Movie star Adrien Brody brought Hollywood to its feet at The Oscars last night (23MAR03) by scoring a shock win in the Best Actor category and then delivering a heartfelt message of peace.

THE PIANIST star beat favourites Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis and gained a standing ovation from his peers for an unscripted emotional speech.

After a lengthy kiss with presenter Halle Berry, Brody admitted he didn't write a speech because "every time I've done that in the past I didn't win," and then he ordered the OSCARS organisers to cut the music that marked the end of his 45 second acceptance speech.

As the music fizzled out, Brody admitted he was sad to be accepting an award at "such a strange time."

He continued, "My experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanisation of people at times of war and the repercussions of war.

Whoever you believe in, whether it's Allah or God, may he watch over you and let's pray for a peaceful and swift resolution.

"I have a friend in Queens who is a soldier in Kuwait and I hope you and your boys make it back real soon. I love you."

Many felt the evening would be awash with the stars' thoughts on war and peace but only Brody, documentarian Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, CHRIS COOPER, Spaniard Pedro Almodovar, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal and a bumbling Nicole Kidman breached the subject.