Martial arts spectacle Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon took home top honors, winning the best foreign language film in today’s 73rd Oscar annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The film from Taiwanese director Ang Lee also collected the best art direction, the best original musical score and the best cinematography.
Featuring flying fighters and dazzling swordplay in a story of honor and unfulfilled love, the film was nominated for an unprecedented 10 of the prestigious awards, the most ever for a foreign language film, and considered one of the surest bets.
The Mandarin-language movie directed by Ang Lee and starring Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh has become the highest grossing foreign language film ever in North America, and the first to break the US$100 million mark in box office receipts.
Lee said he had wanted to do a film like Crouching Tiger since childhood.
"I wanted to do justice to this pulp fiction genre," he said, "Everyone was trying to fulfill a childhood fantasy ... to pursue a China that is fading away in our heads."
Peter Pau won the Academy Award for best achievement in cinematography for his work in the film.
Pau, one of Hong Kong's top cinematographers with credits with such directors as John Woo and Tsui Hark, had been honored with several critic awards prior but had never won an Academy Award.
Tim Yip collected the golden statuette for best art direction and Tan Dun won the Oscar for best original musical score.
Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe won the best actress and actor separately and Steven Soderbergh the best director and Gladiator the best movie.
(China Daily 03/26/2001)