Tag Archives: Russell Crowe

The Best Picture Project — Titanic (1997)

The film poster shows a man and a woman hugging over a picture of the Titanic's bow. In the background is a partly cloudy sky and at the top are the names of the two lead actors. The middle has the film's name and tagline, and the bottom contains a list of the director's previous works, as well as the film's credits, rating, and release date.Directed by James Cameron

Screenplay by James Cameron

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, David Warner, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton and Gloria Stuart

I saw Titanic in it’s first weekend in release, on Christmas Day 1997.  I distinctly remember this because I’d never seen a movie theater lobby so overrun with people before, nor had I ever been forced to sit in the third row from the front on the leftmost aisle before.  Spending three-plus hours leaning back and craning my neck to the right was hardly the ideal way to see the film and yet, it did not stop me from recognizing this was a seminal moment for me in film.[1]

And surely, given how it was such a cultural phenomenon, I’m not the only one who was captivated by Titanic[2].  In fact, it’s fair to say the whole world was captivated by it[3]  , given it was the first film to do more than $2 billion at the global box office[4]. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Directed by Ron Howard

Written by Akiva Goldsman, based on the Sylvia Nasar book

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Josh Lucas and Paul Bettany

Not all that long ago I covered the awful 2000 film Gladiator for the Best Picture Project and mentioned I thought Russell Crowe won an Oscar for the wrong film.  Usually the Academy gets it wrong and honors an actor (or director) for some lesser work later in the career, usually to make up for overlooking them earlier in their career.  Think about Al Pacino winning for Scent of a Woman but going empty-handed for everything he did in the 70s; Martin Scorcese taking gold for The Departed and not Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or Goodfellas; or Kate Winslet winning for The Reader despite previously being overlooked for Little Children and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  These are but three, but the list goes on. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Gladiator (2000)

A man standing at the center of the image is wearing armor and is holding a sword in his right hand. In the background is the top of the Colosseum with a barely visible crowd standing in it. The poster includes the film's title, cast credits, and release date.Directed by Ridley Scott

Screenplay by David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson

Starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris and Connie Nielsen

I am not a fan of Gladiator and never have been – there’s no point in burying the lead so there it is, right up front.  Ever since I first saw the movie in theaters, after it was already on its way to being a massive box office success, I’ve been nothing but disappointed in it and it shouldn’t surprise anybody I’ve only seen it three total times in my life.  The first was in the theater, where my opinion was formed.  The second, when it first came out on video, when I watched it again to see if maybe I’d gotten it wrong – I hadn’t.  The third was for this project. Continue reading

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