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TheWorldJournal.com Presents…
“The Aftermath: The 75th Annual Academy Awards”

  E-MAIL FRANK OCHIENG




March 23, 2003. The 75th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. All the glitz and glamour being paraded in front of a worldwide audience of interested onlookers had a chance to soak up the movie industry’s biggest celebration of the year. In many ways, this year’s telecast was a mixed bag of sorts. There were the usual dosage of predictability that one could name without any difficulty: the dominance of frontrunner (and eventual best picture choice) Chicago copping an impressive amount of golden statuettes (6 in its entirety). Also, the trademark wry wit of sophomore year Oscar host Steve Martin was in full force. The assorted fashion bugs roaming about the venue continued in methodical and Academy Award mythical proportions. And the long-winded musical numbers and unpredictable winners’ acceptance speeches that ranged from the classy to the antagonistic were enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Appreciative acknowledgements from newly Oscar victors Chris Cooper [“Adaptaton”] and Adrien Brody [“The Pianist”] were well-spoken and poignant; the anti-war diatribe from documentary wizard and audacious Oscar recipient Michael Moore [“Bowling for Columbine”] was strangely eloquent, erratic and aimlessly daring.

However, there were welcomed surprises during the evening that were absolutely delightful and added some dimension to this low-rated wartime Academy Award ceremony. The aforementioned disenfranchised documentarian Michael Moore shook up the proceedings by expressing his gutsy and passionate feelings pertaining to the on-going Iraqui/U.S.-led coalition conflict and the insistence in proclaiming America’s Commander-in-chief as being a “fictitious” figurehead in the middle of this devastating campaign. A majority can also agree that Adrien Brody’s stunning Oscar win over four heavily-favored and previous Best Actor Academy Award winners Jack Nicolson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicholas Cage and Michael Caine had to be a thrill to behold. Perennial golden statue recidivist Nicholson was on the verge of making movie history by tying legendary Katherine Hepburn with the most Oscar wins at four. Plus Brody’s Pianist helmer, 25-year U.S. fugitive and maligned filmmaker Roman Polanski, managed to do the unthinkable by claiming in his absence the best director Oscar amid the pending statutory rape charge controversy that still haunts the demonized artist. Another controversial artist, the foul-mouthed and foul-tempered rap musician-turned-actor Eminem, skillfully won the best original song category with “Lose Yourself” from the 8 Mile film while being absent from the ceremony. He won out over the likes of well-liked and veteran “safe bets” Paul Simon (“Fathers and Daughters” from The Wild Thornberrys Movie) and U2 (“The Hands That Built America” from Gangs of New York).

In keeping with the “surprise element” theme, the squeaker win of Nicole Kidman (The Hours) prevailing over expected favorite Renee Zellweger was amazing because of the expected momentum of Chicago’s conquering presence during their fabulous victorious evening. Personally, the thought of gifted actress Julianne Moore going home empty-handed after being nominated twice for two equally powerful performances in The Hours and Far From Heaven was definitely inexcusable in my humble opinion. During the segment where the program gathered previous Oscar winning performers from yesteryear up on the stage, I was astonished that a mere crowd of approximately sixty Academy Award alumni showed up to partake in this exercise. Where in the world were the other former Oscar winners? Whether they stayed home out of fear of the current world events or in silent protest of the Middle East war or had other pressing business elsewhere, it was disappointing to see the meager turnout during this anemic ritual.

As far as my earlier predictions were concerned (you can refer to my TheWorldJournal.com article “Frank Ochieng Out in the Forefront: The Predictions for Oscar Gold”), I’m sad to report that my picks weren’t exactly on the stellar side. Of the main six categories (best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, director and picture) I only conjured up 2 correct picks and 4 incorrect picks. Overall, of the main 25 categories offered, I got 7 correct and 18 incorrect. In a way, I am kind of tolerant regarding this anemic showing because it showed that the so-called “gimmie” picks weren’t that obvious (as in Jack Nicholson typically winning another trophy or Martin Scorsese receiving the best director prize out of sentimental acknowledgement for his flawed labor of love Gangs of New York). In other words, it was refreshing to see the wealth being shared by having others experience the joy of being an Academy Award winner based on being new to the scene while bringing an exceptional talent to the forefront (read: Adrien Brody). Or how about just being deserving of the Oscar based on the creativity of the work despite the outcry of the artist’s real life baggage and other strife? (read: Roman Polanski for The Pianist).

Anyhow, let’s get to the crust of the matter by displaying what the winners (and their fellow nominees) were during the 75th Annual Academy Awards. Please note that the winners listed below are denoted based on a star (*) next to their names. The following categories and their winners/nominees are:


Best Picture

*CHICAGO (Miramax)
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax)
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line)
THE PIANIST (Focus Features)

Achievement in Directing

Rob Marshall for CHICAGO (Miramax)
Martin Scorsese for GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax)
Stephen Daldry for THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax)
*Roman Polanski for THE PIANIST (Focus Features)
Pedro Almodóvar for TALK TO HER (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

*Adrien Brody in THE PIANIST (Focus Features)
Nicolas Cage in ADAPTATION (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Michael Caine in THE QUIET AMERICAN (Miramax and Intermedia)
Daniel Day-Lewis in GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax)
Jack Nicholson in ABOUT SCHMIDT (New Line)

