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Traffic Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Described by director Steven Soderbergh as "Nashville meets The French Connection," this multi-character drama explores the effects of international drug trafficking on all fronts: from their source, to the U.S. border, to the federal government, to the private lives of users. Based upon a miniseries originally aired on Britain's Channel 4, Traffic divides its time among three main storylines and almost a dozen locales. The first and primary plot thread, set in Ohio and Washington, D.C., concerns freshly-appointed drug czar Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), whose enthusiasm for his new prestige position is quickly offset when he realizes his 16-year-old daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen) is graduating from recreational drug use to habitual abuse -- a secret that his wife, Barbara (Amy Irving), has kept from him. South of the border, Mexican cop Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) attempts to wage his own war on drugs, heading off a cocaine shipment in the middle of the desert with his less-than-virtuous partner Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas). Surrounded by corruption, Javier approaches the drug war with an attitude of patience and compromise, which opens him up to investigation from General Arturo Salazar (Tomas Milian), the country's dubious drug-enforcement liaison to the U.S. Meanwhile, San Diego drug kingpin Carlos Alaya (Steven Bauer) is caught in a sting operation spearheaded by DEA agents Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzman), leaving behind his very pregnant and very oblivious wife, Helena (Catharine Zeta-Jones). At the behest of Carlos' lawyer and shady confidante, Arnie Metzger (Dennis Quaid), Helena decides to carry on the family business -- with tragic consequences. Adapted by Rules of Engagement scribe Stephen Gaghan, Traffic marked Soderbergh's second major release in 2000 after the critical and box-office success of Erin Brockovich, as well as his second feature as cinematographer (credited under the pseudonym Peter Andrews). A favorite with various guild and critics' awards, Traffic won four Academy Awards in 2001, including statues for Best Supporting Actor (Del Toro) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Gaghan), and surprise wins for Steven Mirrone's editing and Soderbergh's direction. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

  • Release date:December 27, 2000

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Laura Bickford Best Picture 2000 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Stephen Gaghan Best Screenplay 2000 Winner
Broadcast Film Critics Association Stephen Gaghan Best Adapted Screenplay 2000 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Stephen Gaghan Best Adapted Screenplay 2000 Winner
Writers Guild of America Stephen Gaghan Best Adapted Screenplay 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Stephen Mirrione Best Editing 2000 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Stephen Mirrione Best Editing 2000 Nominee
Screen Actors Guild Benicio Del Toro Best Actor 2000 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Benicio Del Toro Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Benicio Del Toro Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 2000 Winner
Berlin International Film Festival Benicio Del Toro Silver Bear for Best Actor 2000 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Benicio Del Toro Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Benicio Del Toro Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Benicio Del Toro Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Chicago Film Critics Association Benicio Del Toro Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Toronto Film Critics Association Benicio Del Toro Best Actor 2000 Winner
Berlin International Film Festival Benicio Del Toro Silver Bear for Best Actor 2001 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Catherine Zeta-Jones Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edward Zwick Best Picture 2000 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
Broadcast Film Critics Association Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
National Board of Review Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
Chicago Film Critics Association Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
Toronto Film Critics Association Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Steven Soderbergh Best Director 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marshall Herskovitz Best Picture 2000 Nominee

Cast

Michael Douglas
as Robert Wakefield
Don Cheadle
as Montel Gordon
Benicio Del Toro
as Javier Rodriguez
Luis Guzman
as Ray Castro
Dennis Quaid
as Arnie Metzger
Catherine Zeta-Jones
as Helena Ayala
Steven Bauer
as Carlos Ayala
Benjamin Bratt
as Juan Obregon
James Brolin
as Ralph Landry
Erika Christensen
as Caroline Wakefield
Clifton Collins, Jr.
as Francisco Flores
Miguel Ferrer
as Eduardo Ruiz
Albert Finney
as Chief of Staff
Topher Grace
as Seth Abrahms
Amy Irving
as Barbara Wakefield
Tomas Milian
as Arturo Salazar
D.W. Moffett
as Jeff Sheridan
Marisol Padilla Sanchez
as Ana Sanchez
Peter Riegert
as Attorney Michael Adler
Jacob Vargas
as Manolo Sanchez
Mario Roberts
as DEA Agent (Public Storage)
Rena Sofer
as Helena's Friend
Michael Showers
Viola Davis
Stephen Dunham

Crew

Steven Soderbergh
Director
Edward Zwick
Producer
Marshall Herskovitz
Producer
Laura Bickford
Producer
Stephen Gaghan
Screenwriter
Peter Andrews
Cinematographer
Cliff Martinez
Composer (Music Score)
Stephen Mirrione
Editor
Philip Messina
Production Designer
Keith P. Cunningham
Art Director
Cameron Jones
Executive Producer
Andreas Klein
Executive Producer
Mike Newell
Executive Producer
Richard Solomon
Executive Producer
Graham King
Executive Producer
Greg Berry
Set Designer
Maya Shimoguchi
Set Designer
Louise Frogley
Costume Designer
Paul Ledford
Sound/Sound Designer
Greg Jacobs
First Assistant Director
Debra Zane
Casting
Jeff Rona
Additional Music
Larry Blake
Supervising Sound Editor
Larry Blake
Re-Recording Mixer
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