The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.
RUSSELL CROWE in "Gladiator, " Javier Bardem in "Before Night Falls, " Tom Hanks in "Cast Away, " Ed Harris in "Pollock, " Geoffrey Rush in "Quills"
JULIA ROBERTS in "Erin Brockovich, " Joan Allen in "The Contender, " Juliette Binoche in "Chocolat, " Ellen Burstyn in "Requiem for a Dream, " Laura Linney in "You Can Count On Me"
BENICIO DEL TORO in "Traffic, " Jeff Bridges in "The Contender, " Willem Dafoe in "Shadow of the Vampire, " Albert Finney in "Erin Brockovich, " Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator"
MARCIA GAY HARDEN in "Pollock, " Judi Dench in "Chocolat, " " Kate Hudson in "Almost Famous, " Frances McDormand in "Almost Famous, " Julie Walters in "Billy Elliot"
STEVEN SODERBERGH for "Traffic, " Stephen Daldry for "Billy Elliot, " Ang Lee for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, " Steven Soderbergh for "Erin Brockovich, " Ridley Scott for "Gladiator"
This year's Best Picture nominees were from an eclectic, diverse and varied group of films: two fighting epics (one foreign, one ancient), two dramas about battles (America's failed drug war and a legal struggle against a power company), and a simple, comic fable. Three of the five Best Picture nominees prominently featured women. The Oscar awards were spread somewhat evenly among the Best Picture nominees, except for Chocolat.
The big winner in 2000 was director Ridley Scott's spectacular, big budget (over $200 million) sword-and-sandal Roman Empire epic set in 180 A.D., Gladiator - a basic tale of good vs. evil, betrayal, and revenge - about an outcast Roman general (and single-minded rebel-hero) seeking vengeance for betrayal and his family's death. The spectacle of the Roman Colosseum's gladiatorial battles and contests was balanced with royal intrigue involving the resentful heir to the Roman throne. (Although greatly enhanced with CGI-digital effects, it revived the memory of dramatic historic-epic films and 'sword-and-sandal' spectaculars of the 50s, such as Quo Vadis? (1951),