AFI AWARDS 2000

On January 9, 2001, AFI announced the official selections of AFI 2000, a new annual program designed to recognize, preserve and honor excellence in the moving image during the 21st century. Selections include 10 AFI Movies of the Year and five AFI Moments of Significance.

The following 10 films have been selected by a 12-member jury as AFI Movies of the Year. Each of these films — listed alphabetically — best advances the art of the moving image; enhances the rich cultural heritage of America's art form; inspires audiences and artists alike; and/or makes a mark on American society in matter of style or substance:

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR

ALMOST FAMOUS At the center of ALMOST FAMOUS lies a question: When it would be easier not to, do you write the truth? Cameron Crowe writes the truth in this story of a young rock journalist in the 1970s with a profound understanding that can come only from living it — and he directs with an uncommon attention to detail of time, place and character, capturing how deeply music affects us. Read the AFI Catalog entry

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS Julian Schnabel invigorates the biographical movie in his sensual, lyrical and searing memorial to the late Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas, played by Javier Bardem with a riveting mixture of passion and playfulness. BEFORE NIGHT FALLS is a moving testament to artistic and sexual freedom, and Schnabel brings to it a painter's eye and a documentarian's attention to cultural detail. Read the AFI Catalog entry

With BEST IN SHOW, director Christopher Guest and the ensemble cast elevate the mock-documentary form to new artistic heights. The film raises comedy to the level of insight and weaves a seamless narrative fabric from actors' improvisation around a central theme. Fred Willard's performance is worthy of special recognition. Read the AFI Catalog entry

ERIN BROCKOVICH This finely-crafted studio picture goes beyond the familiar with humor, texture and a fine attention to detail — an increasingly rare experience. ERIN BROCKOVICH, with its luminescent performance by Julia Roberts, accomplishes what all Hollywood films should aspire to: to excel both as art and as entertainment. Read the AFI Catalog entry

GLADIATOR updates the traditional American genre — the epic costume film — through cutting-edge technology. Its hero, a noble and unselfish man, is a type movies have celebrated for generations, but the modern methods used to create the world he lives in give viewers a new kind of spectacle for the new millennium. Read the AFI Catalog entry

HIGH FIDELITY is an offbeat odyssey about a 30-something record store owner who knows everything about pop music but nothing about life. A terrific ensemble cast includes music as a central character. The film effortlessly breaks the fourth wall and, rather then shoe-horning its quirky characters into a tidy resolution, chooses a real world ending. Read the AFI Catalog entry

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM Darren Aronofsky takes no prisoners in his harrowing second film, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. Utilizing the language of cinema to startling film effect, he condenses information through multiple points-of-view and propulsive editing. Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto give electrifying performances as a drug-addicted mother and son. Read the AFI Catalog entry

TRAFFIC Steven Soderbergh balances a complex narrative structure that includes three separate stories and multiple outstanding performances. TRAFFIC moves with clarity, grace and intelligence through a broad strata of American and Mexican society in this uncompromising tale about the never-ending fight to win a war against drugs. Read the AFI Catalog entry

WONDER BOYS This sophisticated, beautifully-written comedy of manners is a melancholy and funny coming-of-middle-age story. In WONDER BOYS, Curtis Hanson displays a sure comic-satiric touch and draws remarkable performances from his ensemble, particularly Michael Douglas as a literary one-hit-wonder and Tobey Maguire as his precocious student. Read the AFI Catalog entry

YOU CAN COUNT ON ME In YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan surprises time and again with his affecting story of a complicated, funny and emotional sister/brother relationship. Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo create heart-breakingly real characters in this underexplored thematic territory. Read the AFI Catalog entry