A commercial hit about a schizophrenic math genius was the big winner at the 74th Academy Awards -- while Denzel Washington and Halle Berry made history by becoming the first black performers ever to win the Oscars for best actor and actress in the same year.
"A Beautiful Mind" won four Academy Awards, including best picture and Ron Howard's first directing Oscar, despite being subjected to a whisper campaign about the way it handled details of the life of its central figure, John Forbes Nash Jr.
Berry became the first black performer ever to win for best actress. In an emotionally charged acceptance speech, she dedicated her Oscar to Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Diahann Carroll -- pioneering black actresses in Hollywood -- and to "every nameless, faceless woman of color that now stands a chance because tonight this door has been opened."
Washington became the second black ever to win for best actor. The first was Sidney Poitier, who won for "Lilies of the Field" in 1963 and who was honored with an honorary Oscar Sunday night.
Washington won out of a field that also featured a highly regarded performance by Russell Crowe as Nash.
In accepting the best picture Oscar, "A Beautiful Mind" producer Brian Grazer paid tribute to Crowe's performance. "We wouldn't be here without Russell Crowe," said Grazer.
Grazer's movie also won for best supporting actress (Jennifer Connelly) and adapted screenplay (Akiva Goldsman).
Veteran British actor Jim Broadbent won the supporting actor Oscar for his performance as John Bayley, the husband of writer Iris Murdoch in "Iris," the story of Murdoch's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" won four Oscars, after coming in with 13 nominations -- more than any other picture. Producer-director Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel won for makeup, cinematography, visual effects and Howard Shore's original score.
Randy Newman won for best original song for "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters, Inc." It was Newman's first win in 16 nominations.
In addition to Poitier, the academy also presented an honorary Oscar to screen legend Robert Redford. Former academy president Arthur Hiller, the director of such movies as "Love Story" and "The Hospital," received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg hosted the telecast on ABC. Her opening monologue used one joke to refer to two of the evening's themes -- the so-called smear campaign against "A Beautiful Mind" and the record-tying nomination of three blacks for acting Oscars. "So much mud has been thrown this year," said Goldberg, "all the nominees look black."
The unofficial running time of the show was four hours, 21 minutes. That easily breaks the old record, four hours, 9 minutes, set in 1999.
Best picture: "A Beautiful Mind"
Animated feature film: "Shrek"
Actor: Denzel Washington, "Training Day"
Actress: Halle Berry, "Monster's Ball"
Supporting actor: Jim Broadbent, "Iris"
Supporting actress: Jennifer Connelly, "A Beautiful Mind"
Director: Ron Howard, "A Beautiful Mind"
Original screenplay: "Gosford Park," Julian Fellowes
Adapted screenplay: "A Beautiful Mind," Akiva Goldsman
Foreign-language film "No Man's Land" (Bosnia)
Original music score: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," Howard Shore
Song: "If I Didn't Have You," Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.")
Art direction: "Moulin Rouge"
Cinematography: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Costume design: "Moulin Rouge"
Documentary feature: "Murder on a Sunday Morning"
Documentary short: "Thoth"
Film editing: "Black Hawk Down"
Makeup: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Short film (animated): "For the Birds"
Short film (live action): "The Accountant"
Sound: "Black Hawk Down"
Sound editing: "Pearl Harbor"
Visual effects: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Honorary award: Robert Redford
Honorary award: Sidney Poitier
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Arthur Hiller
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
"Memento" and "In the Bedroom" dominated the 17th Independent Spirit Awards, presented Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif.
The Independent Feature Project West -- a nonprofit organization for filmmakers -- presented its top three awards to "Memento." It won for best feature and writer-director Christopher Nolan won for best director and screenplay. "Memento" co-star Carrie Anne Moss was named best supporting actress.
"In the Bedroom" director Todd Field won for best first feature and Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson were named best actress and actor for their performance as a grieving couple who find it almost impossible to cope with the tragic death of their son.
Steve Buscemi was named best supporting actor for his performance in "Ghost World," which also won a best first screenplay award for Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff.
"Amélie," the French entry, was named best foreign film.
Best feature: "Memento"
Director: Christopher Nolan, "Memento"
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, "Memento"
First feature (award given to the director): "In The Bedroom," Todd Field
First screenplay: "Ghost World," Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff
John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for under $500,000): "Jackpot"
Debut performance: Paul Franklin Dano, "L.I.E."
Supporting female: Carrie-Anne Moss, "Memento"
Supporting male: Steve Buscemi, "Ghost World"
Female lead: Sissy Spacek, "In the Bedroom"
Male lead: Tom Wilkinson, "In The Bedroom"
Cinematography: Peter Deming, "Mulholland Drive"
Foreign film (award given to the director): "Amélie," director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Documentary (award given to the director): "Dogtown and Z-Boys," director, Stacy Peralta
Someone to Watch Award: Debra Eisenstadt, director, "Daydream Believer"
Direct/TV Truer Than Fiction Award: Monteith McCollum, "Hybrid"
Motorola Producers Award: René Bastian and Linda Moran, producers, "Martin and Orloff" and "L.I.E."
