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Thursday, 29 March, 2001, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Oscars 2001: Who do you think should have won?
This year's Oscars contest was one of the most closely fought in years, with Gladiator winning best film and best actor for its star Russell Crowe.
Erin Brockovich star Julia Roberts won the best actress prize as expected, but did you think she deserved to win?
Would you perhaps prefer to have seen French star Juliette Binoche walk away with a statuette for her work in romantic drama Chocolat?
Which film, director and stars do you think should have been covered in glory on 25 March? Do you agree with the selection process? And have the Academy chosen the best films this year?
This debate is now closed. Your reaction:
I will not make the mistake of trusting any Oscar winner again. Crouching Tiger is a far superior film to Gladiator - this is total prejudice against a foreign film. If the people who selected this are highly qualified in their field, then the word "qualified" has to be redefined.
I loved Russell Crowe's very philosophical and humble acceptance speech. He stands out among the brats of Hollywood as one who can calm the fire of their fame with perspective. Three cheers, Russell!
I would just like to know why Russell Crowe insisted on being so stonefaced during the ceremony? Perhaps he thought he was being "cool"?
Most of the awards were fair but I saw The Making of Gladiator and without doubt Ridley Scott deserved an Oscar more than anyone this year.
Regardless of who won what, it is great to see an event that has brought a degree of happiness to the sombre news reports of animal slaughter, stock market crashes and war.
English-speaking actors will always win the main Oscars, regardless of the number of brilliant non-English-speaking actors. Most winners have always been (and will be) white. We are no more likely to see a Chinese win an Oscar for a leading role than we are likely to see a black president of the USA or a Pakistani PM in Britain. This is not because there aren't any brilliant Chinese actors, but because Oscars have little or nothing to do with the actual artistic achievements. They are mostly advertising hype and very likely rigged.
Gladiator is a great film that is not just an SFX movie. Crowe adds real depth to the character without needing to resort to verbose dialogue. In fact the whole direction is taut. I do find it difficult to choose between Crouching Tiger and Gladiator. Perhaps some people are upset that a film dealing with French existentialist angst or a heartwarming British movie (Billy Elliot) did not win! And no Tom Hanks - bonus!
Why wasn't 13 Days nominated for any awards? This film was easily better than Gladiator and on a par with Traffic, which I thought should have won Best Picture.
Disappointing outcome but not surprising. Julia Roberts usually plays Julia Roberts. The true dedication of the real Erin Brockovich played second fiddle to Ms Roberts' push up bra!
Interesting that Ms Roberts did not acknowledge the real woman behind the story of the film, but chose to shriek and scream instead. As for Gladiator, it was another ho-hum spectacle with lots of action and rippling muscles. As for a real story that will inspire and entertain, like Billy Elliot or the charm and excellent characterisations of Chocolat - they went largely ignored.
Gladiator for Best Picture? I've never seen a worse ending to a film in a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time. How Hollywood can claim that this is the best the film industry had to offer in the last year is astounding. Crouching Tiger on the other hand is one of the greatest films ever made and was given the scraps to keep its fans happy. They might as well have told Ang Lee not to do it again in reference to making a foreign language film... scandalous!
I have to say that I'm totally "underwhelmed" by the whole affair. Who really cares about actors anyway - they're doing a job like everyone else. I think people should be concentrating on their own lives and the lives of those around them rather than people who neither know nor care about those voting for them.
Although we may not all agree on who should have won what and why, let's just hope that a few more of the people who watched Gladiator or Erin Brockovich now go and watch Crouching Tiger, Chocolat or Traffic.
I was disappointed Joaquin Phoenix did not get supporting actor. I felt he played a better part than Russell Crowe - although I thought he was excellent and deserved the Oscar. Better luck next time, Joaquin!
I would like to congratulate Marcia Gay Harden for her Best Supporting Actress award. Although I haven't seen Pollock, I do remember her performance in Miller's Crossing a while back and a quite stunning guest performance in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street - A Doll's Eye. I am so pleased for her!
Does Pamela Anderson get the award for most awful outfit? And how come she got an invite anyway?
What a tragedy. Why oh why can't the Oscars be a little more internationally sympathetic? I can't imagine for a second that there is a movie critic worth his salt out there who doesn't think that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was far and away the best movie of the year. I enjoyed Gladiator, but it was still a formulaic American hack'n'slash, good-guy-wins movie, albeit well dressed with decent performances and special effects. I can't help but feel, though, that Crouching Tiger has really been punished for being a foreign language film. It was simply breathtaking. If it was produced by Americans and spoken in English (by the same actors) it would have taken the Oscar for sure. It is just a shame that people can't get past having to read a few words at the bottom of the screen.
