'Crouching Tiger' Wins Top Prize from L.A. Critics

TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Ang Lee's martial arts romance, was voted best picture of 2000 on Saturday by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

The Chinese film that stars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh was the big winner Saturday with four awards. It also won for cinematography, music and production design.

"Crouching Tiger" is the first foreign language film to win best-picture honors from the L.A. critics. The award means the film is likely to be a best picture nominee for an Oscar.

The critics' awards were announced Saturday and will be handed out Jan. 17 at the Bel Age Hotel in West Hollywood.

Another winner was Steven Soderbergh, who was named best director for his work on both the drug thriller "Traffic" and the spring box office hit "Erin Brockovich."

Soderbergh also won best director for both of these films from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Michael Douglas was named best actor for his performance as a college professor having a mid-life crisis in "Wonder Boys," and the award for best actress went to Julia Roberts for her role as a feisty whistle-blower in "Erin Brockovich."

Frances McDormand received the best supporting actress award for her roles in "Wonder Boys" and "Almost Famous," and Willem Dafoe won best supporting actor for his comedic performance as a vampire in "Shadow of the Vampire."

Kenneth Lonergan won best screenplay for "You Can Count On Me," and the film's star, Mark Ruffalo, was awarded the New Generation Award.

Best foreign film honors went to "Yi Yi" from Taiwan, and "Chicken Run" won for best animated film.

Other winners:

Cinematography: Peter Pau, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Music/Score: Tan Dun, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Production design: Tim Yip, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Documentary/Non-fiction film: "Dark Days," Marc Singer

Career Achievement: Cinematographer Conrad Hall

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