In a year of films featuring hobbits, talking fish and lesbian
serial killers, who would have thought the ceremony honoring them
would be so unimpressive? Despite some highly-deserving films
getting their due recognition, Sunday night’s 76th Annual Academy
Awards show was one of the least entertaining ceremonies in recent
Usually when watching the Oscars, viewers are sure to see some
truly great moments which will be remembered for years to come such
as Adrien Brody’s lip lock with Halle Berry last year or Roberto
Benigni’s exuberant trek up to the stage when he won Best Actor for
“Life is Beautiful” in 1999. For the most part, though, the winners
this year failed to entertain.
It is not saying much when the highlight of the night is not
only prerecorded, but also occurs at the very start of the evening.
That is the hilarious montage where host Billy Crystal was
transported into scenes from the year’s nominated films. This
segment was inspired and incredibly realistic.
Crystal also brought some entertainment to the evening later
with a “What are They Thinking” segment where he guessed what
certain famous celebrities in the audience were thinking at that
moment. Especially funny was a Janet Jackson-inspired crack in
reference to Julie Andrews.
Not only did the night not contain many memorable moments, but
it also didn’t contain any surprises either. All of the favorites
to win did just that. Though the winners were certainly deserving,
it at least adds some excitement to the proceedings when a long
shot surprisingly gets the Oscar.
“Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” was the definitive
champion of the night, sweeping all eleven of its nominated
categories including Best Picture and Best Director, Peter Jackson.
This feat tied the film with “Titanic” for the most wins by a
“Mystic River” snagged two of the top acting prizes with Tim
Robbins winning Best Supporting Actor and Sean Penn taking home the
Best Actor award. This was Penn’s first Oscar and he received a
standing ovation as he took the stage, much to the visual
disappointment of fellow nominee Bill Murray who has yet to
Renee Zellweger won Best Supporting Actress for her performance
in “Cold Mountain,” which was the only nomination the film received
in the five main categories. Charlize Theron was the only winner of
the night to give a memorably emotional acceptance speech when she
was awarded Best Actress for her role in “Monster.”
Indie favorite, “Lost in Translation” was awarded only one
Oscar, which went to Sofia Coppola for Best Original Screenplay.
“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” took home Best
Cinematography and Best Sound Editing, “Finding Nemo” was named
Best Animated Feature Film, Canada’s “The Barbarian Invasions”
snagged Best Foreign-Language Film and Best Documentary went to
“The Fog of War.”