Best Picture and Director 2000

1998 through 2007

What are your picks for Best Picture and Director of 2000?

Chocolat
0
No votes
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
13
22%
Gladiator
2
3%
Erin Brockovich
3
5%
Traffic
12
20%
Ridley Scott - Gladiator
0
No votes
Stephen Daldry - Billy Elliot
4
7%
Ang Lee - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
13
22%
Steven Soderbergh - Erin Brockovich
2
3%
Steven Soderbergh - Traffic
11
18%
 
Total votes: 60

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:49 am

Nothing from my top ten of the year made the Academy list:

1. La Commune (Paris, 1871) Peter Watkins
2. Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
3. Small Time Crooks (Woody Allen)
4. Best in Show (Christopher Guest)
5. George Washington (David Gordon Green)
6. Tigerland (Joel Schmacher)
7. Under the Sand (Francois Ozon)
8. The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda)
9. Shadow of the Vampire (E Elias Merhige)
10. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies)

In which case I voted for Erin Brockovich & Steven Soderbergh for the same film.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:07 pm

It's funny how our memory changes things in these races. I seem to very strongly remember having a conversation with a friend over Christmas on 2000, and when they asked me what was going to win Best Picture I pretty certainly stated it would be Gladiator (he then asked me if it was really that good, and I said no). Things went back and forth, but I remember it being a much stronger frontrunner than perhaps it was!

My favorite film of the year is hands down Wonder Boys, a delightful yet deceptively thoughtful screwball comedy that is filled with so many wonderful moments and performances. For the also rans, I would have loved to see Almost Famous up on the list, along with O Brother Where Art Thou or Girl on the Bridge (a lovely film that no one seems to talk about...and whatever happened to Patrice Leconte?). Also on the list of memorable films are Unbreakable, The House of Mirth, Best in Show and Nurse Betty (another film that seems to have disappeared from our collective conscious, although it won a major prize at Cannes).

I love what Tee said about Chocolat...it is not that it is a bad movie, but it feels so minor that its inclusion here is just baffling (and leaves the bad memory on this board as being the movie that drove Andrew Mondshein away from our good graces).

Billy Elliot, on the other hand, is a boring, poorly made film that I have never understood the love for.

Gladiator is a fine summer film, filled with some really exciting battle films and a slew of fine performances. It is certainly lightyears beyond Braveheart, but is not exactly award worthy materials. I don't hate the choice like I do many others of the era, but I'm not going to endorse it in the least.

Erin Brockovich is immensely more intelligent than you expect it to be, and I agree with the thought that Soderbergh brings a lot more to the table here than the film possibly deserves. Like most of his work, it is brought to life by a wonderful ensemble of actors and is told in an inventive enough style that it never feels as by the numbers as the film really is.

I cannot comment on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in response to similar martial arts films, but when I saw it in the theatre in December of 2000 it was like a jolt of fresh air to the senses. It was bold, exciting and unlike anything I had seen before. I think Lee brings a real depth and warmth to the film, which still contains some of the most graceful movement in film history. I could be tempted to vote for it in both categories here, but...

Traffic is going to squeak out both of my votes here. Part of this is a chance to honor Soderbergh, but I also think Traffic is one of his best films. Like the best of Soderbergh's films, it has a lot to say but manages to never feel like homework or that the message of the film is good for you. Others may disagree, but I still find the film relevant, exciting and immensely entertaining.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Eric » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:08 am

Mister Tee wrote:It appears in our voting here Soderbergh is falling prey to the split that didn’t cost him at the Oscars – if those Erin Brockovich fans had united behind Soderbergh’s bigger effort, he’d be winning here. Brockovich seems a somewhat odd choice under directing…it’s not exactly the cool sort of movie for which the branch is largely known. But, again to echo BJ, I see it as a movie that is hugely IMPROVED by the directing – Soderbergh keeps it grounded in a way that, say, a Ron Howard never could have.