I think people will look back to 2000 in 25-50 years time and think more of Gladiator as a film than any other film from last year. I think Ridley Scott should have taken it, and Oliver Reed mentioned (WOW what acting, you'll be missed).
The Hollywood film industry is an embarrassment to America. All but a handful of films each year are utter garbage, and all but a handful of actors are a waste of space. Their lack of acting ability is exceeded only by their lack of intelligence when they double as amateur politicians and spokespeople for special interest groups. Unfortunately there are too many people in the UK and USA who are willing keep them in their preposterous business by paying to buy their products.
The only award that Julia Roberts should win is that of being consistently mediocre in every film she makes. But I guess Hollywood now found it necessary to give her an Oscar, in order to justify the outrageous pay that they give her per film. Is this the best that Hollywood can come up with?
We value the Oscar more because the glamour and tradition of the film industry are associated with Hollywood. If people outside of America don't like that, we should make more films and start competing a bit better!
Why is the Academy helping to divide the world along English-speaking versus non-English-speaking lines? Judging by its camerawork, story line, artistic performance and direction, Crouching Tiger is a superior film to Gladiator. Both use special effects, but in Crouching Tiger they complement the story, while in Gladiator they are embarrassingly visible. It is linguistic racism that the better film didn't win, just because it is in a 'foreign' language!
Mick Prickle, UK
The trouble with the Oscars is of course that they are purely subjective (with an American bias). As American taste leans toward low level melodrama, it's no surprise that tosh like Gladiator, Braveheart and Titanic do so well. This of itself would appear to be pretty harmless. However, it is not. There is now a whole generation who believe that Gladiator, Braveheart, Titanic etc are historical fact whereas they are just hysterical fiction. (I won't bother to include U571). The only film I have seen this year that seems to have any merit is 'Billy Elliot'. It was of course useless to expect any Oscars.
Never mind whether Gladiator was any good or not, the Academy should have taken one look at what Russell Crowe rolled up in last night - taken in his appalling neck apparel and greasy swept-across curly fringe - and promptly had the engraver start work on a Best Actor gong for ANY of the other nominees. It seems honey-magnet Crowe has already been kidnapped and replaced by a shiny-faced adolescent lookalike wearing his first ever DJ.
The awards these days are so full of contradiction. How on earth can Gladiator have won Best Picture and not Best Director, with Traffic (which I think is a far superior film) winning Best Director and not Best Film. Surely if a director is acclaimed as the Best Director, then the film he has been nominated for has to be Best Film. Much the same as when Spielberg was voted Best Director for Saving Private Ryan, yet Shakespeare In Love got Best Picture. Politics should not play a part in 'impartial' awards, but clearly when it comes to the Oscars there is a higher agenda. Public relations perhaps?
Vishak Holla, India
Were the organisers trying to please as many people as possible with the awards? Haven't seen this much of a split in quite a while - especially when Gladiator won Best Picture yet Ridley Scott did not win. It's very unusual for the director and film to be different. But congrats to Gladiator overall - a very enjoyable film.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was denied. Don't get me wrong - Gladiator was great - but Crouching Tiger was one of those rare gems that should have received more recognition...
Everything about Gladiator was fantastic, the acting, the music and great direction on a period of time which is so often forgotten, Gladiator is one of the all time greatest movies people may disagree but not many, and as for Russell Crowe, no better man for the job!! he was superb and if you don't mind me saying GORGEOUS!!
Holly Hooper, UK
I don't understand why everyone hated Bjork's dress... It was just so fun, and a huge jab at the culture of overpriced labels that make their yearly appearance.
I recently saw the film Chocolat and after reading the novel I think Juliette Binoche played a fantastic Vienne Rocher - she was just as I imagined her to be after reading it. The overall film was excellent, and resembled the book well - not many films do that. It definitely should have won something!
Billy Elliott & Magnolia deserved nominations. The low point of the evening was Julia Roberts' childish screaming & embarrassing Gwyneth Paltrow-like fake sobfest. The high point was Russell Crowe's sense of humour failure and his gracious acceptance speech.
Once again the Oscars, predictably, gave a self-congratulatory slap on the back to Hollywood in recognition of its vast amount of inward investment. Shame they can only produce a couple of decent films a year worthy of any awards!
