And now for the winners....Recognizing the power that films have to influence and reflect the human condition, on the eve of the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, we present our own
C.I.F. awards for the best films of 2000:
Best Inspirational Picture: "Remember The Titans"
Racial prejudice reduces persons of a different race into creatures so different from us that they are not worthy of honor or respect. In the true story of the first African American coach at Virginia's Alexandria high school, Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) breaks down prejudices by helping the men of his team get to know one another in a whole new way. He shows the power that one person can have to change the lives of others when done in love.
Best Picture Depicting Community Values: "Thirteen Days"
Based on the true story of the Cuban missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in October, 1962, this compelling film follows the lives of President Kennedy, his brother Bobby, and his Cabinet through the decisions that they have to make during these 13 days of history. Looking over their shoulders, one can only imagine what choices we would make in the same situation.
Best Picture Depicting Spiritual Values: "The Legend Of Bagger Vance"
In Christian symbolism, Bagger Vance (Will Smith) is the incarnate presence of God. As the caddy of a former golf star who was devastated by World War I, Bagger comes to teach, heal, and model the life of faith. Bagger's steady encouragement and support allows Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) to find his true and authentic self, release the demons and burdens from the war, and reunite with the love of his life.
Best Picture In A Supporting Family Role: "Finding Forrester"
William Forrester (Sean Connery) is a Pulitzer-prize winning author who has isolated himself in his Bronx apartment. Antithetical to Forrester's fame and importance, Jamal Wallace (Robert Brown) is a poor high school student whose presence in the community is seemingly insignificant. Their interactions are simple and healing in both of their lives. As an inner city kid with a remarkable writing talent, Jamal blossoms under the guidance of Forrester and, in turn, Forrester regains a sense of purpose in his own life.
Best Actor In An Inspirational Role: "Pay It Forward"
12 year old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) gives us an example of the power of self-sacrificing love. Trevor is the only son of a struggling mother whose alcohol addiction has imprisoned her life. Into these bottled-up lives comes Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey), the teacher of Trevor's seventh grade social studies class. Creating a class project called "Pay It Forward", Trevor decides that if he could just help three people, who would in turn help three more people, he could change the world. What he begins succeeds far beyond his imagination, but not without personal cost.
Best Directed Story Of Values Development: The Big Kahuna"
This film is a compelling dialogue between three men sent to a trade convention to make a company-saving sale to the president of a large manufacturing company. The power of the film rests on the humanity of these three unlikely co-workers who find themselves on a journey of unexpectedly profound spiritual significance. In the end, the sale is made by the youngest member, an inexperienced salesman who shares his personal integrity and faith with the client and wins him over.