Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Gladiator (2000)

Starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix & Connie Nielsen

Rating 9/10

When I think of Gladiator I think of heads being chopped off, blood spurting over the camera and swords being thrust across faces. But, I’m happy to say, it’s more than that.

This is a brilliant film (I smell a rave!). You can tell it has been lovingly crafted from the artistic shots to the soaring music. The performances are faultless and the gore is in-your-face realistic. I love historical dramas and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t watched it, here’s the plot:

Maximus Decimus Meridius (Crowe) is an awesome General in the Roman army. He is beloved by the ailing Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) who is on the front lines with him. The emperor’s weird old son, Commodus (Phoenix) arrives with his sister Lucilla to see his father before he dies. It is here that Caesar tells his son that he is not to become Emperor but it is Maximus who will assume control of Rome.

Commodus is so upset that he kills his father and declares himself Emperor and asks for Maximus’ support but the big fella rejects him. The emperor then sulks and sentences him and his family to death. But the General escapes and runs away. He is eventually found by slave traders who sell him to Gladiator boss, Proximo (Reed) who then puts him to work. Maximus ends up fighting in the Colosseum in Rome. It is here that Commodus realises that the General is not dead and all hell breaks loose.

Politics, incest, fear and murder. It’s all happening in downtown Rome. Commodus loses even more of his mind as he juggles his lust for his sister and his desire to be loved by his people and by his dead father. It all comes down to the last battle. And in the end… well, you just have to see it don’t you?!

Gladiator Trivia:

  • Budget – $103 million
  • Oliver Reed died during the filming of Gladiator from a heart attack. The director had to use doubles to complete the film without him.
  • In the opening scene the cuts on Crowe’s face are real, from an incident with his horse and a tree.
  • Crowe adlibbed the description of Maximus’ home. He was actually describing his own farm in Australia.
  • Mel Gibson turned down the role of Maximus, thinking he was too old for it.
  • In the Gladiator scenes, Crowe hurt his bicep tendons and broke bones in his hip and foot.
  • Maximus is Crowe’s favourite character that he’s played.
  • The battle scene took 20 days to shoot.
  • Oliver Reed didn’t warm to Crowe. In fact at one stage, he challenged him to a fight.
  • The real Commodus fought many times in the Colosseum but was killed in the dressing rooms by an athlete not in front of the crowd.
  • In the scene where Commodus kills his father, Phoenix put in so much effort that he fainted after it was shot.

And that’s Gladiator! Next week we join Russell Crowe once again but in a completely different world. We’re watching A Beautiful Mind. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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2 comments on “Best Picture – Gladiator (2000)

  1. Pingback: 10 Best movie villains EVER! « Oscarclub's Blog

  2. Pingback: Academy Award Winners 2011 Reactions | Guide to be a winner

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