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Oscars: And the Winners are...

Best Picture: "Chicago"
Best Director: Roman Polanski, "The Pianist"
Best Actor: Adrien Brody, "The Pianist"
Best Actress: Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"
Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper, "Adaptation"
Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Chicago"
Best Original Screenplay: Pedro Almodovar, "Talk to Her"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ronald Harwood, "The Pianist"
Best Animated Feature: "Spirited Away"
Best Song: Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

The full list of winners is available at the IMDb.

And a Few Thoughts on the Proceedings...

"The Pianist" picked up a couple of awards in the pre-Oscar distributions, but it was generally regarded as a fine little film that didn't have a chance in hell of winning a statuette. Apparently, hell has a few more chances than you'd expect. Adrien Brody, up against four previous winners -- Nicolas Cage, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Caine and Jack Nicholson -- came out of nowhere to take the Best Actor Oscar. in the span of 10 seconds Brody went from a respected but marginal performer to an A-lister; a fact made apparent when he planted an extended kiss on presenter Halle Berry and wasn't beaten into a puddle by security.

"The Pianist" also made Academy voters forget about Roman Polanski's outstanding warrant. The four-time nominee took the Best Director award, but didn't make an appearance at the ceremony. The camera zoomed around the crowd (a la "The Price is Right") immediately after the Best Director announcement, but Polanski never emerged. The director, perhaps heeding the threat of certain arrest from the Los Angeles prosecutor's office, was a no-show.

War comments generally took the give-peace-a-chance stance, but filmmaker Michael Moore -- who won Best Documentary for "Bowling for Columbine" -- used his 45 seconds of speech time to rail against the "fictitious" president and the "fictitious" war. His comments were met with a smattering of applause and a chorus of jeers.

Contrary to popular belief that cell phone ads are the kiss of death (where have you gone Jamie Lee Curtis?), Catherine Zeta-Jones nipped the T-Mobile curse in the bud by winning Best Supporting Actress. The very pregnant "Chicago" star performed "I Move On" with co-star Queen Latifah during one of the no-wonder-it's-a-four-hour-telecast musical segments.

Unfortunately, the most interesting musical act didn't show up. After sitting through Zeta-Jones' passable number and unimpressive performances from Paul Simon, U2, Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor, it was a downer not to hear -- and see -- Eminem rip through "Lose Yourself." Eminem's absence became glaring when he actually won the Best Song Oscar.

If the "acting" thing doesn't work out for Peter O'Toole, he can supplement his income with public speaking lessons. The Lifetime Achievement winner imbued his acceptance speech with class, charisma and self-deprecation. -- Mac Slocum

Posted by Mac on May 13, 2003 10:58 PM
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