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Was Russell Crowe’s win for Gladiator an Upset?

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  • Jason Travis
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    #139442

    Looking back at 2000, the race for Best Actor was interesting:

    BEST ACTOR
    Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls
    Russell Crowe, Gladiator
    Tom Hanks, Cast Away
    Ed Harris, Pollock
    Geoffrey Rush, Quills 

    Besides the Oscar, Crowe only won the Broadcast Film Critics. Today the blogs would have called him a longshot, despite his film being a strong frontrunner for Best Picture in a divided race.

    Tom Hanks had won the Drama Globe, but many thought a third Oscar was too much.

    SAG went to Benicio Del Toro because of category fraud- and honestly, Del Toro was NOT A lead in Traffic, and his performance is still arguably one of the weakest wins in Supporting Actor (Phoenix or Finney easily should have prevailed). 

    Forgot where the critics stood. Anyone else have insight?

    If you look at 2000-2003, the Best Actor race was always somewhat up in the air:

    2000- Between Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe 
    2001 – Between Denzel Washington (LAFCA) and Russell Crowe (Drama Globe, SAG)
    2002- Between Jack Nicholson (Drama Globe) , Daniel Day-Lewis (SAG) and Adrien Brody (NSFC)
    2003- Between Sean Penn (Drama Globe), Johnny Depp (SAG) and Bill Murray (Comedy Globe) 

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #139444

    Well first of all, I disagree completely about del Toro.  That is one of my top wins of all time, and one of my favorite performances ever.  So there’s that.

    But Crowe’s win really just ticks me off.  Any one of the other four guys in this category would have been a better choice.  My choice was Ed Harris followed by Tom Hanks. 

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    Jason Travis
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    #139445

    @operajunky: Just curious- what makes you like Del Toro’s performance so much? I’ve seen Traffic a lot, and he didn’t do anything special or substantial to me. Most of the time he’s wearing sunglasses and speaking Spanish- I never got any sort of character reflection or interesting personality from him. Maybe I missed something?

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    Renaton
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    #139446

    Crowe would’ve won SAG had Del Toro not been placed Lead. I think SAG threw off the race a bit that year, but I do remember Crowe being the obvious alternative to Hanks.

    The critics groups all split that year. Barden had won NBR and National Society, Hanks won NYFCC and Douglas won LAFCA before the snub. 

    I remember that without Douglas on the way, Bardem being on a little seen film that wasn’t much to the academy’s taste and Hanks being a two-time winner, that Crowe felt like the forntrunner. Rush and Harris weren’t going to win.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #139447

    No it wasn’t an upset. It was an obvious win with only Ed Harris maaaybe having a shot by the time the Oscars came around.

    As for Del Toro, no he’s not that great in Traffic and to this day I can’t understand how he ended up in Lead with SAG and even worse, how he managed to win?. That was Albert Finney’s Oscar. 

    And 2003 was very much a Sean Penn lock with some people thinking Bill Murray had a shot. Johnny Depp wasn’t really a part of the race despite that weird SAG win.

     

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    K-Hole
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    #139448

    I don’t dislike Gladiator or Russell’s performance, but the Oscar should have gone to Javier Bardem for Before Night Falls.

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    Renaton
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    #139449

    Depp was very much a part of the race. You don’t get to win SAG and be written off the race. Depp was every bit one of three frontrunners. I remember Depp gaining a lot of traction in those final weeks. But in the end, I think the Depp rise worked more to hurt Murray, leading Penn to win.

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    Eddy Q
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    #139450

    I was only 8 or 9 at the time so I barely even knew what the Oscars were, let alone follow them, but I’d guess that Crowe was a vulnerable frontrunner seeing as Hanks was unlikely to win a 3rd so soon and the others seemed like longshots. Plus Crowe was in BP winner, coming off a loss the previous year, and it was sort of a throwback to Ben-Hur and Charlton Heston.

    Personally I would’ve voted for Geoffrey Rush in Quills, which I think is a superior performance to his Oscar-winning one in Shine. I find Crowe the least deserving of the 3 I’ve seen (haven’t seen Pollock or Before Night Falls).

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    Jason Travis
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    #139451

    I also find it weird that Del Toro was able to defeat both Crowe and Hanks for the SAG; not downplaying his star status, but he wasn’t nearly as known and it was obviously a supporting turn- how did he manage to prevail?

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #139452

    Personally, I really like Gladiator and Russell Crowe’s performance in it, so I am not complaining.

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    Eddy Q
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    #139453

    Del Toro was a strong frontrunner for Supporting Actor Oscar by the time SAG began voting for winners, and there was no clear frontrunner for Lead Actor. I guess maybe it was easier for SAG voters to validate his frontrunner status. That’s the only reason I can come up with, and probs not a good one.

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #139454

    Del Toro is the heart and soul of a really tough film.  It’s a quiet, introspective and intense performance.  Javier is trying to navigate a treacherous world and do something for the greater good.  It just worked for me.

    My second place in the supporting category was Willem Defoe.  Phoenix was laughably bad.  He did everything short of twirling a moustache. 

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    Benedick
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    #139455

    I remember the race being a Hanks-Harris(overdue, passion project)-Crowe tossup, especially since Del Toro was in lead for the SAGs, which gave little indication of which way the Oscar was heading. The winner of the BAFTA was Jamie Bell, who wasn’t even nominated. What made Crowe sort of a surprise is that he had won pretty much nothing of note before the Oscars.

    Bill Murray was in the 2003 Best Actor race until the envelope was opened. After he and Sean Penn both won Globes, he beat Penn at the BAFTAs, and then Depp beat them both at the SAGs. The idea that Sean Penn was “a lock” is just plain wrong. I recall Bill Murray even being given the slight edge from the “experts” on this site.
     

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    Beau S.
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    #139456

    After Michael Douglas was snubbed I guess Crowe had to be the frontrunner with Harris having a decent shot. The others had too much stacked against them.

    Harris is my winner and imo should have won not just for his exceptional performance but for how much he poured into that film.

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    Renaton
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    #139457

    I never really bought Harris inclusion as very significant to the race. Harden managed to win, but she also had a much more scattered category where everyone had a legitimate chance to win. Harris, I think, a lot of pundits overestimated because of how surprising his nomination was. 

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