With a setting sun and rising tension, Oscar night began on the red carpet with a triumphant return to Hollywood outside the Kodak Theater. Whoopi Goldberg set the tone for a night of a few easily predicted wins, a few surprises, but above all, very deserving people walking away with a new golden statue.
The award that warrants the most praise is the Lifetime Achievement Award given to the Distinguished Gentleman of the film industry, Robert Redford, a man who has given back so much to the film industry through his Sundance Film Institute.
Jennifer Connelly took home her Oscar for her best supporting role in “A Beautiful Mind,” an award that was the most talked about and the easiest to predict. Although there was controversy over her winning in a supporting role by those who claimed her role was a lead in the film, it does not negate that she is a very gifted and deserving actress.
Jim Broadbent won the very close race for best supporting actor for his heart-warming and compassionate role as the husband of an Alzheimer’s sufferer in the acclaimed movie, “Iris.” This win upset the leading contender, Ian McKellen, but Broadbent’s role was the better performance.
Among the others favored over Broadbent were Ben Kingsley for his brutal portrayal in “Sexy Beast,” and Jon Voight for “Ali.”
Each song nominated for best original song was a popular hit as well as valuable additions to the films they were written for, but the prestigious honor went to Randy Newman for his original song in “Monsters, Inc.” titled “If I Didn’t Have You.” This is the most memorable and probably the most triumphant of all winners at this Oscar night with Newman finally winning after 16 nominations.
In the category of best-adapted screenplay, Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”) walked away a winner as expected. His screenplay was adapted from the biography of Dr. John Nash, Jr., the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who suffered from schizophrenia.
In the category of best original screenplay, the top competitors were Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson for “The Royal Tenenbaums” and Christopher Nolan for “Memento.” However, the night’s biggest surprise came when Julian Fellowes heard his name called. Fellowes was the screenwriter for the English murder mystery farce, “Gosford Park.”
In my eyes, the biggest upset of the night was the passing over of Russell Crowe. Every element of the craft of acting was met and perfect by Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind,” but another very brilliant actor, Denzel Washington, was awarded this statue. As much as I think Crowe deserved this award (and didn’t deserve it for “Gladiator”), I must pay homage to the Washington’s great career. This award recognized Washington for past great roles he brought to life, versus his performance in “Training Day.”
Best Actress went to the very talented and beautiful Halle Berry for her performance in “Monster’s Ball.” This was not only a turning point for Berry, but also for African-American actresses. This is the first year a black actress has walked away with the Best Actress award.
Best Director and Best Picture of the Year went to Ron Howard for “A Beautiful Mind.” Howard has been nominated numerous times before and finally won what he so rightfully earned in the