Daniel Gwyn, Canada
Why is so much attention lavished upon the Oscars? Over-paid and over-rated human beings self-congratulating should not and is not compelling television. I assume it is really about the luvvies at the BBC (and all other TV stations) feeling a part of it and enjoying a little bit of "me-too" celebrity. For those of us in the real world, we just wonder what on earth there is to get so worked up about. My local amateur dramatics troupe can act better than many of these pretty faces and honed bodies that are praised because they can interact with a computer animation.
Why hasn't anybody mentioned Ellen Burstyn's electrifying and career-best performance in Requiem for a Dream? But then of course, the Oscars don't actually mean anything of real significance.
Yes, I thought Gladiator should have won. It went back to traditional styles of filmmaking such as Spartacus and Ben Hur - genuinely exciting action films with massive casts, heroes and anti-heroes.
I could not believe my eyes when I turned on BBC1 this morning to find the Oscars were the top News story. The movie industry is just that an industry. It is dominated by the American studios the movies are money making machines for obscenely overpaid actors, agents, director and executives. Like the "World" Series basketball, they do not reflect the planet that we all live on and just seem to give shallow meaning to shallow lives. Why does the BBC not cover the Car of the Year with such intensity or Footballer of the Year etc? This is just pretentious guff and quite frankly does not deserve top billing on your News programmes.
Well, now that they are over, let us all complain that our favourite art house film didn't get nominated or win. Let's face it, the Oscars are voted on by the actors, directors, and producers themselves. It's a rather self-congratulatory orgy that we get to peek in on. They don't care what the average viewer thinks. Some years they have the audacity to nominate a bunch of films that most people haven't even seen due to the configuration of the theatre industry in the US and the Academy's unpublished rules, (but that's another story all together.)
Long live the People's Choice Awards, started as a way for the general public to vote on their favourite films despite what Hollywood thinks, and you even get the ballot in your TV Guide.
I think Gladiators was great.
I got up at 2 am to watch the Oscars and except for all the commercials it was better than last year.
Julie Walters should have won in 'Billy Elliott'. She is an outstanding and most versatile actress who doesn't always play the glamour puss as e.g. in 'Educating Rita'. In spite of her truly ugly appearance - fag in her mouth, ballet teacher at the back of a boxing gym - in 'Elliott' - she looked most glamorous and serene at the Oscar Awards at the moment she didn't win. She's my heroine!
Gladiator - terrific! Well done. Wonderful tribute to the late great Olly Reed, and a fab cameo from Richard Harris. Wasn't David Jacobi of I Claudius fame superb too. Let these brill brits rule the roost for ever, and into the afterlife.
Billy Elliot, was a wonderful film it showed the hard times and the joys that can come from them even with the shortage of money and that money isn't everything, I think it should have received an Oscar
What is this fuss about Oscars? There are more important issues in the world to deal with. You like a movie or not is entirely up to the person. And why are these Hollywood entertainers who hardly contribute anything tangible to the society are given so much attention?
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is best. Amazing balance between story and flowing action scenes.
Is it really that important? Isn't payment for the job they do enough reward? Or is it that the acting profession are so insecure that they have to have a self-congratulatory ceremony every year, where they thank the world, his wife and all their friends, just so that the feel important.
Gladiator undoubtedly! Nothing I believe has, can, will beat it!
I think Dame Judi Dench should win an Oscar because she's the most talented actress in the universe.
Billy Elliott is not the wonderful film that many claim it to be. It is, in fact, full of the homophobic values of the 1980's and not very pleasant viewing for the 21st Century.
Why do you hardly mention Art Direction? I vote for Jill Quertier, already an Oscar winner for Shakespeare in Love.
Music from the film gladiator should win an Oscar, Lisa Gerrards singing was so moving, it made the film work.
Quite frankly I agree with your correspondents who regard the Oscars as pure commercial Hollywood clique - no real effort is made to find the genuinely best films and performers - it is simply a matter of popularity, spin and "its Buggin's turn". As Jozef from Slovakia and some of your correspondents from Asia point out, many superb films are made that get a few art house showings in England and the USA if they are lucky, never mind a wider audience and as for Oscar success - forget it.
Gladiator is the weakest film to be nominated for best picture since Braveheart. Let mediocrity rule!
I saw "Gladiator" ten times to see if the director made any errors. I couldn't find any - excellent work by Ridley Scott. I also think the Academy should stop in silent tribute to the work of Oliver Reed.
"Chocolat" seems to divide filmgoers and critics alike. Perhaps we are not used to subtlety in film any more. With subtlety and intelligence, it analysed our attitudes and behaviour to each other, and showed the elements of each person with whom Juliette Binoche came in touch. And I think they should have made a special category for "Chicken Run" - clever stuff that the British do so very, very well.
