Roberts, Crowe win acting awards

Chalk up another one for Steven Soderbergh.

The helmer has been tapped by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. as the year’s best director for his work on “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich.” In the past few weeks, he has also nabbed top directing honors from the National Board of Review and the L.A. and New York critics associations.

The BFCA will hold its official awards luncheon Jan. 22 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Thesps Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”) and Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”) were selected as best actor and actress.

Joaquin Phoenix won the supporting nod for “Quills,” “The Yards” and “Gladiator,” while Frances McDormand took the same prize for her work in “Wonder Boys” and “Almost Famous.”

The adapted screenplay category saw a tie between Steven Kloves (“Wonder Boys”) and Stephen Gaghan (“Traffic”). The original screenplay prize went to Cameron Crowe for “Almost Famous.”

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won for foreign-language film; “Chicken Run” took animated feature kudos.

Other winners are Kate Hudson (“Almost Famous”), breakthrough performance; Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot”), child performer; John Mathieson (“Gladiator”), cinematography; Arthur Max (“Gladiator”), production design; Sting (“The Emperor’s New Groove”) for the song “My Funny Friend and Me”; Hans Zimmer (“Gladiator,” “Mission: Impossible 2,” and “The Road to El Dorado”), composer; “My Dog Skip,” family film (live action); “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” docu feature; Wilson the volleyball in “Cast Away” for inanimate object.

Eleven pics have been nominated as the year’s best, and the winner will be announced during the awards luncheon. The contenders are “Almost Famous,” “Billy Elliot,” “Cast Away,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Gladiator,” “Quills,” “Thirteen Days,” “Traffic,” “Wonder Boys” and “You Can Count on Me.”

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