Maximum Crowe

A Look Back at 2002

It's that time of year again. So, just for fun and in no particular order, here are
10 of Maximum Crowe's Favorite Russell Moments of 2002.

10. Russell for Best Actor. A Beautiful Mind, its stars and crew started the awards season off right, most notably with Russell's win for Best Actor. The film -- and Russell -- emerged as the front-runners for the other top awards in the months to come.

9. Russell for best actor.
Despite what happened behind the scenes (and the controversy in the weeks after), it was a treat to see Russell winning a deserved award.

8. .
Russell's peers chose him as 2002's best actor for his portrayal of John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. Our favorite moment from the show: When ABM's two-table crew of actors and filmmakers gave Russell a standing ovation after he won.

7. Russell .
Seeing Russell and Danielle Spencer once again on the red carpet felt like deja vu She'd been with him last year when he won for. Russell entered the history books in 2002 as among less than a handful of actors to ever be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar three years in a row. Russell looked more relaxed than he ever has since becoming an awards-show staple. That fact, along with his front-row aisle seat, meant lots of camera time (unlike , where the show's directors didn't seem to know they had movie royalty in their midst).

At the , Russell was handsome (in Armani again), playful (witness the Whoopi Goldberg smooch during the opening number), and dashing (didn't we all get the feeling Halle Berry was in good hands with him up there with her?). Best of all (but no real surprise), he was exceptionally gracious after Denzel Washington won, by flashing a genuine smile and even taking part in a standing ovation for his co-star. Even though Russell didn't win his second Oscar this year, it's a given that he'll be back up there eventually. Till then, we can't imagine what this year's Oscar show will be like without him.

6. The Grunts announcing plans to tour again and release a new album.
Well, at least we still have the album to look forward to. It's tentatively due out in early 2003.

5. A Beautiful Mind .
The movie itself was enough. But the -- usually just throwaways on most DVDs -- elevated this disc to one of the best ever. Once you start watching, it's impossible to stop. Russell's deleted scenes alone were worth the price.

4. The engagement.
After years of being together and years of being apart, the two young lovers of The Crossing find themselves in their own, real-life love story. The news of Russell's proposal to Danielle Spencer also shut up all the critics who had unwisely speculated about their relationship during the past year.

3. Russell signs to do Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
Elongated title aside, a Russell-Peter Weir collaboration has us as excited as we were a few years ago when he signed to work with Michael Mann and Al Pacino in The Insider. There are other reasons we're thrilled, namely the project's literary legacy and the period setting on the high seas. Plus, in a year where Russell had to endure relentless gossip about his personal life, it was nice to get back to what made us start this site in the first place: his work.

2. The first images of Russell as Capt. Jack Aubrey.
The uniform. The long blond ponytail. We'd been waiting for what seemed like ages to get a glimpse of The Man in action, so to speak. The brown wavy locks were gone, but the handsomeness and charisma were still there. The only thing better was . . .

1. The Master and Commander .
Part "Perfect Storm," part old-fashioned epic and, in some strange way, even part Gladiator. The trailer had the audience cheering during one screening we attended. Russell looks to have another hit on his hands.

See our favorite moments of 2001, and 2000.

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