It's 'Heaven' sent
Douglas Sirk weepers such as "All That Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life" inspired director Todd Haynes to scramble 50 years of sensibilities in "Far From Heaven," a story he fuels with racism and social/sexual politics. The brilliance will be rewarded with a slew of Oscar nominations in February and some downright wins in March.
About Schmidt, Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Failing to scare
For three Halloweens in a row, Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis have slashed and cashed on garbage such as "Ghost Ship," a film whose most innovative moment occurs in the first five minutes. No one expects any of this ship to be good, but for upwards of $7 a pop, a scare or two might be nice. This one is just frighteningly awful.
Clockstoppers, Full Frontal, Hollywood Ending, Windtalkers
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Gangs of New York"
Julianne Moore, "Far From Heaven"
Jack Nicholson, "About Schmidt"
Renée Zellweger, "Chicago"
Michael Moore's occasionally funny "Bowling for Columbine" was too much of a ramble — not to mention a wee bit disingenuous — to merit all the honors coming its way. Sure, its attitude toward guns hit the bull's-eye, but so did Dick Clark's quick dismissal of the almighty Moore. Talk about guys who overstay their welcome. Hey, only in America!
A yes for 'Ya-Ya' If ever there was a chick flick, it's the one called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." So, how come its Bayou-flavored whimsy went down so well? Likely because writer/first-time director Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise") had some of it delivered by Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight, the glorious Fionnula Flanagan and man's man James Garner.