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The 2003 Cleo Awards
Everyone and his dog has an awards show--why not us?

posted 1/14/03
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See also
last year's Cleo Awards
our Oscar section

Click for the Warner Bros. Online
Lord of the Rings merchandise -
LOTR: FOTR 4 disc extended cut DVD
Click here to buy posters!
LOTR: FOTR 5-disc extended cut DVD (Collector's Edition)
One Film to Rule Them All: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

<< Best Animated Film: Spirited Away

<< Most Animated Film:

Best Rerelease:
Beauty and the Beast (IMAX)

Worst Rerelease:
the revamped E.T. 20th Anniversary rerelease (Why would cops carry guns? It's just an alien, after all!)

Best Reception:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

<< Wedding you
should have attended: Monsoon Wedding

Only the Good Die Young: What happened to Auto Focus? One Hour Photo? Frida? Equilibrium? Several well-reviewed movies, mainstream and art-house alike, seemingly dropped off the face of the earth before anyone outside NY or LA could see them, and even films that looked like strong Oscar contenders now seem relegated to the ether.

Best Renaissance: The return of the fantasy genre, only this time with more money and less cheese

MVP in Aforementioned Renaissance:
Warner Bros., whose subsidiary New Line Cinema has stepped up to the plate with Lord of the Rings and the upcoming His Dark Materials trilogy, while WB itself has a full-fledged Harry Potter series on its hands,  Chris Van Allsburg's Polar Express in production, and a remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in development.

<<Oddest Trend:
Older women-younger men films (Y Tu Mama También, Tadpole, The Good Girl, Lovely and Amazing). Some said, after years of watching 60-year-old stars romance women young enough to be their daughters onscreen, it was about damn time; others said it was a completely different double standard ("How would it look if the genders were switched?"). Nonetheless, it was an odd phenomenon to have so many movies with the theme in one year.

Trend with Most Frighteningly Mixed Results:
"Scarlet Fever" (Spider-Man, Scooby Doo, Gangs of New York) . Yes, this was the first feature Cleo ever wrote for the Digest. No, you will never stop hearing about it.

<<Most Surprising Pipes:
Renee Zellweger (Chicago). We knew Catherine Zeta-Jones could sing--she got her start in London stage musicals--but who knew "Bridget Jones" could carry a tune?

Worst Tag Line:
SEA EVIL (Ghost Ship)

Electrified Toad Award for Worst Line, Period: Anakin Skywalker's (Attack of the Clones) "Sand is rough, but you're smooth" line

<< Line So Bad It Circles Right Back Around Into Brilliance

Best Performance in Search of a Worthy Film:
Yes, we never thought we'd say this either, but Matthew Lillard's Shaggy in Scooby Doo

Best Portrayal of Mental Illness:
Gollum/Sméagol (Andy Serkis) in Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

Best Portrayal of Someone Who, If Not Classified as Mentally Ill, Ought to Be:
Daniel Day-Lewis's Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York)

<< Most Versatile: Ralph Fiennes (Maid in Manhattan, Red Dragon, David Cronenberg's Spider); Daveigh Chase (Lilo & Stitch, Spirited Away, The Ring)

The James Brown Award for...

Hardest Working Man in Showbiz 2002:
Brian Cox (25th Hour, Adaptation, The Ring, The Bourne Identity, The Rookie, Bug, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, with X-Men 2 and Sin coming out in 2003)

<< Hardest Working Woman in Showbiz 2002:
Rosario Dawson (25th Hour--hey!--Pluto Nash, The First $20 Million, Men in Black II, Ash Wednesday, Love in the Time of Money, with Helldorado, This Girl's Life, and Shattered Glass coming out in 2003)

LVP (Least Valuable Player) 2002:
Eddie Murphy (Showtime, Pluto Nash, I Spy)

<< Oscar Winner in Most Danger of Getting Statuette Rescinded:
Angelina Jolie, last year's honorable mention in the same category, which is all the sadder when you consider that she's actually a good actress

Oi! Most Surprisingly Good British Accent:
Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf (The Hours)

<< The Virginia Woof Award: To critics who gushed over how "ugly" Kidman looked

<< You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: 
Viggo Mortensen (at left in The Prophecy). See why over at Musings of Viggo

