Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000): Ang Lee’s Oscar-Winning Martial Arts Film

Sony Pictures Classics

In 2000, a foreign-language film landed a spot in the main Best Picture race: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The thrilling fight sequences in this superbly mounted historical-romantic saga have elicited heartfelt applause from audiences ever since the film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

Ang Lee’s triumphant Hong Kong-style martial-arts film stars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh as fellow warriors who share an unspoken love; porcelain-lovely Zhang Ziyi portrays a dazzling young prodigy who hasn’t yet found her true path.

Shrewdly marketed and platformed by Sony Pictures Classics, the Mandarin-language film clearly pushed the envelope. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, won Golden Globes for Best Foreign Film and for director Ang Lee, and was deemed best movie of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film set a new box-office record for foreign-language films in the United Sates with its impressive gross of $130 million.

In February, it garnered ten Oscar nominations–the second most-nominated film of the year after Gladiator. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won four Oscars, matching Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, the previous Oscar record-holder for foreign-language films.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won Golden Globes for best foreign film and for director Ang Lee, set a new domestic box-office record for foreign-language films. The Mandarin-language film has already made over $53 million and is expected to cross the $100 million mark, with the help of its multiple Oscar nominations and awards

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won four Oscars out of its ten nominations, matching the four Oscars of Fanny and Alexander (1983), the previous record-holder for foreign-language films.

Running Tome: 119 min