Source: The Saturday Mercury, 24 March, 2001, p.2

US public tips Brockovich to knock down Gladiator



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

	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

	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

	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

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