Most Necessary New Oscar Category:
Best Collaborative Performance (to be shared by an FX team and a voice actor). The contenders this year: Gollum (Andy Serkis/Two Towers), Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies, Two Towers), Dobby (Toby Jones/Chamber of Secrets), Aragog (Julian Glover/Chamber of Secrets), Yoda (Frank Oz/Attack of the Clones),  Jar Jar (Ahmed Best/Attack of the Clones)

<< Best Action Sequences:
Minority Report
The best of the best: Tom Cruise racing against the clock  to find the site of a "future crime" in the opening scene; Cruise and Samantha Morton escaping through a mall

<< Best Fights: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The best of the best: Legolas (Orlando Bloom) swinging onto a galloping horse
from the front (many thanks to Jas at OBM for the caps); giant trees kicking ass and taking names

Best Pissing Contest:
Both Steven Spielberg (Minority Report) and George Lucas (Attack of the Clones) included an action sequence in a factory that left the hero in danger of a good mechanical stomping, right down to the arm-caught-in-the-machinery bit. Spielberg won

Best Hair >>

<< Best Pants

Sign That There Is, In Fact, A God:
successful remakes like The Ring, Insomnia, Unfaithful, Red Dragon

Sign That, Even So, That God Is An Angry God:
remakes like I Spy, Mr. Deeds, The Time Machine

And If He Wasn’t Angry Before, He Probably Is Now:

Oh, Now You’ve Really Made Him Mad:
Swept Away

<< Jesus Wept: Master of Disguise

Worst Hype-to-Result Ratio:
Star Trek: Nemesis, Full Frontal

Best Hype-to-Result Ratio (The Little Movie That Could Award):
The Ring, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Frailty

Close, But No Cigar:

Atomic Flop That Surprised No One:
The Adventures of Pluto Nash

<< Best Propaganda for Switching to DVD:
The Ring

The Irony Award for Movies That Really Should Have Heeded Their Own Titles:
Big Trouble, delayed after September 11th and then promptly slipping into obscurity

Movies Titles That Did the All the Work for the Inevitable Porn Knockoffs:
Full Frontal, XXX, Amy's Orgasm, Igby Goes Down, The Banger Sisters

If This Is the Future, Sign Us Up:
Those rockin' dual-direction cars in Minority Report

<< Best Kiss

Most gratuitous use of a tanktop

Plot Hole You Could, In Fact, Drive a Mack Truck Through:
So, in Signs, the aliens can be destroyed with water... so they come to take over a planet that's 97% H2O?

The Miss Trixie Delight Award for Best Character Name:

Sookie: "What kind of name is 'Igby'?"
Igby: "The kind of name that someone named 'Sookie' is in no position to question."
(Igby Goes Down)

Stupidest Protagonists in a Film:
You've got Jason frozen, right? WHY in the WORLD would you UNTHAW HIM? IN SPACE? (Jason X)

Best Business Investment for the New Year:
Combine all the hottest trends and sink your money into a musical/fantasy/historical epic with some sort of Australian talent. We're thinking that Baz Luhrmann's Alexander the Great project with Leonardo diCaprio and Nicole Kidman is just the ticket (call it Alexander! ).

Notable Quotables

But within
reason: "There are stabbings, shootings, fires, explosions, tortures, mutilations, and a flaming corpse in a wheelchair, but within reason."  (From Roger Ebert's review of Red Dragon)

Tell us how you really feel:
"At the beginning of the third reel, the film burst into flame. This was the best part of The Hot Chick." (Attributed to Roger Ebert)

Best Use of a Pun in an Article Title:
"The Sméagol Has Landed" (Creative Loafing)

You Laugh Because You Know It's True:
"Look! There's Tom Hanks! If it weren't for him, we wouldn't know anything about World War II!" (Host Kevin James at the People's Choice Awards)

"Hi, I'm Dame Judi Dench.
I'd like to say thank you to Dick Clark for thoughtfully including me in his round-up of Australian winners at the Golden Globes. Of course, I'm not actually Australian, and I didn't win a Golden Globe, or even attend the ceremony. Which made Dick's tribute all the more touching." (Fametracker, who explains that it was Judy Davis who actually won)

Such a clever little Judi Dench:
"Oh, who cares about Best Picture—I’ll be in the toilet getting high as a kite with Helen Mirren!" ("Dame Maggie Smith" [Ian McKellen] explains on Saturday Night Live where "she'll" be during the Oscar ceremony)

"Hello, Ethan Hawke here.
What? No, I was just sleeping. Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh yeah, right. Very funny. That's a real howler. You woke me up for that? Look, I saw Training Day, too, and a paycheck's a paycheck, but -- what? Look, this isn't amusing anymore, okay. It wasn't amusing two years ago when you called about Snow Falling on Cedars, and it isn't amusing now. Okay. Right. I'm turning on the TV. HOLY SHIT! Instead of Hackman! UMA! WAKE UP! NO, I'M SERIOUS!" (Fametracker, on the Oscar nominations)

Mr. Typo: what do you like to do besides spout inane chatter on AIM?

