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CNN Today

Will the Oscars Be a Soderbergh Sweep?

Aired February 13, 2001 - 2:28 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now to tell us whether or not this year will be a Soderbergh sweep is Tom O'Neil, the author of "Movie Awards" and Thelma Adams, movie critic for "Us" magazine. Welcome.

TOM O'NEIL, AUTHOR, "MOVIE AWARDS": Thank you.

THELMA ADAMS, "US" MAGAZINE: No sweep. This is the sad thing. The sad thing is that Soderbergh is going up against himself and he can't win. He's nominated for best director for "Traffic" and for "Erin Brockovich." If he was nominated for "Traffic" or "Erin Brockovich," it would be his year. But together, it isn't fair.

SYDNEY: Tom, what do you think?

O'NEIL: And it started out as the year of Steven Soderbergh. Thelma, as a former president of the New York Film Critics, the film critics voted this year best picture to "Traffic," but he's losing his momentum, now. When he lost to Ang Lee at the Golden Globes, director there, we're seeing a switch here. Now, Thelma and I both are part of a Web site called goldderby.com. We are trying to predict the Oscars along the way. We thought "Traffic" was out front before the Globes, but then that changed everything.

SYDNEY: But it ain't over yet.

ADAMS: It ain't over yet.

SYDNEY: Now let's go to a very sweet movie, I think, "Chocolat." But many people are outraged that that is actually nominated for best picture. Is this a question of the Miramax marketing strong arm?

ADAMS: No question. This is the Miramax candidate. The fact that it got a best picture, you know, best supporting actress for Judi Dench, this is Miramax. And, you know, God bless them. Let them have their slot.

O'NEIL: No, because this slot was taken at the expense of "Almost Famous" which won best picture at the Golden Globes. It won the comedy category for best picture and it should have been in there and it should be a contender for best director and it's not.

SYDNEY: We've talked about what's unfair, let's go to fair. Who's going to win best picture, Tom? O'NEIL: It's a "Gladiator" year. And you know why we know that? It's real simple. In the past 17 years, the movie with the most nominations has won 16 times. "Gladiator" leads with the most nominations today.

ADAMS: Twelve.

O'NEIL: Twelve.

SYDNEY: Thelma, do you agree?

ADAMS: I agree. I agree. It's a "Gladiator" year. And it'll split, though, because "Crouching Tiger" got 10 nominations overall. I think Ang Lee will step forward and get best director. And that's how it will split. It'll split like it did before with "Shakespeare in Love." You know -- that division.

O'NEIL: Which is very rare, and that happens seldom in Oscar history, but it may be one of those years.

SYDNEY: Tom, very quickly, I learned from you book that there are actually 3,182 entertainment awards that go on throughout the year. Does that water down Mr. 0scar?

O'NEIL: It waters down all the others. There's still something sacred about the Oscar. It's the Super Bowl of showbiz.

SYDNEY: OK, I agree, and our time -- time out now in our Super Bowl. But thank you both for stopping by today.

ADAMS: Thank you.

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