Date: 13th February 2001

Gladiator gets Thumbs Up From Academy

Proving once again that movie academy voters love their Roman epics, Ridley Scott's Gladiator picked up 12 Oscar nominations this morning (Tuesday), including nods for best picture, best actor (Russell Crowe), and best director (Scott). The Chinese-language Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, was close behind with 10 nominations. The other best-picture candidates were Traffic, Erin Brockovich and Chocolat. The inclusion of Chocolat in the list was regarded by some analysts as more of a tribute to the marketing acumen of its distributor Miramax than a recognition of the artistic merits of the film.

Almost Famous and Wonder Boys, two critical favorites that fared poorly at the box office but were regarded as strong candidates for best-picture nominations nonetheless, found themselves shut out in the four top categories (picture, actor, actress, director).

Nominees in the leading categories: Best Picture: Chocolat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, Traffic.

Actor: Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls; Russell Crowe, Gladiator; Tom Hanks, Cast Away; Ed Harris, Pollock; Geoffrey Rush, Quills.

Actress: Joan Allen, The Contender; Juliette Binoche, Chocolat; Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream; Laura Linney, You Can Count On Me; Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich.

Director: Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot; Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich; Ridley Scott, Gladiator; Steven Soderbergh, Traffic.

Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, The Contender; Willem Dafoe, Shadow of the Vampire; Benicio Del Toro, Traffic; Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich; Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator.

Supporting Actress: Judi Dench, Chocolat; Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock; Kate Hudson, Almost Famous; Frances McDormand, Almost Famous; Julie Walters, Billy Elliot.

Screenplay (based on previously produced or published material): Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat; Wang Hui Ling and James Schamus and Tsai Kuo Jung, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Stephen Gaghan, Traffic; Steve Kloves, Wonder Boys.

Screenplay (original): Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous; Lee Hall, Billy Elliot; Susannah Grant, Erin Brockovich; David Franzoni and John Logan and William Nicholson, Gladiator; Kenneth Lonergan, You Can Count On Me.

Source: Studio Briefing