"Gladiator" was a great film but let's not kid ourselves that it is anything other than a Hollywood blockbuster. I fear for the future, if our children are to rely on movies like this to gain knowledge of our history! "Billy Elliot" at least has more of a basis in reality and deserves every accolade going.
Here is my opinion of who will take home film's highest awards this year:
Best Picture: Gladiator
Don't miss it. The Oscars are always a joy to watch!!!
Pete W, UAE
I don't know about Tom Hanks' performance in "Cast Away" but I would definitely like to nominate the ball that played "Wilson" as Best Supporting Actor.
In reply to Jeff Scholey, I thought 'Chocolat' was a very good film. I suggest you put down your popcorn and actually try watching a proper film for once. As Rinny states, people do not seem to appreciate a film unless it is made in Hollywood, and does not require a brain to understand it. It's so shameful!
I saw "Chocolat" yesterday at the pictures and it was complete nonsense. How can drivel like this be nominated for an Oscar?
It is better to see real stories, for example "All My Loved Ones" by Matej Minac, "Before the Rain" by Milcho Manchevski or "A Prisoner of Caucasus" by Sergej Bodrov, than the popcorn stories sometimes nominated for Oscar awards. The quality of a film does not depend
on the number of people who go to the cinema to see it, but on the sensitivity of the author in showing the problems of people of different cultures.
How come the Academy overlooked "Enemy at the Gate"? I think it deserves to be nominated for all categories.
A rather mediocre bunch of films to choose from - not one stands out, except perhaps "Traffic", but who wants a documentary to win? The paucity of Best Actress roles means that Julia Roberts will win because it's her turn(rather than Joan Allen, who's a better actress). Similarly, if either Hanks(dull) or Crowe(mediocre in a mediocre film) wins, then I give up. Mind you, I gave up years ago. May the least average film win!
I really do not understand why the carefully nuanced, natural performance of Jamie Bell, as "Billy Elliot", was not nominated for what was clearly the best performance of the year. Joan Allen gets my vote for Best Actress. The Best Director award belongs to Ridley Scott for a fantastic job on "Gladiator".
If the Oscars are to be authentic, they must consider Indian movies but they are never even nominated. However I believe the only sure win is Juliette Binoche for her role in "Chocolat".
With fixed and biased results, what thinking person really cares about the Academy Awards? Oscar night is just another annual recycling of useless awards between Academy insiders.
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" should win. This movie blends adventure, romance, and action, and also has stunning Asian settings. I have never seen a movie like this that touched my heart, but at the same time managed to create an adventure story full of action.
Yet again, the Academy shows it does not have the courage to go beyond the commercial aspects of filmmaking. Two fantastic films not included in the nominations are "Magnolia" - by far the best film of the year - and "Wonder Boys", an excellent story.
Michelle Yeoh, Kate Winslett, Ziyi Zhang, and Michael Douglas, were ROBBED of Oscar nominations.
Only "Gladiator" - love this film! Love Oscars! Let the best win! G-l-a-d-i-a-t-o-r!
I think "Gladiator" was not just a good film but was also very educational. It is a film to be shown to your kids to get them interested in their Roman history.
I think it could be the greatest year ever for Latin actors and movies. Javier Bardem is a must for Best Actor. Joaquin Phoenix should get Best Supporting Actor and the Mexican film "Amores Perros" really deserves the Best Foreign Language prize. I know they are all "outsiders", but that's what it's all about. Javier Bardem is one of the most talented actors around.
In answer to an earlier question regarding Ollie's CG [computer graphic] depiction in "Gladiator", there were only two scenes that were CG - both easily recognisable because they had a grey tinge to them. This was due to the industrial quantities of effects and CG editing required to achieve such a clever effect. So, yes, an Oscar would be nice for Mr Stone...
I totally agree that Joaquin Phoenix deserves a nomination instead of all the usual bores such as Tom Hanks.
The "best picture" award will go to Hiram Q. Largebudget for his film "Keeping Academy Members In Work." Best actor will be David Buggins for his part in "A reasonably good film and he hasn't had an Oscar before" and best actress will definitely be Jennifer Gettingonabit for her role in "Perhaps we'd better give her a statue before she's thirty and can't get any more work".
Gladiator is a rather bad movie. I really think it does not deserve to be listed alongside Chocolat and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But I am sure few share my opinion for some inexplicable reason.
I love Oscar!
