"Chicago" and "The Pianist" Win Top Awards at 75th Oscars
by Eugene Hernandez
"Chicago" won six Academy Awards, including the prize for best picture on Sunday night in Hollywood. "The Pianist" was also a top award winner at the 75th Oscars winning awards for best director, actor and adapted screenplay.
Among other top prize winners, Caroline Link's "Nowhere in Africa" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film. The movie, the fourth to receive a nomination for the unified Germay since 1990, marks the second nod for Link who was recognized in 1997 for "Beyond Silence." She did not attend the event to accept her Oscar.
A number of winners surprised viewers, including the director and actor awards for "The Pianist." Another shocker was the prize for best original song to Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. The controversial rapper was also not on hand to accept his award.
Organizers of the annual Academy Awards decided to cancel red carpet arrivals last week ahead of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The event telecast, interrupted by ABC News reports about the war in Iraq, was marked by a number statements in support of the troops and also protests against the war. Many attendees wore emblems in support of peace with a number of them donning doves or the blue and green peace symbol pin from Artists United to Win Without War.
Michael Moore received a standing ovation for his best documentary Oscar win for "Bowling for Columbine" but was later heckled by some as he made statements against U.S. President George W. Bush. Prior to his award win, Moore invited all doc nominees to the stage in the event that he should win the prize. He warned his fellow nominees that he would be speaking out on if he won the award.
"We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times," Moore said, flanked by the other documentary nominees. "We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president." Continuing passionately over chorus of boos mixed some applause, he said, "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or the fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."
Best actor winner Adrien Brody, in a lengthy, emotional speech, thanked best director winner Roman Polanski and the person whose life he portrayed on screen, pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. Continuing, as the music began to rise signaling the end of his allotted time on stage, Brody begged for more time and was granted it. Choking up as he spoke, he said, "It fills me with great joy, but I am also filled with a lot of sadness tonight because I am accepting an award at such a strange time. And you know my experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war. And the repercussions of war. And whatever you believe in, if it's God or Allah, may he watch over you and let's pray for a peaceful and swift resolution." Concluding, and honoring a soldier friend, Brody added, "I hope you and your boys make it back real soon. God bless you guys. I love you. Thank you very much."
The complete list of Academy Award winners follows:
Performance by an actor in a leading role
Adrien Brody in "The Pianist" (Focus Features)
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Chris Cooper in "Adaptation" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Nicole Kidman in "The Hours" (Paramount and Miramax)
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Chicago" (Miramax)
Best animated feature film of the year
"Spirited Away" (Buena Vista) Hayao Miyazaki
Achievement in art direction
Art Direction: John Myhre
Set Decoration: Gord Sim
Achievement in cinematography
"Road to Perdition" (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox)
Conrad L. Hall
Achievement in costume design
"Chicago" (Miramax) Colleen Atwood
Achievement in directing
"The Pianist" (Focus Features) Roman Polanski
Best documentary feature
"Bowling for Columbine"
(United Artists and Alliance Atlantis)
A Salter Street Films/VIF 2/Dog Eat Dog Films Production
Michael Moore and Michael Donovan
Best documentary short subject
A Wolf Films/Shape Pictures/Universal/Mopo Entertainment Production
Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port
Achievement in film editing
"Chicago" (Miramax) Martin Walsh
Best foreign language film of the year
"Nowhere in Africa"
An MTM Medien & Television München Production Germany
Achievement in makeup
"Frida" (Miramax) John Jackson and Beatrice De Alba
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Frida" (Miramax) Elliot Goldenthal
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile" (Universal)
Music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto
Lyric by Eminem
Best motion picture of the year
A Producer Circle Co., Zadan/Meron Production
Martin Richards, Producer
Best animated short film
"The ChubbChubbs!" (Columbia)
A Sony Pictures Imageworks Production
Best live action short film
"This Charming Man (Der Er En Yndig Mand)"
An M&M Productions for Novellefilm Production
Martin Strange-Hansen and Mie Andreasen
Achievement in sound
Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella and David Lee
Achievement in sound editing
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (New Line)
Ethan Van der Ryn and Michael Hopkins
Achievement in visual effects
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (New Line)
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke
"The Pianist" (Focus Features)
Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
"Talk to Her" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Written by Pedro Almodóvar