Source: The Saturday Mercury, 24 March, 2001, p.2
By DARRELL GILES in LOS ANGELES THE American movie-going public has voted for Erin Brockovich to beat Russell Crowe's Gladiator for best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday, US time. The latest Gallup Poll shows only 10 per cent of Americans have seen three or more of this year's five Oscar-nominated best films. And Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts and Albert Finney, tops the chart with a 32% approval rating. There are really only two films the public has flocked to - Erin Brockovich and Gladiator - in the past year. And what is even more surprising is that those films were released in the first half of 2000, yet the powerful performances of their stars, Roberts and Crowe, have kept them in the forefront of everyone's minds. Gladiator had a 27% approval rating. The bookies have it the other way around, with Gladiator the overwhelming favourite. Its odds vary between 3-2 and 2-1 with Brockovich between 10-1 and 15-1. Of the remaining nominated films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon scored 10%, Traffic had 8% and Chocolat just 5%. Erin Brockovich and Gladiator pulled in more than $350 million each at the box office. It was bad news for Russell Crowe on the best actor front. The pollsters found the audiences loved to see Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks . . . with only Hanks nominated in the best actor category for his Cast Away performance this year. Crowe is 2-1 favourite to win his first gold statuette but Hanks has gained significant backing in recent weeks and, at 3-1, looks a strong runner. Hanks is a popular figure in the industry while Crowe, thought by many to be on the verge of a Clark Gable-like superstardom, evokes more mixed emotions. "Russell Crowe seems to be in bad odour," said Time Magazine film critic Richard Schickel. "He is perceived as a sort of arrogant kind of guy. "These reputations are hard to shake -it may be that he said or did some things that were blown out of proportion." All will be known about 2.30pm on Monday, Tasmanian time.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Chance and Basic Probability
Main Index - Numeracy in the News