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Academy Award Nominees AnnouncedAired February 13, 2001 - 2:21 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there just is no business like it you know. And for the first time that I can remember, I have seen all of the Academy Award nominated pictures
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: You're living a life, there, Lou, because I haven't.
WATERS: I even saw "Chocolat," which you recommended, and I've already picked the winner.
ALLEN: Which is?
WATERS: I can't give it away. I don't want to disappoint anybody.
ALLEN: We wouldn't want you to do that.
WATERS: I'll write it down in an envelope.
ALLEN: OK, yes, write it down and we'll see if it wins.
Laurin Sydney probably had seen them all, too, because that's her beat.
LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because I have to. Lou, I want you to call me with who you think the winner is, as well, OK?
SYDNEY: All right, the word is out, and it's spreading fast. Here who is in the running for the Academy Awards this year, not what Lou is picking.
For best picture, the nominees are: "Chocolat," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Erin Brockovich," "Gladiator," and "Traffic."
For best actor: Javier Bardem for "Before Night Falls," "Gladiator"'s Russell Crowe, "Cast Away's" Tom Hanks, Ed Harris for "Pollock," and Geoffrey Rush for "Quills."
For best actress: "The Contender's" Joan Allen will compete with "Chocolat's" Juliette Binoche, Ellen Burstyn for "Requiem for a Dream," Laura Linney for "You Can Count on Me" and Julia Roberts for "Erin Brockovich." In the supporting categories, the men are: Jeff Bridges for "The Contender," Willem Dafoe for "Shadow of the Vampire," "Erin Brockovich's," Albert Finney, Joaquin Phoenix for "Gladiator" and "Traffic's" Benicio Del Torro.
For supporting actress: chalk one up for "Chocolat's" Judi Dench, "Pollock's" Marcia Gay Harden, Kate Hudson for "Almost Famous," Frances McDormand for "Almost Famous," and Julie Walters for "Billy Elliot."
On the best director list: "Billy Elliot's" Stephen Daldry, Ang Lee for "Crouching Tiger," Ridley Scott for "Gladiator," and Steven Soderbergh for both "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic."
Director Steven Soderbergh is giving Oscar a double whammy this year. He's got two nominations in one category.
Paul Vercammen has more about the director who is seeing double today.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Director Steven Soderbergh's star is rising so fast, if he were a publicly traded company he's probably declare a stock split. The Georgia-born, Louisiana-bred Soderbergh received Oscar nominations for directing "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich" and won several critics' best director's awards.
(on camera): Well, you've got a pretty good reputation of letting actors sort of talk things through with you and not being just a dictator.
STEVEN SODERBERGH, DIRECTOR: Oh, yes. No, I mean, like to hire actors who have ideas and I give them room to breathe, especially when I feel like they're really on to something and they're sort of in the zone.
VERCAMMEN (voice-over): Critics credit Soderbergh with getting Julia Roberts into a zone as a whistle-blower in "Erin Brockovich."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ERIN BROCKOVICH")
JULIA ROBERTS, ACTRESS: And are you getting every word of this down, honey, or am I talking too fast for you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Skillfully directing Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and the ensemble cast in "Traffic," an intricate drug trade tale and with helping George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez sizzle in "Out of Sight."
SODERBERGH: You can overdirect actors if you're not careful. So, I tend to leave them alone unless I sense they're having a problem and then I'll go over and talk to them. VERCAMMEN: Soderbergh was his own director of photography on "Traffic" and he used a pseudonym, Peter Andrews, on the credits; his father's first two names, Where does Soderbergh find inspiration?
SODERBERGH: I read the papers a lot, but it's just sort of coincidence that I ended up making two movies back-to-back that have sort of, you know, social issues at their core. The next movie I'm making has no social value whatsoever, and I'm looking forward to that.
VERCAMMEN: Soderbergh is now focusing on the upcoming "Oceans 11," a remake of the Rat Pack classic.
(on camera): Are you a workaholic? How do you do it?
SODERBERGH: I guess so. I like to work. It's fun. I mean, I have a great job. I really like my job. So, that puts me ahead of, you know, 95 percent of the people who have jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Well, what are the interviews about?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: The interviews are about sex.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN (voice-over): Critics first took notice of Soderbergh's work with "Sex, Lies and Videotape" in 1989. Now, he's being recognized for both "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
SODERBERGH: It's great. It seems abstract to me. I mean, I don't know quite what to -- where to put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You experimented in college.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Can we take the quotes off of experiment and call it what it was?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Soderbergh would rather let his films speak volumes for him.
Paul Vercammen, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.
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