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March 22, 2001 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-22

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8B - The Michigan Dailv - Weekend. etc. Magazine - Thursday. March 22. 2001


The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc


Best Director
Ang Lee As a director Ang Lee rose to fame for an adaptation of Jane Austins "Sense
and Sensibilty," a harsh look at the American family of the 1970's in "The Ice Storm." and
dressing Jewel up as a cowgirl in "Ride With the Devil." Yet he returned to his Taiwanese roots
to achieve international superstardom with his gravity-defying "Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon." The kung-fli action movies of Lee's youth never lived up to the visions inspired by the
action-romance novef's they were based on, so he decided to make his own. Lee's Violence is
poetic as waors float over tree tops as they fight for their honor. Lee seems to be e front
runner his yearr for his film was the most visually stunning, and Soderbergh will likely cani-
balize himseif. This is Less first nomination, and with his current plans to revit lize several
dormnant film genres (such as the musical), it won't be his last.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures C assics

Steven Soderbergh "Erin Brockovich" Oscars neest
favorite son is easily the 37 year old director. S dreg a een slowly revolutioniz-
ing film with his artful editmng dnaspired cmrawor HIs 'Sex. Lies. and Videota e"
rema rs an undergroundrtistc cl d o co the s s
touching!). "Brockovich" is clearly t le lesser of hI won nomnated films, but it is still an
amazing feat. In the hands of any other directo, his wod s m ly have been a show case
for Julia Roberts' numerous teesh and apie boom. S dree eliminates all pretense
and tries to tell the true story of a real womrn Some evn eleve that Roberts inspired
performance has more to do with the director thn h ac rss. if Soderbergh has a
chance, it will be for "Traffic," but more probably he wII cance himself out.

Courtesy of USA Films

Stephen Daldry "Billy Elliot is
only Daldry's second film, and it is the 40
year old Brits first oscar non;iration. He
weaves a touching coming-of age-story about
a young boy in love with dance without
resorting to gliche, Daldry uses respect for
his main character instead of the overt hoki-
ness present in similarly themed films. The
much touted performance by young Jme
Bell can be much attributed to Dald~ry 's intel-
ligent approach. He used similar tactics to
great effect in his 1998 debut "Eight," about
a young boy who's love of soccer helps him
cpe with the death of his father. The acade-
my loves a feel-good m vie, but Daldry is
defiantly the dark horse, as his film has nei-
ther the breadth of the Soderbergh films or
th scope and beauty of "Crouching Tiger" or
"Gladiat r." Call it the "FulI Mony" factor,
but he Academy seems to enjoy teasing Iight
British cmedies with a nommati.on, but it

Steven Soderbergh "Traffic" This
with much the same fan-fare as a presidentfal election an
Christ. Easily the years most innovative film, S derbergh
matographer, using different film stock when the film ch
grainy, washed out Mexico was an se hard conrast witl
Cincinnati. How many directors scLd accumula e such a
enough story for them al to shne. Sa y, though Acadei
C Julia Roberts may split ths vo e ween Soderbergh and
with the honor of beng the frtperson i decade to get
nominations, but ltle else
oAC Ridley Scott "Gladiator" is the
perfect Ridley Scott film. It mixes vio-
lence, omance, savage t gers. savage
humans and a yer savage Oliver Reed.
Like Scotts "Blade Rune#" and "Alien"
Gladiator has just the right mix of main-
stra enter innment, character study,
sw eping cinemat oraphy, and lush set-
tings to please early every audience.
Scot revived the long deceased gladiator-
film eere, 4n rejuvenated the American
"epic film. Ag inst Scott, though, is the
fact that many view him as an action-
fI maer, a aribute rarely awarded by
the Academy. Also, with so much hype
sur uding star Russell Crowe, the direc-
t r may e vershadowed. The Academy
mnay feel as if a Best Actor win is award
enough for the film. Add to that a poor
critical reaction to his more recent
"Ha d s d
t: E 'f..ve 1 , late i :: L .:i c^

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