The start of the new millennium also marked a new era of filmmaking with the release of Ang Lee’s film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 20 years ago today, the film opened to surprising success and became the highest-grossing foreign film in the US. It was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards—tying the record for most Oscar nominations for a foreign film—and won 4 of them including Score, Cinematography, and Art Direction.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon forever changed the way Eastern action movies were filmed and stylized. Characters were given fantastical and superhuman powers with their movement. Accompanied by incredible sound design and at times comedic foley art, fight sequences captivated audiences and left them begging for more. While it would be almost 20 years until a foreign film (Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite) finally took home Best Picture, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shook the scene and sparked the mainstream interest needed for great foreign films to gain traction in the US. Here’s to plenty more successful foreign films to come in the next two decades.