot": Honey
Nowhere has the word "hot" been more overused than in Honey, where Jessica Alba proceeds to declare everything and everyone hot. By the end of the movie, you too will be using the very hot catchphrase, "His/her/their flavour is hot!" It's so hot that you won't believe how hot it is! You are hot, your neighbour is hot, the girl that sold you that Snickers bar is hot! And then you'll want your money back.
Best Villain: Agent Smith, The Matrix
Now that The Matrix trilogy has been completed, we can breathe a giant sigh of relief for Zion. But we can't forget the person who single-handedly put a nation at risk - Agent Smith, played by the very talented character actor Hugo Weaving. Not only was he downright devilish, he also had a jolly good time kicking Keanu "The One" Reeves' ass. Considering that his biggest role, before The Matrix and Lord of the Ring trilogies, was Rex the Male Sheep Dog in Babe (1995) and Babe: Pig in the City (1998), we can safely say that he's come a long way.
Biggest Disappointment: Gwyneth Paltrow
After Gwyneth Paltrow became the It Girl for winning the coveted Oscar, you'd think she'd be a little more selective with her roles. But that's not the case, namely because of a little comedy called A View From the Top that was anything but a hit. Hopefully, the impending birth of her child will make her re-think accepting projects before reading the script.
Biggest Waste of Production Money: From Justin to Kelly
Producer #1: (popping gum and playing with hair, bored) Hey, we should, like, totally do a movie based on Justin and Kelly of "American Idol." Like, Americans loved them! They even wasted their time and money to vote for them! Surely they will, like, pay $20 bucks to see them on the big screen. Producer #2: Are you sure this will work? It looks good on paper, but… Producer #1: Why not? Like, people will eat it up! Producer #2: But can they act? Producer #1: Ha ha ha! You are, like, totally funny. Who cares? And look, while we were talking I, like, wrote a script and everything. Producer #2: (scratching head) Okay, you're right. Can we get Simon in the movie? Will he do the movie? Six months later. Producer #1: Like, doesn't it totally suck to be unemployed? Producer #2: Shut up.
This Year's My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Mambo Italiano
Remove the Greek and the wedding, then add the Italian and the gay and you get Mambo Italiano, an independent Canadian movie that only managed to earn $3 million (My Big Fat Greek Wedding earned over $200 million), but nevertheless is worth a rental.
Worst Angelina-Jolie Rip-Off: Penelope Cruz, Gothika
In Gothika, Penelope Cruz plays Chloe Sava, a mental institution patient with an abusive past. So who better to channel than Angelina Jolie in her Oscar-winning turn as a mental institution patient with an abusive past? From the wild, unkempt hair to the dead, translucent eyes, Cruz could be a perfect stand-in for Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Except she's not Jolie, and there are no Oscars or Billy Bob Thorntons in her future.
Worst Canadian Project: Foolproof
It's one of the few Canadian action movies out there. It was supposed to resurrect our ailing industry and finally move Ryan Reynolds from the C-list to the B-list. But did anyone actually see Foolproof? ¤ C.Ho.