Mar 032004
 
Authors: Jeremy Anderson

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

memory.

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

single film.

“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

win.

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.”

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