ROVIN' AND RAVIN' WITH MIKE
Copyright © 2002 by Michael Segers, All rights reserved
The Golden Goobers:
The Third Annual Peanut Awards
Once again, we are breaking out the finery to celebrate the finest movies of the year. This year, however, there is a difference, something sad, wistful. I, for one, feel a sadness as I look back on the films of this past year, which were a pretty depressing lot. I feel a sadness for myself, for reasons that I need not go into, for missing so many films that I wanted to see. And, of course, there are other reasons for sadness....
So, with no formalities, and certainly not with a stand-up's monologue, let's start tearing into the envelopes to learn the winners of The Third Annual Peanut Awards, the Golden Goobers, presented for the ten best films of the year, the best performances, the best film-related Internet sites... and this year... well, just be patient. In alphabetical order, the winners are--
Down from the Mountain
The Man Who Wasn't There
The Tailor of Panama
The Annual Peanut Awards are simply an
excuse to think about the ten films that we have roved and raved about that made
the strongest impression upon me as a viewer and reviewer. If you want to know
more about any of these films, you can, of course, click on the hyperlinks.
But, a few comments as I look back. The Pledge and The Tailor of Panama are typical of January-February releases, good, meaningful films that the studios seem to be dumping in an after-Christmas sale. By the end of the year, when recognition is bestowed, they are often and unfortunately forgotten.
In a year in which there just seemed to be so many headlines, two of these films reflect two international hot spots and give us a close-up of exotic cultures La Ciénaga (Argentina) and Kandahar (Afghanistan). On the other hand, Shrek and Monsters Inc. are animated tales that I hope will appeal to children as much as to adults, and Down from the Mountain is a collection of heartfelt music as well as a welcome recollection of a favorite film from last year.
Memento and The Man Who Wasn't There are explorations, even celebrations, of what film can be and can do. Much as I admire them, I know many people to whom I would not recommend them, but admirable they certainly are.
Now, in this extraordinary year, something extraordinary is about to happen. For the first time, a very special Peanut Award is bestowed upon a very special film. The all new Platinum Goober is presented to Monster's Ball. Appealing to the heart and to the mind, this risky production is everything we could want in a film, affirmative yet challenging, loving yet not afraid to look into the face of sheer hatred.
This is a film that we need.
For the best performances of the year, the Goobers go to Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Boyle, Sean Combs, Heath Ledger, and Coronji Calhoun, all of whom are (coincidentally or otherwise) participants in Monster's Ball. And, another first for the Goobers, to the young director of Monster's Ball Marc Foster the first Golden Goober to a director, for his skill and balance in keeping so much energy under such control... just for pulling this audacious film off! This Goober is presented with a deep bow.
Now, the Goober I most enjoy presenting, the Award for the best Internet site discovered during the preceding year. This year, I am glad to acknowledge my gratitude to the amazing Tim Dirks whose site, The Greatest Films, provides commentary and background for hundreds of classic films. I look upon it as my personal library of film history.
There are two special considerations for this last award. First, here I am presenting an award for something I know and have experience with. Second, these websites have been, thankfully, ongoing, and so, they do not compete only with other websites of the year (as films compete from year to year). Instead, it is appropriate to review previous winners every year, certainly not to detract from the current winner, but to see in what elevated company the current year's site stands:
Film Critics Society
About Classic Movies
[2004: Former About Guide Brad Lang
now hosts his own Classic Movies site.]
[2004: Former About Guide Brad Lang
Elliott, Christian Critic
Movie Data Base
You can step back in history by returning to the presentations of The
First Golden Goobers and
Second Annual Golden Goobers. And with that, this, the
presentation of the Third Annual Golden Goobers, comes to a close, with no empty
champagne bottles this year, and let us hope, no repetition of last year's
scandal about the lost diamond, just, once again, with the hope that we all can
muddle through a new year, our feet dry, our hearts full of noble thoughts.