The widely reviled "Freddy Got Fingered" received the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation seal of disapproval Saturday -- gathering five "Razzies," including one for worst picture of 2001.
Tom Green -- the MTV personality often referred to as a "comedian" -- personally accounted for four of his picture's "wins" at the 22nd Annual Golden Raspberry Awards. He was voted worst director and actor, worst screen couple -- with "any animal he abuses" in the picture -- and shared worst screenplay "honors" with Derek Harvie.
Mariah Carey was voted worst actress for her performance in "Glitter."
Charlton Heston and Estella Warren were named worst supporting actor and actress. Heston was singled out for three performances -- "Cats and Dogs," "Planet of the Apes" and "Town & Country." Warren was dishonored for her work in "Planet of the Apes," and for her role in "Driven."
"Freddy Got Fingered" went into this year's race to the bottom with eight nominations, more than any other picture.
Sylvester Stallone's latest commercial comeback movie, "Driven," had seven -- including worst picture, worst supporting actor (Stallone and Burt Reynolds), worst director (Renny Harlin), screenplay (Stallone) and screen couple (Reynolds and Stallone) -- but only managed one award, Warren's worst supporting actress trophy.
Green's four nominations tied him with Stallone for the single-year record, but Stallone still holds the career record with 29 nominations and nine Razzie Awards.
The awards -- a parody of the Academy Awards -- were presented at the Abracadabra Theatre in Santa Monica, Calif.
Worst picture: "Freddy Got Fingered"
Actor: Tom Green ("Freddy Got Fingered")
Actress: Mariah Carey ("Glitter")
Screen couple: Tom Green & any animal he abuses ("Freddy Got Fingered")
Supporting actor: Charlton Heston ("Cats and Dogs," "Planet of the Apes" and "Town & Country")
Supporting actress: Estella Warren ("Driven," "Planet of the Apes")
Remake or sequel: "Planet of the Apes"
Director: Tom Green ("Freddy Got Fingered")
Screenplay: "Freddy Got Fingered," Tom Green and Derek Harvie
'L.A. LAW: THE MOVIE'
NBC has picked May 12 as the date for its telecast of "L.A. Law: The Movie" -- formerly titled "L.A. Law: Return to Justice."
The two-hour TV movie will reunite may of the original cast members of the long-running, Emmy-winning legal drama -- including Corbin Bernsen, Golden Globe-winner Susan Dey, two-time Emmy Award-winner Larry Drake, Emmy-winner Richard Dysart, Golden Globe-winner Jill Eikenberry, Michele Greene, Harry Hamlin, Alan Rachins, Susan Ruttan and Michael Tucker. The telecast is part of the network's look back, as it celebrates its 75th anniversary. "L.A. Law" won 15 Emmys during its eight-year run on NBC (1986-94).
The reunion movie was written by William Finkelstein, a former executive producer on the series, who won a Peabody, an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work on the show.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
PAT BOONE'S GRANDSON
Some months ago we reported that the 25-year-old grandson of Pat Boone had tumbled through the skylight of his apartment building -- hitting a railing and concrete steps several times on the way down through three floors of stairwell. Paramedics assumed he was dead.
Now, nine months after the accident, badly mangled and brain damaged young Ryan Corbin -- Boone's eldest grandchild -- is making what some are calling a "miraculous recovery." Assist News Service's Dan Wooding, a veteran of Christian broadcasting and communications, talked with Boone last week to discuss Ryan's condition and discovered he has improved to the level that he is able to take communion in his room on a weekly basis. He's also been able to form some words and fully recognizes his surroundings.
Boone told Wooding that if Corbin continues to improve, he will eventually be able to return to a somewhat normal life and hopes he can go on "The Larry King Show" to tell his story and give hope to others who have sustained near-death injuries.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
The opening of action-adventure "Blade 2" edged animated comedy "Ice Age" with an estimated $33.1 million at 2,707 theaters during the Friday-Sunday period, studio sources said.
The New Line film stars Wesley Snipes reprising his role as a half-human, half-vampire superhero. The original opened in August 1998.
20th Century Fox's second weekend of "Ice Age" finished a close second with $31.1 million at 3,345 theaters. The computer-generated project has topped $88 million in 10 days and established Fox and partner Blue Sky Studios as significant players within the animation industry.
Universal's opening of its 20th anniversary edition of "E.T -- The Extraterrestrial," featuring extensive revamps by director Steven Spielberg, came in a distant but still solid third place with $15.1 million at 3,010 theaters. The original grossed $399.8 million, so the movie has now joined "Titanic," "Star Wars" and "Star Wars Episode 1" as the only films to top $400 million domestically.
Warner Bros.' second weekend of action comedy "Showtime" finished fourth with $8.2 million at 2,917 locations to push its 10-day total to nearly $27 million, followed in fifth place by the second weekend of "Resident Evil" with $6.6 million at 2,528 theaters.
Rounding out the top 10 were "We Were Soldiers," "The Time Machine," "A Beautiful Mind," "Sorority Boys," and "40 Days and 40 Nights."