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Monday, 18 December, 2000, 12:31 GMT
Critics crown Almost Famous
Almost Famous
Crowe's Almost Famous is a semi-autobiographical piece
Director Cameron Crowe's new movie Almost Famous has taken the lion's share's of the glory at the prestigious Boston Society of Film Critics awards.

Crowe's semi-autobiographical 70s rock movie won four trophies, including best film, best director and best supporting actress for Frances McDormand.

Ang Lee's acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won two awards, including best foreign language film at Sunday's ceremony.

The annual event is considered a good pointer for the coveted Golden Globe nominations this Thursday, which are themselves regarded as a indicator of those movies bound for Oscars success.

Crouching Tiger
Crouching Tiger is from Oscar-nominated director Ang Lee

Best actress went to Ellen Burstyn for her tortured depiction of a woman who becomes addicted to speed in Requiem for Dream.

The surprise result of the evening was the best actor award, which went to relative unknown Colin Farrell for small-budget movie Tigerland.

Jerry Maguire director Crowe's new movie is based on his own experiences as a young music journalist.

It chronicles the teenage exploits of a rock journalist working for Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s.

Aside from Frances McDormand and Billy Crudup, the film's cast is made up of relative unknowns.

However, it has earned praise from industry observers for its witty, absorbing script, strong performances and soundtrack.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has also been steadily garnering its own share of praise.

Michael Douglas
Douglas took on a less glamorous role than usual in Wonder Boys

The historical action-romance set in western China marks a departure for the twice Oscar-nominated Lee.

But - after being warmly received over the summer festival season - the movie was named the best film of 2000 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association on Saturday.

Best actor at these awards went to Michael Douglas, for his portrayal of a college professor dealing with a new prodigy on campus in Wonder Boys.

Julia Roberts won best actress for her role as environmental activist Erin Brockovich, in the film of the same name.

The film also earned Steven Soderburgh the trophy for best director, along with his work on the Michael Douglas/Catherine Zeta Jones movie Traffic.

In fact, it has been a good few days for Soderburgh, who watched Traffic take four trophies at the New York Film Critics awards last week.

Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet in Quills
Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet in next year's release Quills

Combined with the National Board of Review awards, earlier this month, the industry honours handed out so far give a clearer idea of what media insiders consider the best films of the year.

Independent movie Quills, about the Marquis de Sade, won the National Board of Review's best film. This also added weight to the argument that 2000 has been a poor year for quality Hollywood blockbusters.

The signs are that moderately budgeted, arthouse-style films could walk away with major Academy Awards success in March.

See also:

31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Director Crowe's Famous venture
14 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Traffic wows New York critics
07 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Quills named film of the year
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