"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" was the big winner at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards in London -- picking up five awards, including best film and the Orange award, the top film prize as voted by the public.
The BAFTA best film winner has gone on to win the best picture Oscar four out of the last six years. The exceptions occurred in 1995, when "Sense and Sensibility" won the top BAFTA and "Braveheart" won the Oscar, and 1997, when "The Full Monty" won the BAFTA and "Titanic" took the Oscar.
"The Lord of the Rings" also won Sunday for best director (Peter Jackson), visual effects and makeup/hair.
Judi Dench was named best actress for her performance as the writer Iris Murdoch in "Iris." Her co-star, Jim Broadbent, won best supporting actor for his other major role of the year in "Moulin Rouge," director Baz Luhrmann's fanciful take on dancehall Paris at the dawn of the 20th century. "Moulin Rouge" also won for sound and music.
Best film: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
David Lean director award: Peter Jackson, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Original screenplay: Guillaume Laurant/Jean-Pierre Jeunet, "Amélie"
Adapted Screenplay: Ted Elliott/Terry Rossio/Joe Stillman/Roger S.H. Schulman, "Shrek"
Actress: Judi Dench, "Iris"
Actor: Russell Crowe, "A Beautiful Mind"
Supporting actress: Jennifer Connelly, "A Beautiful Mind"
Supporting actor: Jim Broadbent, "Moulin Rouge"
Anthony Asquith Award (film music): Craig Armstrong/Marius De Vries, "Moulin Rouge"
Foreign language film: "Amores Perros," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Cinematography: Roger Deakins, "The Man Who Wasn't There"
Production design: "Amélie"
Costume design: "Gosford Park"
Editing: "Mulholland Drive"
Sound: "Moulin Rouge"
Visual effects: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Makeup, hair: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Short film: "About a Girl"
Short animation: "Dog"
Orange film (voted by the public): "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Alexander Korda award (British film): "Gosford Park"
Carl Foreman award (most promising newcomer): Joel Hopkins, director, Nicola Usborne, writer/producer, "Jump Tomorrow"
Academy fellowship: Warren Beatty, Merchant Ivory Productions
Special award: Eon Productions
Michael Balcon award for outstanding British contribution to cinema: Vic Armstrong
VH1 is teaming up again with CBS-TV and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for "CBS & VH1 Grammy Countdown," a special 90-minute Grammy Awards pre-show that'll air on VH1 Wednesday (6:30-8 p.m. ET) just before the ceremonies begin at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
All or some portions of the show will be simulcast on a majority of CBS owned stations.
"CBS & VH1 Grammy Countdown" will be hosted by Mike O'Malley and feature CBS-TV music correspondent Rebecca Rankin and VH1 personality Aamer Haleem. It'll include highlights of Grammy rehearsals as well as the exciting red-carpet arrivals and interviews, and predications of who's going home happy and who is going to be disappointed.
In addition, an hour-long "VH1 Grammy Post-Show" will air live immediately after the Grammys, only on VH1, featuring interviews and party coverage.
WGA TO HONOR 'FRASIER' CO-CREATOR
The Writers Guild of America, west has announced that David Angell -- the co-creator of "Frasier" and "Wings" who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack -- will be awarded one of the guild's highest honors, the Valentine Davies Award, posthumously.
Angell and his wife, Lynn, were passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, which was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
The WGAw presents the Valentine Davies Award to writers "who have contributed to the entertainment industry as well as the community at large, and who have brought dignity and honor to the profession of writing everywhere."
Angell joins a list of previous winners that includes Fay and Michael Kanin, Garry Marshall, Hal Kanter, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Phil Alden Robinson, Norman Lear, Ray Bradbury, Barry Kemp, Alan Alda and last year's recipient, Paul Haggis.
The 54th Annual Writers Guild Awards will be presented Saturday in twin ceremonies in Beverly Hills, Calif., and New York.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' highly promoted new series premieres on NBC Tuesday, sandwiched between two episodes of "Frasier."
"Watching Ellie" features Louis-Dreyfus plays a Los Angeles nightclub singer who moonlights as a voiceover artist. The occasion gives TV analysts an opportunity to prognosticate about whether the show will continue what might be called "the 'Seinfeld' curse" -- or whether the third time will be the charm.
Twice before, former members of the "Seinfeld" ensemble have starred in their own half-hour comedies -- failing badly both times. "The Michael Richards Show" bombed on NBC last season, and Jason Alexander's "Bob Patterson" fell flat on ABC last fall.
(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
It's hard to impress Big Apple entertainment and gossip reports. But, to hear columnist Cindy Adams talk, 23-year-old actor Josh Hartnett is not only a heartthrob, he's a real gentleman. He's an actor in the old sense ... a modern-day Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart, at least in the way he behaves.
Adams reports that on a recent press junket to New York City, Hartnett -- surrounded by producers and film crew and publicists -- appeared in a conservative black crewneck sweater. None of the "herky-jerky aggregated movements of most young stars, none of the sunglasses/kicky clothing/scruffy beard/bad hair/vulgar language of many of his counterparts.
Hartnett does not seem to be full of himself, only his craft, his art and the movies he's made lately. When asked about his stardom and the attendant increase in salaries, he quipped that he's now able to pay room service charges of $60 for hotel breakfasts.
His latest movie, "40 Days and 40 Nights," opens Friday.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
Priceline.com has launched a new radio advertising campaign featuring actor and longtime priceline.com celebrity spokesman William Shatner.
Shatner won't be singing this time around. Instead, he's teaming up with a new co-spokesperson -- spokes-thing, actually -- the priceline.com super computer that toils day and night to find airline tickets, hotel rooms and other travel products at discounts of up to 40 percent or more over retail.
"Over the years, my relationship with priceline.com has broadened, from a celebrity spokesman to a customer who has enjoyed the significant savings benefits of priceline.com," said Shatner in a news release. "Priceline.com is a company that delivers real value to consumers, and I'm honored to continue representing priceline.com."