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By Other Voices

The MCN 100: Best of 2003

In an awards season fraught with new issues, Movie City News introduces the “MCN 100,” a voting group of 100 film journalists from across the globe, representing print, television, radio and the internet. Members have been drawn from some of the best known and the most obscure publications in the world in hopes of finding a balance that no other critics group attempts.

In this first vote, MCN 100 members will vote “Bests” in the categories of Picture, Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Actress, Documentary and Foreign Language Film. Because the politics of the awards season have become so acrimonious, there will be no distinctions made as to Lead vs. Supporting Acting or Original vs. Adapted Screenplay. There will also be a Key Movies That Have Not Yet Been Seen category, as any award voting this early in the year must be suspect.

The MCN 100 will have another vote in the same categories on January 5, 2004, after the members have had another month to see and reasonably reflect on the films of 2003.
Key Movies Not Seen That I Should Have Before Voting | Best Screenplay | Best Director
Best Documentary | Best Foreign Language Film
Best Actor | Best Actress
Best Picture

Best Picture

Votes Director
9 American Splendor
9 Lost in Translation
7 Mystic River
5 Finding Nemo
3 In America
3 Kill Bill Vol.1
3 Master & Commander
2 21 Grams
2 Big Fish
2 City of God
2 Elephant
2 Irreversible
2 Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions
The Barbarian Invasions
Bus 174
The Decay of Fiction
Dirty Pretty Things
Girl with a Pearl Earring
I Capture the Castle
2 The Last Samurai
The Magdalene Sisters
Man on the Train
Mondays In The Sun
2 Seabiscuit
The Secret Lives of Dentists
The Shape of Things
The Son
Sweet Sixteen
The Triplets of Belleville
Whale Rider


Votes Director
11 Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
9 Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation
8 Peter Weir, Master and Commander
5 Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, American Splendor
4 Tim Burton, Big Fish
3 Gus Van Sant, Elephant
3 Jim Sheridan, In America
3 Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu, 21 Grams
3 Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol.1
2 Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, City of God
2 Andrew Stanton/Lee Unkrich, Finding Nemo
2 Gaspar Noe, Irreversible
2 Edward Zwick, The Last Samurai
2 Peter Jackson, LOTR: Return of the King
2 Wachowski Bros, Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions
Sylvain Chomet
Denys Arcand
Peyton Reed, Down with Love
Guy Maddin, Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary
Claire Denis, Friday Night
Gus Van Sant, Gerry
Jane Campion, In the Cut
Michael Winterbottom, In This World
Carlos Reygadas, Japon
Patrice Leconte. Man on the Train
Ridley Scott, Matchstick Men
Richard Linklater, The School of Rock
Alan Rudolph, The Secret Lives of Dentists
Neil LaBute, The Shape of Things
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, The Son
David Cronenberg, Spider
Jonas Akerlund, Spun
Ken Loach, Sweet Sixteen
Marcus Nespel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


Votes Director
11 Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini, American Splendor
4 Guillermo Arriaga, 21 Grams
7 Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation
6 Brian Hegeland, Mystic River
5 Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan & Kirsten Sheridan, In America
2 John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, Bad Santa
2 Bráulio Mantovani, City of God
2 Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo
2 John Collee, Master & Commander
2 Brian Helgeland, Mystic River
2 Mike White, School of Rock
2 Neil LaBute, The Shape of Things
3 Thomas McCarthy, The Station Agent
2 Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed, Thirteen
2 Barbarian Invasions
2 Niki Caro, Whale Rider
John August, Big Fish
John Sayles, Casa de los babys
Doug Jung, Confidence
Gus Van Sant, Elephant
Stanton, Peterson & Reynolds, Finding Nemo
Vadim Perelman and Shawn Lawrence Otto, House of Sand and Fog
Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan and Burr Steers, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Heidi Thomas, I Capture the Castle
Michael Cooney, Identity
The Last Samurai
Richard Curtis, Love Actually
Peter Mullan, The Magdalene Sisters
Aki Kaurismaki, The Man Without a Past
Peter Weir, Master and Commander
Fernando Leon De Aranoa and Ignacio Del Moral, Mondays In The Sun
Larry Cohen, Phone Booth
Brian Koppelman, The Runaway Jury
Billy Ray, Shattered Glass
Craig Lucas, The Secret Lives of Dentists
Nancy Meyers, Something’s Gotta Give
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, The Son
David Cronenberg, Spider
Swimming Pool
Tupac Shakur, Tupac Resurrection
Jia Zhang-ke. Unknown Pleasures
Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter, X2