Swimfan4u: Chatting, seeing my b/f, playing cello, watching swim practice.. u?

Mr. Typo: oh....about the same stuff...

Swimfan4u: Um....not to change the subject, but do u know Ben Cronin? Only just? You?
Mr. Typo: i know ben cronin
Swimfan4u: How do you know?

Mr. Typo: i did him
Mr. Typo: and his mom

Swimfan4u: Where did he get it?

Mr. Typo: in the ass

Swimfan4u: That was a long time ago.

Mr. Typo: not really....last week

Swimfan4u: Oh really? Is this really the last one?

(From Mr. Typo's investigative chatbot report, "
A Conversation with Swimfan4U")

The Year in Digest

<< Best Digest Freebie:
Printable bookmarks (at left: "Doesn't a nice book sound really good right now?" Get your Harry Potter bookmarks here).

Strangest Request Made to the Digest:
A woman who wrote to us asking for a screener tape of last year's Cleo Awards "for a client (review only)"

Saddest Request Made to the Digest:
A woman who wrote us to ask for help getting a screening of Two Towers for her dying brother

Most Disturbing/Hilarious/Frightening Discovery Made by a Digest Staffer:
From Geocities Site Statistics, actual search terms that resulted in web surfers coming to the Daily Digest, even though we have never posted any of these items (see last year's list):

mulholland drive nude pics
orlando bloom naked pics  (5 variations)
"how much is adam sandler worth"
deeds waterboy trying to act
i want to going to see a daniel radcliffe and family
mighty ducks movie download
rosamund pike naked (2 variations)
i'll hunt you down and gut you like a fish
has a thing for redheads
who is the most powerful woman in the world
pictures of when michael jackson dangle his baby

baby pictures of elijah wood
homemade elf ears
catfight clips
catfight natalie portman
kirsten dunst breasts (6 variations, including
"superman actress kirsten dunst," "dunst
large breasts," and "dunst perfect breasts")
maguire tobey bad
bearded lady
gillian anderson latex suit
danger diva
Spider-Man (oh, you knew we had to give it to this one)
Kirsten Dunst in Spider-Man (IGN DVD). Was there any functional reason her top was made of translucent chiffon? Just asking
Andy Serkis as Gollum and/or Smeagol in LOTR: Two Towers
Natalie Portman in Attack of the Clones. You know, we considered giving her "Most Hair," too
Daniel Day-Lewis pimped out in Gangs of New York
Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Yoda, his butt finally free of Frank Oz's hand
Angelina Jolie in Life or Something Like It. Poor thing
XXX screen cap image courtesy IGN DVD
Hey! Rosario Dawson AND Eddie Murphy in Pluto Nash
Minority Report trailer capture (note the incoming SWAT team)
Renee Zellweger in Chicago
Spirited Away
Many thanks to Jas at for the image
Red Dragon in Manhattan
Kidman as Woolf (seriously, y'all, she still looks pretty good)
Naomi Watts in The Ring, about half an hour before Cleolinda pulled her coat over her head in the theater
Dana Carvey as "Pistachio Disguisey," for the love of God
Monsoon Wedding ( gallery)
"Doesn't a nice book sound really good right now?"
Viggo Mortensen in The Prophecy, about half an hour before he eats Christopher Walken's heart. No, really
Ah... The Second Annual Daily Digest Cleo Awards... not to be confused with the Clios, or the Cleos, or pretty much any other legitimate award by that name. Winners were chosen by a highly unscientific process (i.e., whomever Cleo felt like). The ceremony was televised live on Elbow Public Access this past Sunday night, but nobody attended, so nevermind. Winners who attended received a cookie. Said cookies were supplied by The Lovely Emily, Vice Associate Editor of Snacks, but since no winners were present, the staff "accepted" the cookies for the winners. And really, if you've got cookies, doesn't that make you a winner right there?