Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. United Kingdom/USA, 2000. DreamWorks, Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Mill Film, C & L, Dawliz. Story by David Franzoni, Screenplay by David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson. Cinematography by John Mathieson. Produced by David Franzoni, Branko Lustig, Douglas Wick. Music by Lisa Gerrard, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Arthur Max. Costume Design by Janty Yates. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia. Academy Awards 2000. Golden Globe Awards 2000.
Ridley Scott’s best film in years is this astonishing epic of Roman proportions about a general (Russell Crowe) who is demoted to gladiator slave when the kindhearted emperor (Richard Harris) dies and his selfish and callous son (Joaquin Phoenix) takes over. The plot moves smoothly over its vast size without stopping for a second, climaxing in excellent fight scenes that combine state of the art sound effects with Scott’s unbeatable visual flair. Crowe gives a star-making performance as the lead, and Connie Nielsen stands out in a pretty ineffective role as the princess who must watch her brother destroy everything her beloved father worked so hard to create. One of the most exciting films of the year.