Votes Actor
16 Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
12 Sean Penn, Mystic River/21 Grams
8 Paul Giamatti, American Splendor
4 Ben Kingsley, The House of Sand and Fog
4 Russell Crowe, Master and Commander
4 Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean
2 Jack Black, School of Rock
2 Nicholas Cage, Matchstick Men
2 Tom Cruise, The Last Samurai
2 Nick Nolte, The Good Thief
Kevin Bacon, Mystic River
Javier Bardem, Mondays In The Sun
Paul Bettany, Master and Commander
Bruce Campbell, Bubba Ho Tep
Hayden Christiansen, Shattered Glass
George Clooney, Intolerable Cruelty
Peter Dinklage, The Station Agent
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dirty Pretty Things
Colin Farrell, Phone Booth
Ralph Fiennes, Spider
Remy Girard
Olivier Gourmet, The Son
Johnny Hallyday
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Owning Mahowny
Choi Min-Sik, Chihwaseon
Jean Rochefort, The Man on the Train
Tim Robbins, Mystic River
Mark Ruffalo, In the Cut
Kurt Russell, Dark Blue
Peter Sarsgard, Shattered Glass
Campbell Scott, The Secret Lives of Dentists
Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa
Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai


Votes Actor
7 Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation
8 Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give
8 Naomi Watts, 21 Grams
6 Cate Blanchett, The Missing
6 Hope Davis, The Secret Lives of Dentists/American Splendor
2 Jennifer Connelly, The House of Sand & Fog
3 Jamie Lee Curtis, Freaky Friday
3 Samantha Morton, In America
3 Charlotte Rampling, Swimming Pool
2 Charlize Theron, Monster
3 Patricia Clarkson, The Station Agent
2 Ellen DeGeneres, Finding Nemo
2 Frances McDormand, Laurel Canyon
2 Meg Ryan, In the Cut
Oksana Akinshina, Lily 4 Ever
Monica Bellucci, Irreversible
Emma Bolger, In America
Sarah Bolger, In America
Agnes Bruckner, Blue Car
Neve Campbell, The Company
Keisha Castle-Hughes
Deborah Harry, My Life Without Me
Shirley Henderson, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself)
Melissa Leo, 21 Grams
Laura Linney, Mystic River
Alison Lohman, Matchstick Men
Connie Nielsen, Demonlover
Nora-Jane Noone, The Magdalene Sisters
Sarah Polley, My Life Without Me
Nikki Reed, Thirteen
Ludivine Sagnier, Swimming Pool
Uma Thurmon, Kill Bill Volume 1
Eileen Walsh, The Magdalene Sisters
Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen

Best Documentary

Votes Actor
19 Capturing the Friedmans
7 The Fog of War
5 My Architect
4 Spellbound
5 Winged Migration
3 Bus 174
3 Concert for George
3 My Flesh and Blood
3 Tupac: Resurrection
2 Lost in La Mancha
3 Rivers and Tides
2 Stevie
2 To Be and To Have
The Backyard
Bad Santa
Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary
Bowling for Columbine
The Five Obstructions
The King of the Sunset Strip
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Master and Commander
MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream
OT: Our Town
Prisoner of Paradise
Rana’s Wedding
Senorita Extraviada
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Touching the Void
West of the Tracks

Best Foreign Language Film

Votes Actor
7 Les Triplettes de Belleville
7 Man on the Train
6 City of God
6 The Barbarian Invasions
5 Irreversible
3 The Son
3 Russian Ark
2 L’Auberge Espagnole
2 Demonlover
2 Legend of Suriyothai
2 The Man Without a Past
August Spring
Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary
Chinese Odyssey
The Five Obstructions
Friday Night
In My Skin
In This World
Internal Affairs 2
Jeux d’enfants
Lilya 4-Ever
Mondays In The Sun
Monsieur Ibrahim
Noi Albinoi
And Now, Ladies and Gentlemen…
Nowhere in Africa
Pistol Opera
So Close
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … Spring
Sweet Sixteen
The Three Marias
Volcano High

Key Movies I Have Not Seen That I Should Have Before Voting

Votes Actor
15 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
14 Cold Mountain
7 House of Sand and Fog
6 Big Fish
4 21 Grams
4 The Last Samurai
3 In America
3 Peter Pan
2 Monster
The Cooler
The Company
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Lost in Translation
The Missing
Mystic River
The Triplets of Belleville
Good Bye, Lenin
Shattered Glass
Stuck on You
The Triplets Of Belleville
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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon