To date, STEVEN SODERBERGH is
the only director to have two films nominated for Best Picture and Best Director
in the same year. His Academy Award for Best Director of "Traffic"
marks the first time since the 1928/29 Awards that a director has successfully
competed against himself (Frank Lloyd for "Divine Lady". Michael
Curtiz, a double nominee for Best Director in 1938 for "Angels With Dirty
Faces" and "Four Daughters" lost to Frank Capra for "You Can't
Take It With You").
"Traffic," a contemporary
thriller set against the backdrop of the United States' on-going drug wars,
also received Oscars for Editing (Stephen Mirrione), Supporting Actor (Benicio
del Toro) and Adapted Screenplay (Stephen Gaghan). The film's fifth nomination
was for Best Picture (Laura Bickford, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick).
"Traffic" has grossed over $124,000,000 domestically, bringing its
worldwide total to over $200 million.
In addition to Soderbergh's Best
Director nomination for "Erin Brock-ovich," Julia Roberts received the
Best Actress Academy Award for the title role in the true story of a California
single mother who takes on a power company in a direct-action suit and brings it
to its knees. The film's other nominations were for Best Supporting Actor
(Albert Finney), Best Original Screenplay (Susannah Grant) and Best Picture
(Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher).
Last year, Soderbergh directed a
retelling of "Ocean's Eleven," the fabled 1960's film which firmly
established the Rat Pack in the American lexicon. Since it's December release
the film, which stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Julia
Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison,
Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner and Shaobo Qin, has grossed over $435,000,000 worldwide.
In August, Miramax released Soderbergh's
contemporary comedy "Full Frontal." Starring David Duchovny, Nicky
Katt, Catherine Keener, Mary McCormack, David Hyde Pierce, Julia Roberts and
Blair Underwood, the movie was shot during eighteen days using a combination of
digital video tape and film.
SOLARIS is Soderbergh's thirteenth
film following "Full Frontal," "Ocean's Eleven,"
"Traffic," "Erin Brockovich," "The Limey,"
"Out of Sight," "Gray's Anatomy," "Schizopolis,"
"The Underneath," "King of the Hill," "Kafka" and
"sex, lies, and videotape."
In addition to his credits as director,
Soderbergh functioned as producer on Greg Mottola's "The Daytrippers"
(1997) and on Gary Ross' "Pleasantville" (1998). As well, he served as
the executive producer on David Siegel and Scott McGehee's "Suture"
(1994) and on Godfrey Reggio's upcoming "Naqoyqatsi," the final
installment of the non-narrative films that make up the Qatsi Trilogy, beginning
with "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Powaqqatsi".
In 2000, Soderbergh and George Clooney
formed Section Eight, a film production company based at Warner Bros. Their
ensemble comedy, "Welcome to Collinwood," written and directed by
brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, was selected to close the 2002 Cannes Film
Festival's Director's Fortnight. The film's cast includes William H. Macy,
Isaiah Washington, Luis Guzman, Jennifer Esposito, Sam Rockwell and Clooney.
They recently completed work on Charlie
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