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22-Oct-2004 - Bush OKs New Corporate Tax Cut

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21-Oct-2004 - Gymnast Paul Hamm Gets to Keep Gold

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18-Oct-2004 - The Crystal Prison

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13-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 2

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12-Oct-2004 - Ranked Choice Voting Hits San Francisco

7-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 1

7-Oct-2004 - Prince Adares Shows Signs of Royal Affinity

7-Oct-2004 - Controlling the U.S. Senate

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The Cosmique Movie Awards


November 24, 2004



It's official. A new record has been set!

The Incredibles was the 69th movie I saw this year, tying the all-time high I set in 2002.

On Sunday, November 14, I went to see The Incredibles at the Metreon. The film was the 69th movie released in the 2004 calendar year (in other words, eligible for nomination at the upcoming Fifth Annual Cosmique Movie Awards) that I've seen this year. And that's a truly momentous figure, because it ties the record I set in the 2002 calendar year.

The Incredibles is a fun film, definitely worth seeing, and quite likely one of my top five comedies of the year. In addition, it's making me seriously consider adding a "Best Animated Film" category for the next Cosmo Awards season.

But then only two days later, I broke my record and saw my 70th film of the year: Alfie. Ahh, Alfie, what's it all about? Or more accurately: Jude, what's it all about? Jude Law has been a longtime favorite of Cosmo voters. At the first annual awards in 2000, Jude received a lifetime achievement award for Actor You Would Most Like to Have Sex With, beating out Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Hugh Grant, and Brad Pitt. He also received a second nomination the same year for Movie Character You Would Most Like to Meet for his portrayal of Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley (losing to Rosalind Russell for Auntie Mame).

With Alfie, I set a new all-time high by seeing a record 70 films (so far) released in a calendar year.

Then last year, Jude received three more nominations (although he lost all three): a Best Actor and Best Ensemble nomination for Cold Mountain, and another "sexy" nomination for Actor's Character from a 2003 Film You Would Most Like to be Intimate With (also for Cold Mountain).

But will his luck hold in 2004? Cosmo voters will have a lot to choose from if they want to consider giving Mr. Law another award. He has six films released this year: the swashbuckling hero of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the rakish and somewhat villainous corporate publicist in I Heart Huckabees, the devastating lothario in Alfie, the romantic lead of Closer, the narrator of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and another swashbuckling and romantic figure, a historical portrayal of Errol Flynn in The Aviator. The exposure could potentially allow Jude Law to set a new record in one-year Cosmo nominations (currently held by Ian McKellen, who received eight nominations last year). But it could also dilute his efforts to win an award, or potentially even a nomination.

I will say this much: he will be on my nomination ballot at least once for at least one of his films. And probably more than once.

New Categories for 2004

There are only about six weeks left in the 2004 film year. But what important weeks they are, including the box-office rich Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas week. Studios are trotting out their Oscar hopefuls now, and voters are finally getting a chance to see the films that have the greatest awards potential. But it's also an unusual year with no clear front-runners for the Oscars, and that should make for an interesting Cosmique Movie season as well.

And that also means that it's time to start getting serious about categories to add, drop, merge, or change for the new season.

Dropped Categories

At the moment, I'm not planning to eliminate any existing categories that were used last year.

I would really like to drop Worst Film and Worst Performance. Despite their apparent popularity, relatively few voters actually cast nominations or final votes in those categories. And honestly, how many voters really saw Gigli last year? But when I proposed dropping it earlier this year, there was a huge outcry from partisans wishing to retain it.

Likewise, the new lifetime achievement categories for Best Comedic Actor and Actress were only intended to be one-time-only, but intense lobbying has persuaded me to keep them.

I also tried to eliminate Best Documentary and Best Cameo last year, but backed down under fire. This year, documentaries have had unprecedented box office success and it would be inconceivable to eliminate them now. Cameos could go, but Matt Damon's surprise in Eurotrip is one of the best cameos of all time and has to be acknowledged.

Best Trailer is a challenging one for voters, even though I can provide a CD of my favorite trailers of the year. I thought about dropping it, but it was so popular with some voters (granted, a small minority) and was a nice addition to the ceremony, so I currently think I'll keep it.

New Best Overall Categories

I'm not planning to add any special Lifetime Achievement categories this year, but there could be several new categories awarded to films irrespective of genre.

