The evening is over, while Gothamist will be following up with extensive commentary about the actual Oscar telecast, here are the winners and some post-game analysis:
Chicago - Marty Richards
Not a huge surprise given the momentum Chicago's had since the Golden Globes, but there was an outside chance of a Pianist upset with The Pianist's acting, directing, and screenplay awards. But in the end, Harvey got his best picture.
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Adrien Brody for The Pianist
A wonderful upset, Adrien Brody beat out four men who were already graced with Oscars. All the men's performances were very strong, but Jack Nicholson was doing the same old in About Schmidt plus a fourth Oscar would have been too much; Daniel Day-Lewis always brings that intensity to his roles; Nicolas Cage was great but the whole Lisa Marie thing is weird; and Michael Caine may only have Oscars in the supporting category, but he's got TWO. Also, Oscar loves Holocaust dramas (see Schindler's List, Life is Beautiful).
Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Nicole Kidman for The Hours
In the end, it was between Nicole and Renee Zellweger, and Nicole getting the award was a way to honor The Hours as well as Nicole for paying her dues to Hollywood (marrying big Hollywood star, being the woman scorned, working for Harvey Weinstein, playing de-glammed role).
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Chris Cooper for Adaptation.
Again, a contest between two actors: Cooper and Christopher Walken. Walken already has an Oscar for Deer Hunter, Chris Cooper has steadily built a body of solid character work, and this was a way to honor Adaptation, which was probably too far out there for most voters.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago
The closest sure thing, Catherine Zeta-Jones' relentless performance held up much of Chicago...she was the only one of the cast who did sing and dance. The Hollywood royalty angle ultimately outweighed any British tabloid lawsuits.
Roman Polanski for The Pianist
The second biggest upset of the night, after Adrien Brody winning best actor, Polanski's win raises a few issues/questions:
- Did Harvey Weinstein's campaigning for Martin Scorsese cancel out the other Miramax director Rob Marshall for Chicago?
- Hollywood loves Holocaust drama
- Is Hollywood ready to forgive Polanski?
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Hable con ella / Talk to Her- Pedro Almodóvar
The first foreign language film by a foreigner to win a screenplay award since A Man and a Woman in 1966 (I'm not counting The Last Emperor, because that was a U.S. studio film). A huge surprise, mainly because of the foreign factor. but definitely a nod towards rewarding Talk to Her, which was ineligible for Foreign Language Film. Hollywood loves Pedro.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:
The Pianist - Ronald Harwood
Pundits were thinking Bill Condon for Chicago or Charlie Kaufman for Adaptation, both dexterous imaginings that the directors followed to create new worlds. But Bill Condon previously won for Gods and Monsters and Adaptation was perhaps too far out. Plus, this writing award, with the acting and directing prizes, show there was a definite strong Pianist contigent amongst the voters.
Best Animated Feature:
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi / Spirited Away - Hayao Miyazaki
The master gets his due: Generally acknowledged as one of the most brilliant filmmakers, let alone animators, Miyazaki's win comes with a bit of a double edged sword: Disney did such a half-assed job with the release, yet it still won...they claimed they would relook at the distribution platform after nominations, but I didn't see any press for it. I did, however, see press for Lilo & Stitch. Disney was pushing for Lilo & Stitch to win (a great movie, but no Spirited Away), and had put Spirited Away into a ghetto. Hopefully Disney will relook at it again, now that it has an Oscar winner on its hands.
Best Foreign Language Film:
Nirgendwo in Afrika / Nowhere in Africa (Germany) - Caroline Link
This film had the most mainstream appeal, especially in light of the fact that it's a Holocaust drama (though one set in Africa), as well as being universally liked and critically hailed. The other nominees are either too uneven (El Crimen, Hero), too existential (The Man Without a Past), or too broad (Zus & Zo).
Road to Perdition - Conrad L. Hall
Road is a truly beautifully photographed film, it was between Hall and Edward Lachman for Far From Heaven. In a sick way, Hall's death probably gave him more momentum (the whole "Ed Lachman has other chances down the road").
Best Costume Design:
Chicago - Colleen Atwood
Flashy and fun costumes for this movie, Colleen Atwood's diligently worked behind the scenes, even styling the actresses for the awards (a few years back, after Little Women, Winona Ryder showed up in a dress by Colleen Atwood).
Best Music, Song:
"Lose Yourself" for 8 Mile - Eminem, Jeff Bass, Luis Resto
The best song of the group. Pundits thought it would be "I Move On" from Chicago, but let's face it, this Kander & Ebb ditty is no "All That Jazz" or "Razzle Dazzle." Or "Cell Block Tango." I'm impressed that "Lose Yourself" won and that the Academy did not Phil Collins it and pick Paul Simon's song.
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing:
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins
The number of special effects and imagined object sounds probably propel LOTR to the top. Most likely the Academy is waiting for the third and final installment to really go all out...plus there may be residual resentment from Hollywood about how successful the films are - hence the lesser showing in nominations this year versus last for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Best Documentary: Feature:
Bowling for Columbine - Michael Moore, Michael Donovan
The most well known and honored of the nominees, Bowling's director is even a lead character in the film. Michael Moore is charismatic and liberal, and the film is about an issue that is a problem in the country.
Best Documentary: Short Subject:
Twin Towers - Bill Guttentag, Robert David Port
The first, I think, film about September 11 up for Oscar consideration. Bill Guttentag also does work on Dick Wolf's non-fiction series, "Crime & Punishment."
Best Short Film: Live Action:
Der er en yndig mand / The Charming Man - Martin Strange-Hansen, Mie Andreasen
Again, I didn't see these nominees, but I would totally vote for someone with the last name "Strange-Hansen."
More winners information at Oscar.com