'Amores Perros' truly deserves an Oscar for 'Best Foreign Film'. Not only is the plot racing and unconventional, but the setting is realistic, the dialogue believable, if controversial, the acting, outstanding.
John Wilson, England
Whatever happened to Billy Elliott? Why wasn't it nominated? All my friends who saw it thought it was wonderful.
For me this year, the best actress has to be Julia Roberts. Best actor, Russell Crowe.
The Oscars this year will be slightly sad for me, and also many people in Latin America. One of the best films ever made is going to be overlooked, in favour of Crouching Tiger. Crouching Tiger is a nice looking film, but the plot is weak, even if it does score marks for being anti-Hollywood. No, the true winner of Best Foreign Film should be the amazing Amores Perros - as attendees of Cannes and Edinburgh will tell you.
How on earth did Juliette Binoche get a nomination for simpering in that mediocre piece of nondescript slush known as 'Chocolat'?
Sunriser , Greece
Yes...it would be nice to see Oliver
Reed get a posthumous Oscar. Also. Having been vastly moved
at Ennio Morricone's concert at the
Barbican last week, his first in the
UK at the age of 72, I hope he gets
the best score Oscar. The film he is nominated for is not
his best, but as one of the most
influential composers of the 20th
century he deserves to be
recognised. As always the Oscars
often ignore some of the real
masters of film.
Duncan Armstrong, Scotland
I think, based on his performance in "Gladiator", Russel Crowe should win something at the Oscars.
I miss not having Dancer in the dark and Chicken Run one of the nominees. They both deserve it.
The answer as to why Chicken Run wasn't nominated but Wallace and Gromit was is that they were short features and Chicken Run is a full-length film that doesn't get included in the list of potential awards.
'Scraping the barrel' comes to mind when looking at the nominations.
In my opinion Gladiator was the best movie.
Best Film - Erin Brokovich
(Even if the person listed did not
receive the honour of a nomination,
I still think they deserve an Oscar.)
I think that Alfred Molina merited a nomination for Best Actor for the wonderful work he did in Chocolat. He spoke but little, yet delivered a most memorable performance. As for the actresses in Chocolat, if only one could win an Academy Award, I'd have to give it to Dame Judi Dench - she held my eyes captive whenever she was on screen, even when Juliette Binoche was with her (no mean feat, that).
"O Brother, Where Art Thou" deserves an Oscar for best picture but it won't get one because the Coen brothers are too way-out for the establishment to consider them for an award.
I lost all faith in the Oscar awards when Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List) lost the best supporting actor award to Tommy Lee Jones who gave one of the laziest performances of his career in "The Fugitive". Then came "Titanic" which, apart from the technical wonders, was in my mind a monumental bore with horrible dialogue and wooden, cariacatured performances.
I'm surprised they didn't nominate "Snatch". After all, it's shallow, nonsensical and unoriginal. Perfect choice I would have imagined!
Edmund Hughes, England
I would like to comment that Mark B was right that Oliver Reed should have been nominated. I think it was his best performance in Gladiator. However, I am shocked that Billy Elliot did not get much recognition and hope that Julie Walters wins. She put on very good performance.
Where is 'Dancer in the Dark' in these nominations?
Anything but Gladiator...
Best film - Gladiator
John Kearney, UK
I would have to agree with the applause for Gladiator, it truly is a remarkable film and I wouldn't be surprised to see it sweep the board this year.
In response to the Oliver Reed not being nominated comment I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't receive a special posthumous award for his outstanding contribution to film - and my word doesn't he deserve it!
Traffic gets my vote. Very original and refreshing as well as thought-provoking, considering the subject matter is pretty dry. Some moments were very funny, which was a nice touch.
Dave Braithwaite, England
After reading comments from Oliver Salmons, I am in agreement that Oliver Reed should have picked up at least a nomination. After all he appeared on screen for longer than Judi Dench in Elizabeth II.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Visually stunning, great plot, fantastic acting. Shows that foreign language films can appeal to a wider audience, and that martial arts can be beautiful to watch. Gladiator was fantastic, but doesn't quite break new ground in the same way.
For me, this year's best film has to be Gladiator. It just has all the perfect ingredients. Also it is not what it appears to be. For instance, anyone who viewed the trailer for the film would assume that it is a typical Hollywood fight/ action blockbuster. The fact is that Russell Crowe's Maximus is a deep, intelligent character with whom one can only sympathise. Ridley Scott's direction is excellent, as is the music score. The only criticism in relation to the Oscars is - why wasn't Ollie Reed nominated for best supporting actor? It was probably his finest hour and a half (...on film).
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