BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Gladiator, Hollywood's high-tech return to the glories of Rome, led Academy Awards contenders Tuesday with 12 nominations, including best picture, actor and director.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the Mandarin-language martial-arts epic, was close behind with 10 nominations, including best picture and best director. The other best-picture nominees were the French romance Chocolat, the legal drama Erin Brockovich and the gritty drug-war saga Traffic.
Steven Soderbergh had two directing nominations, for Erin Brockovich and Traffic. The other director nominees were Stephen Daldry for Billy Elliot, Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Ridley Scott for Gladiator.
Besides best picture, Gladiator, the first Roman battle spectacle since the genre fell out of favor in the 1960s, grabbed nominations for actor Russell Crowe and supporting actor Joaquin Phoenix. Hans Zimmer's score also was nominated, and the computer wizardry Mr. Scott's crew used to re-create ancient Rome was honored with a nod for visual effects.
Along with Mr. Crowe, the actor nominees were Javier Bardem for Before Night Falls, a film biography of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas; Tom Hanks as a man stranded on an island in Cast Away; Ed Harris for Pollock, a film biography of abstract painter Jackson Pollock; and Geoffrey Rush as the asylum-bound Marquis de Sade in Quills.
Mr. Hanks has won two Oscars, and Mr. Rush has one.
Best actress nominees were Joan Allen as a vice-presidential nominee in The Contender; Juliette Binoche as an itinerant chocolatier in Chocolat; Ellen Burstyn as a diet-pill addict in Requiem for a Dream; Laura Linney as a sister coping with her prodigal brother in You Can Count on Me and Julia Roberts as a tart-tongued legal aide in Erin Brockovich.
Ms. Binoche and Ms. Burstyn are past Oscar winners.
Besides Mr. Phoenix, supporting-actor nominees were Jeff Bridges as a flamboyant president in The Contender; Willem Dafoe as the undead Nosferatu in Shadow of the Vampire; Benicio Del Toro as a Mexican drug cop in Traffic; and Albert Finney as a pugnacious attorney in Erin Brockovich.
For supporting actress, the nominees were Judi Dench as a cranky grandmother in Chocolat; Marcia Gay Harden as the painter's wife in Pollock; Kate Hudson as a 1970s rock disciple and Frances McDormand as an obsessive mother in Almost Famous; and Julie Walters as a disillusioned ballet teacher in Billy Elliot.
Ms. Dench and Ms. McDormand have won Oscars.
Almost Famous, which had emerged as a solid candidate for a best-picture nomination, was shut out in that category, and director Cameron Crowe also failed to get a nod. Besides its two supporting-actress nominations, the movie earned a nomination for Mr. Crowe's original screenplay and for film editing.
Miramax, always a scrappy Oscar campaigner, pulled out a best-picture nomination for Chocolat, which had been considered something of a long shot. Miramax's past Oscar successes include The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Life Is Beautiful and last year's The Cider House Rules.
The Oscars will be presented Sunday, March 25, in a live broadcast on ABC-TV (WJBF-TV, Channel 6) from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Steve Martin will be host, taking over from Billy Crystal, who has been master of ceremonies for seven of the past eight Oscar shows.
Dino De Laurentiis, whose credits include Hannibal and Serpico, will receive the Irving G. Thalberg award, which is presented to producers whose work reflects "consistently high quality."
The Oscars will be presented Sunday night, March 25, in a live broadcast on ABC-TV from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Oscar nominees
Here is the complete list of 73rd annual Oscar nominations announced Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
BEST PICTURE: Chocolat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, Traffic.
ACTOR: Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls; Russell Crowe, Gladiator; Tom Hanks, Cast Away; Ed Harris, Pollock; Geoffrey Rush, Quills.
ACTRESS: Joan Allen, The Contender; Juliette Binoche, Chocolat; Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream; Laura Linney, You Can Count on Me; Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, The Contender; Willem Dafoe, Shadow of the Vampire; Benicio Del Toro, Traffic; Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich; Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Judi Dench, Chocolat; Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock; Kate Hudson, Almost Famous; Frances McDormand, Almost Famous; Julie Walters, Billy Elliot.
DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot; Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich; Ridley Scott, Gladiator; Steven Soderbergh, Traffic.
FOREIGN FILM: Amores Perros, Mexico; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Taiwan; Divided We Fall, Czech Republic; Everybody Famous, Belgium; The Taste of Others, France.
SCREENPLAY: (written based on material previously produced or published): Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat; Wang Hui Ling and James Schamus and Tsai Kuo Jung, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Stephen Gaghan, Traffic; Steve Kloves, Wonder Boys.
SCREENPLAY (written directly for the screen): Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous; Lee Hall, Billy Elliot; Susannah Grant, Erin Brockovich; David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson, Gladiator; Kenneth Lonergan, You Can Count on Me.
ART DIRECTION: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Gladiator, Quills, Vatel.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Gladiator, Malena, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Patriot.
SOUND: Cast Away, Gladiator, The Patriot, The Perfect Storm, U-571.
SOUND EDITING: Space Cowboys, U-571.
ORIGINAL SCORE: Chocolat, Rachel Portman; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tan Dun; Gladiator, Hans Zimmer; Malena, Ennio Morricone; The Patriot, John Williams.
ORIGINAL SONG: A Fool In Love from Meet the Parents, Randy Newman; I've Seen It All from Dancer in the Dark, Bjork, Lars von Trier and Sjon Sigurdsson; A Love Before Time from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jorge Calandrelli, Tan Dun and James Schamus; My Funny Friend and Me from The Emperor's New Groove, Sting and David Hartley; Things Have Changed from Wonder Boys, Bob Dylan.
COSTUME: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Gladiator, 102 Dalmatians, Quills.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, Legacy, Long Night's Journey Into Day, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy, Sound and Fury.
DOCUMENTARY (short subject): Big Mama, Curtain Call, Dolphins, The Man on Lincoln's Nose, On Tiptoe: GentleSteps to Freedom.
FILM EDITING: Almost Famous, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Gladiator, Traffic, Wonder Boys.
MAKEUP: The Cell, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Shadow of the Vampire.
ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Father and Daughter, The Periwig-Maker, Rejected.
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: By Courier, One Day Crossing, Quiero Ser (I Want To Be), Seraglio, A Soccer Story (Una Historia de Futebol).
VISUAL EFFECTS: Gladiator, Hollow Man, The Perfect Storm.