Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Should it have won Best Picture? (2000)

Here's a quick browse at previous winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture and, in comparison to fellow nominees only, whether or not they should have won the top gong.

2000 winner:

  • Gladiator  (directed by Ridley Scott)

Runners Up:

  • Chocolat  (directed Lasse Hallstrom) 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (directed by Ang Lee)
  • Erin Brokovich  (directed by Steve Soderbergh)
  • Traffic  (directed by Steve Soderbergh)

Should Gladiator have won?
  • Despite some historical inaccuracies and technical hitches, I'm going to say yes.  Gladiator keeps you emotionally engaged and rooting for the protagonist right until the end, and yet avoids the cheese and cliché of a film like Rocky, for example.  Russell Crowe's steely performance is so believable that we accept he can take on a the great challenges thrown at him in the Colosseum.

How does it compare to the other nominees?
  • Whilst Chocolat may have had some not-so-deep meaning of being open-minded towards new things, I found it little more entertaining than middle-of-the-road rom-com.
  • Crouching Tiger was a visual feast and contained fight sequences that matched up to those in Gladiator.  However, in terms of excitement and emotion, Gladiator is victorious.
  • Erin Brokovich probably wins on plot and emotional engagement, and is Gladiator's closest rival in my opinion, but as an overall spectacle I'd still pick Gladiator.  
  • Traffic is a visually excellent film.  Soderbegh excels with his directing here and the cast all do a fantastic turn.  Is it as exciting as Gladiator?  I'm afraid not.