This includes Favorite Cinematic Guilty Pleasure. This would be for any 2004 film that's not exactly high brow, is probably not appropriate to nominate in a major category, and is potentially one you're embarrassed to admit you enjoyed, but is still one that you would like to recognize. (If you like any of Ben Stiller's movies this year, this might be an appropriate place for them. For me, his films are all going under "Worst...")

I also got a lot of pressure last year to add one or more music categories:

  • Best Song

  • Best Original Score

  • Best Soundtrack

For Best Song, the song will ideally be original, and will also ideally be integrated into the film rather than tacked onto the end credits (although that's acceptable, I suppose, if it's an original song). The best of these, in my opinion, is Lustre's "Scotty Doesn't Know" from Eurotrip. It's original, it's performed by a character in the film, and becomes a running gag throughout the film. But...should we also include non-original songs if they are integrated into and performed by a character in the film, like "Holding Out for a Hero" performed by Jennifer Saunders in Shrek 2?

Original Score can be challenging for voters. Months after you saw the film, can you remember enough scores to choose your five favorites? I like the Soundtrack category because it's open to a broader range of non-original songs (like the classics in The Big Chill, or more recently, the contemporary alternative songs in Garden State). Should I include both categories, or consolidate Score under the broader topic of Best Soundtrack?

I've toyed with splitting the currently conjoined Cinematography/Art Direction category (mostly out of annoyance that animated films keep getting nominated - it's not that kind of art direction!). But really, I don't think voters are looking for more technical categories.

Finally, I've toyed with adding a new negative category for Most Overrated Film. This is different from Worst Film in that the nominees in this new category may not be bad, per se, they just might not live up to their hype. (For myself, The Matrix personifies this category.) But I'm not really sure I want to add any more negative categories, and I want to be careful about adding too many new categories all at once.

New Genre Categories

It's been a good year for queer-themed cinema (especially since during my time off I had a chance to see a lot more of the Frameline film festival than usual), so I would like to reinstate the Best Queer-Themed Film Released in 2004 category. I wanted to use a term that was general and inclusive (I suppose "LGBT-Themed" would have worked, albeit awkwardly). This would be for any film with significant LGBT themes, characters, or storylines. Note, however, that significant is open to interpretation - it doesn't necessarily need to be the principle characters, plot, or storyline.

Every year, I toy with splitting the Best Mystery, Suspense, Horror, and Thriller category. It can produce an eclectic bunch of nominees and winners (Gosford Park won in this category a few years ago, and 28 Days Later won it last year). But folks seem reluctant to separate this genre when polled in the past, so I probably won't make any changes here.

But I might consider adding a Best Animated Film category. If it's good enough for the Oscars, it's good enough for the Cosmos. But...are there enough films to make it worthwhile? I can think of four off the top of my head: The Incredibles, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, and Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie - but even then, I know some folks didn't like some of these films. We could have fewer than five nominees in this category. And we could expand it to also include films with significant characters that were rendered completely in CGI, like Gollum for The Lord of the Rings (not eligible this year), or Scooby in this year's Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Note, however, that this expansion would not extend to films where a character is predominantly in live action but is occasional rendered digitally for special effects and action sequences, like Spider-Man 2.

New Performance Categories

We already have a lot of categories honoring actors, and I'm not planning a whole lot of changes here. I really like the "sexy" categories (Sexiest Ensemble, Intimate Actor and Actress) because it helps set the Cosmos apart and bring a little more of the light-heearted "MTV Movie Awards" element. I liked the diversity that we got when we separate the Best Villain category into separate male and female categories. (Every month, Anna Kendrick remains one of the top 10 search terms on this website. Truly.) Adding the separate Hero and Heroine categories was a fun addition, even though it then tends to skew the overall nomination counts more towards the Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Action/Adventure genres. But that, too, helps set us apart.

I have, however, toyed with the idea of adding a category (a la the MTV Movie Awards) for Best Screen Couple. MTV varies this category from year to year. Most of their nominees are romantic couples, but sometimes they're more like buddies (like Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott in Dude, Where's My Car?). And sometimes it's a larger team. So, should we add this category, and if so, so we limit it to romantic couples, or all couples, or all teams (more than two people)? The idea is to emphasize chemistry, but to what extent, if any, does this then become undistinguishable from either Best Ensemble or Sexiest Ensemble? Should we just leave it well enough alone?

We Want to Hear What You Think

Okay, you've heard some of my ideas. Now it's your turn. I need feedback! And I also need to test some functionality - I'm trying to experiment with some techniques for allowing online voting for the nomination and final rounds this next year. So please answer the quick survey and give me your thoughts!

Take the Survey Now


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