This, in addition to sharing dws's view that Traffic is morally dubious to say the least, is why I voted for Soderbergh's work on Brockovich, among the best sort of middlebrow, lightly political populist filmmaking.

If 1999 was the slap in the face wakening me up to the fact that Oscar could not only deviate from my own personal view of the year's most significant achievements but could, even worse, actually make such boneheaded selections as to form a virtual funhouse mirror inversion of taste ... Well, the nominations for 2000 were the confirmation that such years would forevermore be the rule, not the exception.

01. Yi Yi
02. Esther Kahn
03. The Heart of the World
04. Werckmeister Harmonies
05. Mission to Mars
06. In the Mood for Love
07. Platform
08. La Commune (Paris, 1871)
09. Dead or Alive 2: Birds
10. The American Nightmare

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby dws1982 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:59 am

Great year, although not so much for Oscar films. My favorite film of the lineup is probably Gladiator, although it's not what I'd look for in terms of voting for Best Picture, so I abstain. Don't care much for Crouching Tiger--Ang Lee never quite sinks his teeth into the material--or Traffic--I strongly dislike the garish visual style, as well as the dubious moral stance Soderbergh/Gaghan take with respect to several characters and storylines.

1. Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
2. The Claim (Michael Winterbottom)
3. Wonderland (Michael Winterbottom)
4. Mission to Mars (Brian De Palma)
5. Hamlet (Michael Almereyda)
6. The Yards (James Gray)
7. George Washington (David Gordon Green)
8. One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (Chris Marker)
9. Cast Away (Robert Zemeckis)
10. Space Cowboys (Clint Eastwood)

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:58 am

Mister Tee wrote:Of non-nominees, I also liked Yi Yi (but, come on: like a movie of that ilk would EVER get nominated?)


Well, since it was denied eligibility we'll never really know, will we?

Chances are it wouldn't, but then we never thought we'd see an Asian martial arts film in the running either, did we?

Yi Yi did win numerous foreign language prizes and was a runner-up in Best Picture and Director categories for various critics' awards. It deserved to be in the conversation, if not the actual results.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:46 pm

So, we’re obviously in hurry-up-offense at this point. Don’t expect much insight; I’m lucky to find time to post at all.

Almost Famous was my favorite movie of the year, and it took me on wild roller-coaster. 1) Opens to strong reviews – up; 2) fizzles at the box office – down; 3) as BJ mentions, aces the Guilds – up; 4) fails at both film and director, loses WGA to You Can Count on Me – so far down I abandoned all hope; but 5) somehow, after all that, wins original screenplay Oscar. Happy ending?

Of non-nominees, I also liked Yi Yi (but, come on: like a movie of that ilk would EVER get nominated?), Wonder Boys, High Fidelity, Before Night Falls, and The Virgin Suicides – still my favorite of Sofia Coppola’s work.

As I’ve said before: I walked out of Chocolat thinking, that was painless enough; I have nothing against it as long as it isn’t nominated for best picture. Aargh.

Gladiator is in some ways worse than Braveheart, in some ways better. Better in the sense that it had a screenwriter who could manage literate dialogue, and a director whose visual acuity has never been in question…but worse in the sense that Braveheart was, however ham-handed, a slice of history, while Gladiator was a summer action movie dressed up in ancient drag. I’d thought its predicted win was a result of an electorate that just couldn’t stomach its primary opposition – but when it turned out voters weren’t shy about showering both those other films with awards, yet they stopped short of best picture…I had to conclude they were just idiots.

Billy Elliott is, as BJ said, a lateral move from Chocolat, not what one hoped for from a lone director. It’s a typical white-bread candidate from the era, stealing a spot from better directors.

It appears in our voting here Soderbergh is falling prey to the split that didn’t cost him at the Oscars – if those Erin Brockovich fans had united behind Soderbergh’s bigger effort, he’d be winning here. Brockovich seems a somewhat odd choice under directing…it’s not exactly the cool sort of movie for which the branch is largely known. But, again to echo BJ, I see it as a movie that is hugely IMPROVED by the directing – Soderbergh keeps it grounded in a way that, say, a Ron Howard never could have.

