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« Readers' Ranking: Streep's Oscar Noms, #16-11 | Main | Oscar Symposium Day 2: Invisible Art & Self Love »

FB Awards Flashback 2002 ~ Viola Davis Wins "Breakthrough"

I was looking up old Film Bitch Awards the other day, to verify that I had awarded Viola Davis a prize once before, because when she took home the SAG prize I felt like shouting "I SAW HER FIRST!". Turns out I gave her two gold medals the first year I "met" her. For kicks, and because I haven't finished the First Ten Years book for purchase, here is a little flashback for you exactly as they appeared (typos and all)! Viola won the following two prizes "Best Actress in a Cameo or Limited Role" and "Breakthrough"... I had totally forgotten most of these details.


Viola only had one scene in Antwone Fisher so I guess I never found a photo of her. LOL. I remember a teensy bit of Viola and Mary Lynn Rajskub's performances. Toni Collette's cameo on the other hand is super vivid  as most things The Hours are, nine years on.  Tilda Swinton and Geraldine Chaplin's roles are much fuzzier memories. In fact, I didn't remember until looking at this that Tilda was even in Adaptation (the bulk of my memories from that one are Streep's -- particularly the famous dial tone sequence -- with a little side dish of Chris Cooper). 

[Note: The year before I had given the medals to Naomi Watts, Gael García Bernal and Kerry Washington]

Remember when Maggie Gyllenhaal was Jessica Chastain?

I'm lol'ing at my "Give her a lead role instantly" command about Viola Davis. Meryl Streep would issue the same command at the SAG Awards several years later. It only took Hollywood nine years to get back to me on that with The Help. The other thing that's amusing to me about this flashback is Jesse Eisenberg as a semi-finalist. I didn't seem to have much faith that micro-budgeted indie Roger Dodger would lead anywhere for him but I thought he was great in it. 

Does this bring back any memories of 2002 movies for you?

I know I've been slow going on finishing the Film Bitch Awards this year, and even slower to bring you all the promised book of "The First Ten Years". When I finally finish it I hope you'll all purchase to support the site's continued life. [In the meantime a "subscription" on the right hand sidebar -- That's like 8 cents a day -- is a great way to make sure we keep typing at you for yet another year].

Who will win breakthrough and cameo prizes this year? And will we laugh about who was highlighted and who wasn't nine years later? The answer to the first question is coming soon but obviously there's a long wait before we can answer the second.


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    [...]FB Awards Flashback 2002 ~ Viola Davis Wins "Breakthrough" - Blog - The Film Experience[...]

Reader Comments (27)

I didn't remember Tilda in Adaptation either but i was watching an interview she had given to Charlie Rose and there was a clip in which we see TILDA AND MERYL AT THE SAME TABLE TALKING TO. EACH. OTHER!!!!!!!

Obviously, I wasn't excited at all.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Nat I do remember you giving her an award but there definitely was a photo and I recall the text slightly differently - maybe that was in another catagory?

I miss being able to look those old awards up but a book? Yes I'll buy it.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Your breakthroughs were successful! Well, some of them. Viola, Maggie, Diego, Jesse Eisenberg, and Benoit Magimel is certainly as successful as he was ever going to be! Sad about Mary McCormack though. I haven't seen either of those films so I can't really speak to her talents, but she was always my least favorite thing about 'The West Wing,' sorry to say.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean D

Also Nathaniel, is there any chance of those old film bitch awards being put back up on the site? I miss looking through them for recommendations.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean D

I can say that I realized how great Viola Davis thanks to Nathaniel, his site and his awards!

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Sean D -- there is no chance. The software doesn't allow for that many folders of back years. So i can only keep two years backed up in the sidebars. But I need money anyway so a book is a good option. Now if I can just get it together and find the time to design and publish it.

February 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Would you edit it as an ebook? I'm kind of eco-friendly, and would totally buy it.

(2002 is the year of the clash of titans, Julianne Moore vs Isabelle Huppert for best actress. A situation like this only happens once in 20 years or more, two of the best actresses ever giving their best performances ever).

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

You're magic, Nathaniel! The people you highlight become big stars. I wish I had the power to will someone into celebrity.

Well, I guess not *all* of them become big stars... I don't know who Mary McCormack is (apparently she's mostly on TV now?), but that "Uh oh" in the "Next Project" space says it all: you're in a category with Viola D, Maggie G, and Diego and you throw it all away for a film called "Dickie Roberts" (which, btw, sounds like the first coming of "Bucky Larson"). Poor girl.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I really need to do a rewatch of Adaptation and Far From Heaven soon! I have no recollection of Viola in the latter.

