Fighting for the Oscar

By Matt Coughlin
February 15, 2001

From one end of the Shrine Auditorium come the breastplated gladiators of Rome, led by Russell Crowe, from the other come the flying martial arts warriors of the Han Chinese Empire; the two groups will be battling it out Oscar night, March 25.

“Gladiator” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” are the two films receiving the most nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Gladiator” was nominated for 12 Oscars, while “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was nominated for 10. The 10 nominations for “Crouching Tiger” are the most a foreign film has received.

Both films are nominated for best film, “Crouching Tiger” also earning an Oscar for best foreign film. It is only the third time in Oscar history that a film has been nominated for best film and best foreign film.

Joining “Gladiator” and “Crouching Tiger” are “Erin Brockovich,” “Traffic” and “Chocolat.”

Russell Crowe is also nominated for best actor, along with Tom Hanks in “Castaway,” Javier Bordem in “Before Night Falls,” Ed Harris as Jackson Pollack in “Pollack” and Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade in “Quills.”

Best Director will also be a tough battle as “Gladiator” Ridley Scott, nominated for both “Gladiator” and “Traffic” takes on Ang Lee, director of “Crouching Tiger,” and Steven Soderbergh, director of “Erin Brockovich.”

Julia Roberts is a strong candidate for best actress for her work in “Brockovich.” Rounding out the list of best actress nominees are Laura Linney in “You Can Count on Me,” Ellen Burstyn in “Requiem for a Dream,” Juliette Binoche in “Chocolat” and Joan Allen in “The Contender.”

Judi Dench for “Chocolat,” Marcia Gay Harden “Pollack,” Kate Hudson “Almost Famous,” Frances McDormand in “Almost Famous” and Julie Walters in “Billy Elliot” are the nominees for best supporting actress, while on the supporting actors side the nominees are Jeff Bridges in “Contender,” Willem DaFoe in “Shadow of the Vampire,” Benicio Del Toro in “Traffic,” Albert Finney in “Brockovich” and Joaquin Phoenix in “Gladiator.”

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Matt Coughlin

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