Spike's Peak

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Delroy Lindo and Denzel Washington in Malcolm X
  • Delroy Lindo and Denzel Washington in Malcolm X

With the recent re-release of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing on DVD to celebrate its 20th anniversary (see the review in CL's View from the Couch column here), now seems like an appropriate time to look at the highs and lows over the course of the maverick filmmaker's career.

Best Film: Do the Right Thing

Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Malcolm X

Best Actress: Annabella Sciorra, Jungle Fever

Best Supporting Actor: Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing (Honorable Mention: Ossie Davis in the same film)

Best Supporting Actress: Angela Bassett, Malcolm X

Best Original Screenplay: Do the Right Thing (Lee)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Malcolm X (Lee & Arnold Perl, adapted from The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley & Malcolm X)

Best Original Score: 25th Hour (Terence Blanchard)

Most Underrated: Clockers

Most Overrated: Jungle Fever

Best Technical Innovation: Lee's signature camera zoom (and its variations) that keeps the character in front stationary while the background moves, and vice versa (Do the Right Thing, Inside Man, etc.)

Worst Technical Innovation: The distorted aspect ratio sequence in Crooklyn

Least Deserving "Forgotten" Film: Get on the Bus

Most Deserving "Forgotten" Film: Girl 6

Film (By Any Director) That Best Captures Post-9/11 New York: 25th Hour

Good Idea Unfortunately Bungled: Summer of Sam

Bad Idea, Period: She Hate Me

Biggest Commercial Hit: Inside Man

Biggest Disappointment (Commercially & Critically): Miracle at St. Anna

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