Annal: 2000 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Film

Results of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award in the year 2000.

Film:American Beauty

American Beauty

Sam Mendes

From its first gliding aerial shot of a generic suburban street, American Beauty moves with a mesmerizing confidence and acuity epitomized by Kevin Spacey’s calm narration. Spacey is Lester Burnham, a harried Everyman whose midlife awakening is the spine of the story, and his very first lines hook us with their teasing fatalism—like Sunset Boulevard’s Joe Gillis, Burnham tells us his story from beyond the grave.

It’s an audacious start for a film that justifies that audacity. Weaving social satire, domestic tragedy, and whodunit into a single…

Film:East Is East

East Is East

Damien O'Donnell

Manchester in 1971 is not the ideal time and place to raise a proper Pakistani family. But George Khan (Om Puri), father of seven unruly moppets and husband to a willful British wife (Linda Bassett), is determined to wield his influence over his clan. But what a clan this is, with Nazir (Ian Aspinall), who refuses his arranged wife; Saleem (Chris Bisson) who creates—shall we say controversial?—works of art; Tariq (Jimi Mistry), the mod boy who lives for discos and English girls; Meenah (Archie Panjabi), the only girl and tomboy extraordinaire; and Sajid (Jordan…

Film:The End of the Affair

The End of the Affair

Neil Jordan

“This is a diary of hate,” pounds out novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) on his typewriter as he recounts the lost love of his life in this spiritual memoir (based on Graham Greene’s novel) with a startling twist. It’s London 1946, and Maurice runs into his achingly dull school friend Henry (Stephen Rea with a perpetually gloomy hangdog expression). Their meeting is brittle, all small talk and chilly, mannered civility beautifully captured by director-screenwriter Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and it only barely thaws when Henry suggests that his…

Film:The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan

“I see dead people,” whispers little Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), scared to affirm what is to him now a daily occurrence. This peaked 9-year old, already hypersensitive to begin with, is now being haunted by seemingly malevolent spirits. Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is trying to find out what’s triggering Cole’s visions, but what appears to be a psychological manifestation turns out to be frighteningly real. It might be enough to scare off a lesser man, but for Malcolm it’s personal—several months before, he was accosted and shot by an…

Film:The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Anthony Minghella

“I feel like I’ve been handed a new life,” says Tom Ripley at a crucial turning point of this well-cast, stylishly crafted psychological thriller. And indeed he has, because the devious, impoverished Ripley (played with subtle depth by Matt Damon) has just traded his own identity for that of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), the playboy heir to a shipping fortune who has become Ripley’s model for a life worth living. Having been sent by Dickie’s father to retrieve the errant son from Italy, Ripley has smoothly ingratiated himself with Dickey and his lovely,…

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