Chaplin and Rajskub are definitely scene-stealers, though to be fair, I have seen both of those films a number of times, so it's no wonder their roles would seem vivid to me (Rodger Dodger, too).

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

^ Whattttt. She was Julianne's maid!

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Not sure if it counts as a cameo, but Judy Greer in the Descendants is my favorite 'small part' in a film this year.

Nathaniel, please get the book ready ASAP, you got a buyer here :)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterramification

Love seeing this. I remember going to see Solaris with my father and sister - I wasn't really into movies at the time, so going to see this slightly obtuse film at an unusual cinema was a definite change of pace for me. I was transfixed - I think it was somewhat of a breakthrough for me, though the cinema obsession didn't really take hold until about a year later. But Solaris was the first DVD I ever bought, and the absolute best things about it (Clooney's ass aside) were the score and Viola's electrifying performance. So, I was a bit late on the cinema train, but pretty much on the Viola train from the beginning.

Toni is fantastic in The Hours - probably my favourite outside the three leads, though it's a film overflowing with indelible acting moments.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Nathaniel R why there is no archive for fim bitch awards(except last two years)?
what should somebody like me who has kown your site less than a year do to know other years's winners?

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramir

SeanD, Amir, use the Internet Wayback Machine if you want to look at previous years' FB Awards.

(That book is an awesome idea BTW.)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax

amir -- as stated a few comments ago the software on my website doesn't allow that many folders so i can only store so much material.But i have all the info so i may do more flashback posts like this and will definitely put it into a book format as soon as i can figure out how. I've tried to do it and i have all the info with which to make it but i can't get any programs to hold the table shape WORD is insanely hard to do sharp visuals with it always puts weird spaces in adn i'm not going to publish a book that looks like shit so i have to keep trying to find something to build the book in that i can then transfer to PDF.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I had forgotten about this book! Can't wait to have it in my hands!

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

You know who, in retrospect, wins my "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2002? Andy Serkis.

I am finally going to watch Soderbergh's Solaris this weekend. Hooray?

28 Days Later... was my favorite film of 2002. Cillian Murphy being my retrospective runner-up to Serkis in the aforementioned category.

To anyone still reading, how does Road to Perdition sit with you after almost ten years? Have you given it much thought in that time?

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Toni Colette was SO good in the Hours....possibly my fave camero performance ever!

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooooke

2002 was the first time I found my way to the Film Experience blog. That was the year my favorite movie of all time (Spirited Away) came to the US, and I was excitedly looking at any possible movie sites about its Oscar chances. I remember seeing the FB nominations that year, but the specifics in the Cameo and Breakthrough awards must have slipped my mind.

Hard to believe that it's almost been ten years.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterajnrules

@Philip - Yeah, I know - I've read a lot about the performance this year, but the performance/role just didn't leave enough of an impression on me for me to recall her scenes/lines/expressions etc. 9 years later.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

@Rax, I tried the Wayback Machine and no pages loaded properly... is there a trick to this?

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Derr... never mind... I was using the wrong URL..

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Suzanne - Ohhhh, sorry. :3 didn't mean to sound that way then

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Wait...I want to use this Wayback Machine! But I'm so confused

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Here's the page referenced in this article:


You just have to know your way around the old site. ;)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax

HAHA. Using the Wayback Machine, I found a post where Nathaniel ranked Margaret #11 in his "Coming Soon but not Soon Enough in 2006" list. A quote:

"Margaret, the new film from missing-in-action writer/director Kenneth Lonergan may well be the most hotly anticipated film of 2006 for two sets of moviegoers: The first group is the rabid fans of the fine 2000 sibling drama You Can Count On Me. The second might be The Piano (1993) junkies (you know who they/you are) desperately waiting for Anna Paquin to play something other than a mutant or a Lolita-esque sex object for a change --just to see if she has any more greatness in her. It has to suck to peak at the precocious age of eleven, so let's hope she does. Have more greatness in her, I mean."

Also on the list- Bug, Zodiac, The Assassination of Jesse James... (must have been moved back), Inland Empire, Volver, and Running with Scissors. Mostly good picks!

(And don't worry Nathaniel- II haven't found any FB awards-- and even if I did, I'd still buy the book!)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Wow, great heading back down memory lane. I remember how wonderful she was in Solaris and totally agreeing with your breakthrough nod.

February 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBJT
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