Gladiator has emerged as the film to beat at the 73rd annual Academy Awards. The Roman epic scored a leading 12 Oscar nominations, including nods for best picture, lead actor ( Russell Crowe), supporting actor (

Joaquin Phoenix) and director (Ridley Scott). Competing with Gladiator for best picture are Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Chocolat, Erin Brockovich and Traffic. The lead actor race included a surprise nomination for Ed Harris for Pollock, a film he also directed. He's up against Crowe, Tom Hanks (Cast Away), Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls) and Geoffrey Rush (Quills). As expected, the five lead actress finalists included Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich), Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me), Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream), Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) and Joan Allen (The Contender). In an Oscar first, director Steven Soderbergh was nominated for his work on both Erin Brockovich and Traffic. The Oscars air live on ABC on March 25. For a complete list of nominees, click here.