Each year, the Academy releases its list of nominees, and every year, I realize that there is no way that the Academy has seen any of the films they are going to be voting on.

For instance, in the Best Animated Feature category, one of the nominees was “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” I know for a fact that no self-respecting human being would sit through that film, so I can only conclude that the Academy chose it to give the illusion that there is some sort of process at work here.

Regardless, since their awards and nominations are so meaningless, I’ve decided to issue my own awards. Well, not just awards — in addition, I will be issuing demerits.

We’re going to start with the category “Film To Receive the Most Nominations Because People Liked the Director’s Previous Film and Assumed That it Was a Clever Movie, Even Though it is Mostly Incomprehensible.” That demerit would go to “Adaptation,” which is receiving much more critical acclaim than it could possibly deserve.

The demerit for “Film That Could Have Been Really Good if it Was Staged as a Movie Instead of a Play on the Big Screen” goes to “Chicago,” but at the same time, a special award goes to Catherine Zeta-Jones for appearing in a film without Michael Douglas and to her make-up artists for making it really hard to tell that it was her.

A new category, “Film That I Could Tell Was Going to be Awful Based on the Trailer and Which I Foolishly Went to See Anyway,” goes to “Darkness Falls” which has earned more demerits this year than every other film in history combined.

It was difficult to determine what would be the most suitable award to give “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” Being the geek that I am, I saw it opening night and loved every minute of it.

At the same time, it is only the middle of the story and doesn’t really end. So the award I have to give it is “Best Film That Left Me Unsatisfied at the End But That I Quickly Forgave Because it Would Be Sacreligious to Harbor Ill-Will Toward the Film or its Makers.”

The demerit for “Film to Attempt to Relate Part of our Past and Make a Connection to an Unrelated Event of Recent History While Simultaneously Starring a Guy Who is Talented but Can’t Hold an Irish Accent” goes to “Gangs of New York.”

The award for “Film Starring the Aforementioned Actor Which I Really Thought Would Be Much Worse Than it Was and in Fact Was Quite Interesting and Entertaining Despite Being Directed by Steven Spielberg” goes to “Catch Me If You Can.”

The “Best Foreign Film I Saw This Year” category is a toss up between “El Crimen del Padre Amaro” and “Y Tu Mama Tambin,” but I have to admit it is a rather unfair category since I haven’t seen any other foreign films this year.

One film notably receives both an award and a demerit. The award is “Film Most Likely to Make Me Want to Live in Canada,” and the demerit is for “Misleading Viewers with Statistics and Utilizing Ambush Journalism,” and both of these go to “Bowling For Columbine.”

Finally, I would like to give a special award and several demerits in the category of time travel. The demerits for “Worst Remake of a Film That Didn’t Need to be Remade,” and “Goofiest Explanation of Time Travel Since ‘Back To The Future'” go to “The Time Machine,” which really hurt to watch.

Speaking of time travel, the final award goes to a film that did not come out this year, but since it is about time travel, I feel it is appropriate to give it an award any time I damn well please. The award for “Best Film Ever Made in the History of Mankind in Any Language Ever, Against Which All Other Films Should Be Measured” goes to “Donnie Darko.”

Those are my awards. As I have neither been bought nor sold by Hollywood, my opinions should count for a little bit more than the decisions of the Academy, who, as you may recall, voted to give the movie “Titanic” 11 different awards.

Powell can be reached at lpowell@campustimes.org.



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