Even before 2001 erupted into a long, horrible reality show, much of the best pop culture on view was enchantingly escapist. Of course, every year offers a myriad of releases from the everyday; that’s what entertainment is. But look at the brilliant wildness of the year’s flights of fancy: Nicole Kidman lured us into an absinthe-saturated fantasy edition of fin de siecle France in Moulin Rouge; Audrey Tautou frolicked through the daydream life of modern Paris in Amelie. There were passageways through which to explore different worlds altogether – peep down on Middle-earth and find Viggo Mortensen among the freaky creatures of The Fellowship of the Ring. And the songs of both Alicia Keys and the O Brother musicians are the very definition of transporting. None of which is to say that there was no escape from escapism; note the pair of smart alecks perched behind unconventional anchor desks. Tina Fey became the brainy boy’s crush by giving current events a satirical spin on SNL, and Bill O’Reilly, the avowedly spin-free Fox News man, made news with his high decibel level and low tolerance for artifice. But, one way or another, we think our Entertainers of the Year operate in a sphere of their own. Turn the page to explore it.
Posted December 21 2001 — 12:00 AM EST
- George R.R. Martin on 'Winds of Winter': 'Things are getting worse'
- 'Green Hornet' star Van Williams dies at 82
- 'Baywatch' is hitting the beach on Memorial Day weekend
- Beyoncé was already a star at age 10, unearthed footage proves
- See Madonna twerk to 'Bitch I'm Madonna' on Carpool Karaoke
- 'Major League' star Margaret Whitton dies at 67
- 'Supergirl': Will we ever meet Earth-1 Kara Danvers?
- The 11 Most Prolific TV Holiday Movie Actors
- Go Behind the Scenes of EW's Chrissy Teigen Photoshoot
- The 'Office Christmas Party' Cast Decks the Halls With Merry Mayhem
- The Best Gifts For 'Gilmore Girls' Fans
- See Exclusive Photos From Star-Studded Performances of 'Oh, Hello'
- 35 Photos of Britney Spears For Her 35th Birthday