Best Director

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Jackson ponders the lunch menu.

The Calvins has its first ever repeat winner in the category of Best Director, and he won by an overwhelming margin. Peter Jackson's creation of Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers again scored huge points among our voters, who gave him the prize last year for his first film in the series. Not only did Jackson run away with the win at the polls, he also had the most number one votes with a total of five. The competition should be a lot more stringent next year as Jackson will be in direct competition with the Wachowski brothers as they both continue the Matrix saga and bring it to a conclusion. Ang Lee also will throw his hat into the mix, so it looks to be a fascinating year among favorite BOP directors.

Coming in at a distant second was Spike Jonze for Adaptation. Ever the oddity, BOP voters appreciated his quirky touches that made Charlie Kaufman's highly unusual script come to life. It's to Jonze's credit that he is able to take such difficult-to-translate subject matter and make it work for such a variety of fans on the big screen.

Previously best known for their work on the American Pie movies, Chris and Paul Weitz were able to make what is arguably a very British film in About a Boy, which was good enough to earn them a third place victory. The movie is a delight in its small, detailed touches, and the pair was able to elicit wonderful performances from the young actor (Nicholas Hoult) whose character is so crucial to driving the plot of the film.

A movie musical in the vein of Chicago should have been difficult to produce. It's something that works very well onstage, but before seeing the film, it was nearly impossible to imagine how in the world it could work on the big screen. First-time film director Rob Marshall pulled it off with finesse, though, integrating the musical scenes flawlessly with their "real time" counterparts. The movie works, and it works very well.

People either love or hate M. Night Shyamalan's work, with rarely any room for a middling response. Much like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable before it, Signs was a movie that received extremely strong reactions from its viewers. Whether you're in the "love him" camp or sit on the "hate him" side of the fence, there's no denying that one way or another, the film evoked some sort of emotion. It's film direction that is very conscious of itself, and for viewers who love that sort of work, Signs was a fun escape for a Saturday afternoon.

The bottom portion of the top ten was comprised of Paul Thomas Anderson, whose Punch-Drunk Love almost has a foreign film feel, Steven Spielberg's futuristic depiction of society in Minority Report, and Alexander Payne's examination of a retired man who realizes he's done nothing in life in About Schmidt. George Clooney's directorial debut also received high marks for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, along with his frequent work partner Steven Soderbergh, who put our brains to work in Solaris.

Finishing just outside the top ten were Hayao Miyazaki, director of the animated masterpiece Spirited Away, and Doug Liman, who scored huge points for Go a few years back and made The Bourne Identity a stylish, yet thrilling affair. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Top Ten
Total Points
Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Spike Jonze
Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz
About a Boy
Rob Marshall
M. Night Shyamalan
Paul Thomas Anderson
Punch-Drunk Love
Steven Spielberg
Minority Report
Alexander Payne
About Schmidt
George Clooney
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Steven Soderbergh

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Scene
  • Best Cast
  • Best Use of Music
  • Worst Picture
  • Best Trailer
  • Best DVD
  • Best Overlooked Film

  • Return to the 2003 Calvin Awards



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    Thursday, May 24, 2018
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