Reflecting the split in the nominations, Oscar voters last night spread the wealth between Gladiator [pictured, above] and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [pictured, below] in the design categories. Ridley Scott's epic of the Roman Empire, which in a close race took home the prize for Best Picture, was also rewarded with an Oscar for Scott Millan, Bob Beemer, and Ken Weston's booming soundtrack, and Janty Yates' sumptuous 2nd-century costumes.
Because of its stunning recreations of the Colosseum and other Roman landmarks, Gladiator was considered the favorite for Best Art Direction. But Academy members apparently consigned this heavily digital achievement to the Best Visual Effects category, where John Nelson, Neil Corbould, Tim Burke, and Rob Harvey were named. The art direction award instead went to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's Tim Yip, who helped summon the film's dreamlike vision of period China, and who was also nominated for his costumes. Ang Lee's martial arts drama, which as expected, won the Best Foreign Language Film prize, gained another Oscar for Peter Pau's cinematography.
Sound editing winner was Jon Johnson, whose scary depth charges added so much tension to the submarine thriller U-571 [pictured, above].
And in the category of Best Makeup, Rick Baker (along with co-designer Gail Ryan) garnered his sixth Academy Award for turning Jim Carrey into the title character of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas [pictured, left]. With Planet of the Apes coming up in 2001, does anyone doubt Baker will win a seventh?
Gladiator photo credit: ™ & © 2000 Dreamworks L.L.C. and Universal Studios.
Crouching Tiger photo credit: ©Peter Pau.
U-571 photo credit: Mario Tursi ©2000 Universal Studios.
Grinch photo: Ron Batzdorff.