But Traffic is clearly where most are going to vote for Soderbergh, for its expansive landscape. Traffic is an odd duck for me: I admire pretty much every element – the dialogue, the acting, the framing. But the totality of it doesn’t feel worthy of all the excellent effort expended – it isn’t about much, except to tell me the drug war is a mess, something I’ve known since about 1970. So, despite what I’d view as a world-class directing achievement, I won’t be voting for Soderbergh in either category.

I take seriously enough the complaints BJ references from wuxia fans about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If you’re a devoted fan of a genre, you can get annoyed seeing people rave about what seems familiar to you (I always felt only someone barely acquainted with mysteries could have rhapsodized about as lame an effort as The Spanish Prisoner). But I have no way of watching the film through wuxia fans’ jaded eyes. All I can report is what I saw on the screen, and I found Crouching Tiger a film of exquisite beauty – a story that maintained tenderness even while stopping periodically for martial arts displays, and a visual feast (I’d say it’s Lee’s peak in that area). I know there are future opportunities to vote for Lee – opportunities the Academy certainly took. But for me this is the right time to cast my vote his way – Crouching Tiger takes both film and director.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Heksagon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:56 am

Another strange year, because of the disparity in the quality between the nominees.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic are among the best nominees during the decade, whereas Chocolat and Erin Brockovich are among the worst. Chocolat, in particular, is high on my personal list of worst Best Picture nominees ever.

Adding to the frustration, similar to 1999, also this year the Academy passed over an exceptionally large number of deserving films. I won't list any, it would be just be too depressing :cry:

The winner, Gladiator reflects this dualism of great and terrible nominees by managing to be both at the same time. The film has epic action scenes, great acting by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix and some memorable dialogue as well. Unfortunately, the story is rubbish, most of the scenes are completely indifferent, and - in spite of some good acting - all the characters in the film are terribly shallow and poorly written.

For me, this is another difficult choice between two very different films. I decided to go with Traffic.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:01 am

tootpadu wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic were the best directed of the nominees, but this is my only chance to vote for Billy Elliot so my vote goes to Stephen Daldry for what is likely to be the only one he gets.


Daldry stands at four votes for now, which means that two people other than you and me seemed to like his direction most.


Happy to be wrong on this one. 8)
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby tootpadu » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:12 am

Big Magilla wrote:I think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic were the best directed of the nominees, but this is my only chance to vote for Billy Elliot so my vote goes to Stephen Daldry for what is likely to be the only one he gets.


Daldry stands at four votes for now, which means that two people other than you and me seemed to like his direction most.

I'm a little more surprised at being the first one to vote for Gladiator though. My vote is certainly just by default, as I didn't connect to any of the other nominees, even if I like (or love) some of Lee's and Soderbergh's other movies. Given the options on the Academy list, I think Gladiator is a decent, if not inspired choice.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:34 am

Common consensus at the time -- and I assume now -- is that this was a pitiful year. I must respectfully disagree with that opinion. It's possible that I'm overrating the merits of this year's crop simply because it was the first year I got REALLY into the Oscars, watching the races all year long, and seeing all of the major nominees for the first time prior to the ceremony (except Requiem for a Dream, for which I was still too young.) Certainly, the year was not nearly as impressive as the ones that bookended it, but I've seen many of my favorites from 2000 multiple times since then, I find they hold up for me quite sturdily.

I also remember this nomination morning very well. The power had gone out in my neighborhood, and I had to frantically find a radio to listen to the nominations announcement. (Amazing to think, today, I'd just stream it on my phone.) When Kathy Bates uttered the word "Chocolat" instead of "Almost Famous," my heart just sank. Cameron Crowe's movie had been my favorite of the year, and after it had won the Globe and received nominations from all four Guilds, I assumed it would be an Oscar nominee. I'm sure timing had a lot to do with my affection for the movie -- as a musician and aspiring writer about the same age as the film's protagonist, I just thought everything Patrick Fugit's character experienced was just so cool. I continue to find the film both very funny and incredibly touching, with a killer soundtrack, and would still vote for it today if I had the opportunity.