Best Supporting Actor

*Chris Cooper in ADAPTATION (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Ed Harris in THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax)
Paul Newman in ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox)
John C. Reilly in CHICAGO (Miramax)
Christopher Walken in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (DreamWorks)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Salma Hayek in FRIDA (Miramax)
*Nicole Kidman in THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax)
Diane Lane in UNFAITHFUL (20th Century Fox)
Julianne Moore in FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features)
Renée Zellweger in CHICAGO (Miramax)

Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates in ABOUT SCHMIDT (New Line)
Julianne Moore in THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax)
Queen Latifah in CHICAGO (Miramax)
Meryl Streep in ADAPTATION (Sony Pictures Releasing)
*Catherine Zeta-Jones in CHICAGO (Miramax)

Best Animated Feature Film

ICE AGE (20th Century Fox)
LILO & STITCH (Buena Vista)
SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (DreamWorks)
*SPIRITED AWAY (Buena Vista)
TREASURE PLANET (Buena Vista)

Best Adapted Screenplay

ABOUT A BOY (Universal) Screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz
ADAPTATION (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman
CHICAGO (Miramax) Screenplay by Bill Condon
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Screenplay by David Hare
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Screenplay by Ronald Harwood

Best Original Screenplay

FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Written by Todd Haynes
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steve Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan
Story by Jay Cocks
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (IFC/Gold Circle Films) Written by Nia Vardalos
*TALK TO HER (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Pedro Almodóvar
Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN (IFC Films) Written by Carlos Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón

Best Foreign-Language Film

EL CRIMEN DEL PADRE AMARO - Mexico
HERO - People's Republic of China
THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST - Finland
*NOWHERE IN AFRICA - Germany
ZUS & ZO - The Netherlands

Achievement in Art Direction

*CHICAGO (Miramax) Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gord Sim
FRIDA (Miramax) Art Direction: Felipe Fernandez del Paso; Set Decoration: Hannia Robledo
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Art Direction: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Dan Hennah and Alan Lee
ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Achievement in Cinematography

CHICAGO (Miramax) Dion Beebe
FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Edward Lachman
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Michael Ballhaus
THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Pawel Edelman
*ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Conrad L. Hall

Achievement in Costume Design

*CHICAGO (Miramax) Colleen Atwood
FRIDA (Miramax) Julie Weiss
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Sandy Powell
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Ann Roth
THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Anna Sheppard

Best Documentary Feature

*BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (United Artists and Alliance Atlantis)
DAUGHTER FROM DANANG (Balcony Releasing in association with Cowboy Pictures)
PRISONER OF PARADISE (Alliance Atlantis)
SPELLBOUND (THINKFilm)
WINGED MIGRATION (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Documentary Short Subject

THE COLLECTOR OF BEDFORD STREET
An Alice Elliott Production
MIGHTY TIMES: THE LEGACY OF ROSA PARKS
A Tell the Truth Pictures Production
*TWIN TOWERS
A Wolf Films/Shape Pictures/Universal/Mopo Entertainment Production

WHY CAN'T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN?
A Public Policy Production

Best Film Editing

*CHICAGO (Miramax) Martin Walsh
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Thelma Schoonmaker
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Peter Boyle
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Michael Horton
THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Hervé de Luze

Achievement in Makeup

*FRIDA (Miramax) John Jackson and Beatrice De Alba
THE TIME MACHINE (DreamWorks and Warner Bros.) John M. Elliott, Jr. and Barbara Lorenz

Best Original Score

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (DreamWorks) John Williams
FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Elmer Bernstein
*FRIDA (Miramax) Elliot Goldenthal
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Philip Glass
ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Thomas Newman

Original Song

"Burn It Blue" from FRIDA (Miramax) Music by Elliot Goldenthal, Lyrics by Julie Taymor
"Father and Daughter" from THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE (Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies) Music and Lyrics by Paul Simon
"The Hands That Built America" from GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Music and Lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
"I Move On" from CHICAGO (Miramax) Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb
*"Lose Yourself" from 8 MILE (Universal) Music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, Lyrics by Eminem

Best Animated Short Film

THE CATHEDRAL A Platige Image Production
*THE CHUBBCHUBBS! (Columbia) A Sony Pictures Imageworks Production
DAS RAD A Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH Production
MIKE'S NEW CAR (Buena Vista) A Pixar Animation Studios Production
MT. HEAD A Yamamura Animation Production

Live-Action Short Film

FAIT D'HIVER An Another Dimension of an Idea Production
I'LL WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE … (J'ATTENDRAI LE SUIVANT …) A La Boîte Production
INJA (DOG) An Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS) Production
JOHNNY FLYNTON A Red Corner Production
*THIS CHARMING MAN (DER ER EN YNDIG MAND) An M&M Productions for Novellefilm Production

Achievement in Sound

*CHICAGO (Miramax) Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella and David Lee
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Tom Fleischman, Eugene Gearty and Ivan Sharrock
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Scott Millan, Bob Beemer and John Patrick Pritchett
SPIDER-MAN (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Ed Novick

Achievement in Sound Editing

*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Ethan Van der Ryn and Michael Hopkins
MINORITY REPORT (20th Century Fox and DreamWorks) Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Scott A. Hecker

Best Visual Effects

*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke
SPIDER-MAN (Sony Pictures Releasing) John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier
STAR WARS EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES (20th Century Fox) Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow

Honorary Award

Peter O'Toole


Click here to comment on this article or post your own thoughts.

Frank Ochieng
© TheWorldJournal.com

 



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