Along with the drug drama and the Taiwanese epic that DID get nominated, I would probably have filled out my Best Picture ballot with Requiem for a Dream (one of the more viscerally affecting movies I've ever seen) and the completely lovely Yi Yi. But I also absolutely loved the two literate dramedies (Wonder Boys and You Can Count on Me), the bracing and inventive Dancer in the Dark, and The House of Mirth (a Wharton adaptation almost as good as Scorsese's.) On the comedy side, I got a big kick out of both High Fidelity and (bite me) Chicken Run, and at the opposite end of the movie spectrum, found The Wind Will Carry Us to be one of Kiarostami's best. Again, this crop isn't a patch on 1999, but I think it's pretty solid.

To the actual nominees:

I can't say I loathed watching Chocolat -- it had its laughs, and was pleasant enough in the kind of faux-art house manner that had become Miramax's bread and butter by that point. But the number of Oscar nominations it should have received begins with the letter Z; Best Picture was an outrage. I mean, obviously I can't take seriously a movie where the protagonist whips up controversy because she is encouraging people to EAT CHOCOLATE. One of the most pointless nominations of the decade.

But I don't think the directors' branch made much more than a lateral move by picking Billy Elliot instead. The movie's premise alone isn't that interesting, but I thought the execution had some questionable elements too. For starters, we never really get to see much of Billy actually dancing -- the movie seems content to show him flailing around in a tub, which doesn't make me want to root for him to get into the Royal Ballet School just because that's funny. The movie goes WAY overboard in insisting that Billy is not gay -- even giving him a cross-dressing best friend to show how not gay he is by comparison! -- muddling some of the movie's message of acceptance by protesting too much. And the script is pretty anti-union, too, with Billy's dad portrayed as a hero for breaking the strike line. That all of this was put forth with Stephen Daldry's usual blandness -- which seems to have an open invitation to invade the Oscars at any time -- makes him a no-go in Best Director.

I'll grant that Gladiator is a better movie than Braveheart, partly because Ridley Scott is a better filmmaker than Mel Gibson, and the movie does have some impressive craft elements that understandably excited the tech branches. But the script is basically a standard revenge movie plot, dressed up in Roman garb, and I found it depressing that it managed to limp to a Best Picture win mostly because it was seen as a resuscitation of a long-dormant genre. (Come to think of it, The Artist, though overall a better movie, picked up Best Picture in much the same way.) Ridley Scott certainly deserves credit for handling the size and scope of the movie, but it's a mostly artless thing, and I could never choose him for this over more fully successful efforts.

In concept, Erin Brockovich is a pretty standard, real-life, triumph-of-the-underdog drama. But what Steven Soderbergh does with the material is notable. It's not that he completely elevates the script, but more that he keeps everything completely in Reality Land as opposed to Hollywood Land -- very little about the film feels phony, and none of uplift feels unearned, because of the slightly rough-around-the-edges style the director brings to the table. And, similarly, with Julia Roberts, he doesn't downplay what audiences have always loved about her (the movie opens with Roberts widely grinning), but allows that charm to exist within a flawed, sometimes grating, and very human individual. All in all, an enjoyable crowd-pleaser, though it's more a terrific vehicle for Roberts than a great movie. And I'd be curious to know how many Oscar voters picked Soderbergh here, when he had a far flashier entry on the ballot that would be more likely to bring him the prize.

My two favorites on the ballot are Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic, and I would have been perfectly happy to see either one win Best Picture. And, even though I'd predicted Gladiator before the ceremony, most of the night's prizes had me thinking it was a real possibility one of the superior films would prevail. When Gladiator immediately lost a trophy I expected it would take to Crouching Tiger (Art Direction), and then lost Score and Cinematography as well to the same film, I thought it really might be Ang Lee's big night. But then Gladiator lost Film Editing to Traffic, and Soderbergh won Best Director, and I thought, hey, maybe it's Traffic that'll go all the way! A mostly exciting evening for me (punctuated by Marcia Gay Harden's upset and the not-certain Almost Famous screenplay victory) suddenly deflated at the last moment with the Best Picture announcement.

Crouching Tiger was a really exciting epic, full of thrillingly staged combat choreography, lush photography, and a hugely romantic score. I know at the time some griped that the film was basically a repackaging of standard wu xia elements for worldwide (read: American) consumption, but I wasn't especially familiar with this kind of movie before, and so to me, it felt fresh. Here Ang Lee explores one of his favorite topics -- the social structures of a specific time and place -- and does so with great visual imagination. (Save Life of Pi, it's his most exciting visual feat.) I also thought Lee brought to the film a welcome a sense of humor -- especially in contrast to the dourness of Gladiator, the lightness of Crouching Tiger's action scenes felt tremendously winning. Like most, I expected Lee to win Best Director, and he would have been a perfectly solid choice. But he has other chances down the road, so I'll hold off here.

And though I would have been thrilled to see Crouching Tiger become the first foreign language Best Picture winner, recent viewings have persuaded me that Traffic is the more urgent, relevant piece of moviemaking. I think it's one of the best ensemble dramas this side of Altman, full of interesting characters wonderfully portrayed (Benicio Del Toro taking top honors), gripping suspense sequences, and emotionally powerful moments. It was also a flat-out wonderful piece of directing, from the various visual looks Soderbergh gives each storyline, to the dazzling manner with which he cuts between narratives, to the quiet grace notes (like Del Toro watching the baseball game at the end of the movie) that give the film an exciting richness that rewards multiple viewings. Soderbergh had an interesting path to this director trophy, dominating the early critics' prizes, but looking D.O.A. when Lee picked up the Globe/DGA. I had pretty much written him off on Oscar night, but was ecstatic to see him prevail, not only for this triumph, but also for his wonderful year, and impressive career up until that point. I think Traffic is still the finest achievement of his career, and I endorse his Best Director win, picking his film as Best Picture just narrowly over Crouching Tiger.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:42 pm

ksrymy wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:There's no need. Everyone can change their votes whenever they like.

Is this only for certain members? Because I can never find where to do this.

All you have to do is recast your vote - just be sure to re-vote for the one you don't want to change. This only works in the polls where I've enabled the feature. I think it's all or at least most of the Best Picture and Director polls. I hadn't enabled it on earlier ones. [/quote]
After I vote, the check boxes disappear, so I'm still clueless.[/quote]
If the check boxes don't appear, you can't re-vote. They disappear if the "enable re-voting" box isn't checked on the initial post. In this thread you should still be able to see the check boxes with the "submit vote" box still available. If you're not seeing that in this thread then I have no idea what the problem is.

P.S. In attempting to quote your last post, I inadvertently deleted it.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:33 pm

Reza wrote:Was In the Mood For Love eligible for the Oscars in 2000?

No, it was eligible the following year.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Reza » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:05 pm

Was In the Mood For Love eligible for the Oscars in 2000?

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby ksrymy » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:02 pm

My picks
_______________

Best Picture
1. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
2. In the Mood for Love
3. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
4. Traffic
5. Battle Royale

6. Yi Yi

Best Picture
1. Wong Kar-wai, In the Mood for Love
2. Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
3. Joel Coen, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
4. Steven Soderbergh, Traffic
5. Darren Aronofsky, Requiem for a Dream

6. Edward Yang, Yi Yi
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2000

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:26 pm

ksrymy wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:There's no need. Everyone can change their votes whenever they like.

Is this only for certain members? Because I can never find where to do this.

All you have to do is recast your vote - just be sure to re-vote for the one you don't want to change. This only works in the polls where I've enabled the feature. I think it's all or at least most of the Best Picture and Director polls. I hadn't enabled it on earlier ones.
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