OSCARS SPECIAL

THE LORD OF THE RINGS CROWNED OSCAR KING

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING swept the board at last night's (29FEB04) OSCARS, winning all 11 of its nominations.

PETER JACKSON's epic movie adaptation of the final chapter

 
Film - THE LORD OF THE RINGS CROWNED OSCAR KING

of JRR TOLKIEN's classic trilogy took the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes at the Los Angeles ceremony.

Jackson celebrated the film's Best Picture victory by bringing an emotional cast and crew with him to the stage, where he thanked his late parents for supporting his childhood passion for film-making.

SEAN PENN bagged the Best Actor gong for his performance in MYSTIC RIVER and a weeping CHARLIZE THERON won the Best Actress award for her turn in MONSTER.

Best Actor In A Supporting Role was won by TIM ROBBINS for his role in MYSTIC RIVER, with the female prize awarded to "overwhelmed" COLD MOUNTAIN star RENEE ZELLWEGER.

SOFIA COPPOLA's work on LOST IN TRANSLATION was recognised with a Best Original Screenplay award.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Picture - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE RING (BARRIE M OSBORNE, PETER JACKSON and FRAN WALSH)

Best Director - PETER JACKSON (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Actor In A Leading Role - SEAN PENN (MYSTIC RIVER)

Actress In A Leading Role - CHARLIZE THERON (MONSTER)

Actor In A Supporting Role - TIM ROBBINS (MYSTIC RIVER)

Actress In A Supporting Role - RENEE ZELLWEGER (COLD MOUNTAIN)

Original Screenplay - SOFIA COPPOLA (LOST IN TRANSLATION)

Adapted Screenplay - FRAN WALSH, PHILIPPA BOYENS and PETER JACKSON (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Cinematography - RUSSELL BOYD (MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD)

Film Editing - JAMIE SELKIRK (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Visual Effects - JIM RYGIEL, JOE LETTERI, RANDALL WILLIAM COOK and ALEX FUNKE (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Costume Design - NGILA DICKSON and RICHARD TAYLOR (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Art Direction - GRANT MAJOR (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Makeup - RICHARD TAYLOR and PETER KING (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Sound Mixing - CHRISTOPHER BOYES, MICHAEL SEMANICK, MICHAEL HEDGES and HAMMOND PEEK (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Sound Editing - RICHARD KING (MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD)

Music (Song) - INTO THE WEST by ANNIE LENNOX (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Music (Score) - HOWARD SHORE (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)

Animated Feature Film - FINDING NEMO (ANDREW STANTON)

Short Film (Live Action) - TWO SOLDIERS (AARON SCHNEIDER AND ANDREW J SACKS)

Short Film (Animated) - HARVIE KRUMPET (ADAM ELLIOT)

Documentary Feature - THE FOG OF WAR (ERROL MORRIS and MICHAEL WILLIAMS)

Documentary Short Subject - CHERNOBYL HEART (MARYANN DeLEO)

Foreign Language Film - THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS (DENYS ARCAND)

Honorary Oscar - BLAKE EDWARDS (TN/WN)

* MURRAY PAYS TRIBUTE TO COPPOLA

Actor BILL MURRAY celebrated SOFIA COPPOLA's achievement as the first American woman to be nominated for a Best Director OSCARS by joking he and other crew members wanted to quit her while shooting LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Murray - on stage to present a montage for the Best Picture nominee at last night's ceremony (29FEB04) - quipped that certain members of the team lacked confidence in Coppola's leadership, and they came close to pulling out of the critically acclaimed project.

He said, "Four days into shooting, certain members of our Tokyo crew politely asked if they could quit the film. They did not feel that the director knew what she was doing. We were politely refused.

"We continued to follow her and her devoted cameraman up and down back stairs, service elevators of a five star Tokyo hotel in the middle of the night, steeling shots and a little piece of the heart of Tokyo.

"There are still some of us who think the director should have been replaced - would have cost us one week. We could have picked it right up again.

"Tonight, she becomes the first American girl ever to be nominated for Best Director and her film for Best Picture." (TN/WN)

* WILLIAMS MIMICS JACKSON STUNT

Comic actor ROBIN WILLIAMS took full advantage of JANET JACKSON's breast-baring controversy - by tweaking his nipple at last night's (29FEB04) OSCARS.

Television bosses imposed a five-second on the televised broadcast of the ceremony - sparked by Jackson's raunchy turn last month (JAN04) - in the fear skimpy Oscar outfits may reveal too much flesh.

And when Williams stepped up on stage to present the Animated Feature award, he mockingly pinched his nipple to raucous applause from the audience.

Host BILLY CRYSTAL quipped, "This is the reason for the five-second delay." (TN/WN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"I'm gonna thank everyone in South Africa, my home country. I'm gonna bring this home next week (ends5MAR04)." Best Actress CHARLIZE THERON wants her home nation to share in the glory of her win. (TN/WN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

Actor ADRIEN BRODY squirted breath freshener into his mouth just before announcing the Best Actress winner, in reference to his prolonged kiss with HALLE BERRY at last year's (03) event. (TN/WN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"You're making my mantle very crowded." Best Supporting Actor TIM ROBBINS thanks CLINT EASTWOOD for reaping him a stream of awards for his performance in MYSTIC RIVER. (TN/WN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"LORD OF THE RINGS... 11 nominations - one for each ending." Host BILLY CRYSTAL mocks the many climaxes in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. (TN/WN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"LOST IN TRANSLATION - this is Governor SCHWARZENEGGER's favourite film." BILLY CRYSTAL has little confidence in Austrian-born ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER's political skills. (TN/WN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"Do you know people are moving to New Zealand just to be thanked." BILLY CRYSTAL on the endless stream of New Zealand natives who were named in the THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING acceptance speeches. (TN/WN)

* SPIELBERG STEPS IN FOR POLANSKI

STEVEN SPIELBERG agreed to present last night's (29FEB04) Best Film prize at the OSCARS due to ROMAN POLANSKI's exile.

It's customary for the winning director from the previous year to hand over the award but Polanski declined an invitation to attend the ACADEMY AWARDS due to the fact he'll be arrested on underage sex charges if he returns to the US.

Polanski picked up the Best Director prize last year (03) for THE PIANO. (KL/WN/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

PARIS HILTON's bubbly kid sister NICKY co-hosted E! TV's OSCARS COUNTDOWN show yesterday (29FEB04). (KL/WNV/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

Celebrity chef WOLFGANG PUCK cooked for 1600 people at the post-OSCARS Governor's Ball. The feast included 12-layer chocolate cake, beef tenderloin and baked potatoes with caviar. (KL/WN/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

Last night's (29FEB04) ACADEMY AWARDS marked the first time in 10 years MIRAMAX haven't had a movie nominated for an OSCAR. (KL/WN/TN)

* WHALE RIDER MEETS HERO DEPP

WHALE RIDER star KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES' dreams came true at the OSCARS last night (29FEB04) when she met her hero JOHNNY DEPP.

The teenage Best Actress nominee told red carpet reporter BILLY BUSH she was desperate to meet Depp and then Bush introduced the two when he was allowed to interview the audience minutes before the ceremony.

The shy 14-year-old was left speechless as Depp congratulated her on her performance, and then she turned to Bush and giggled, "You're a legend, Billy." (KL/WN/TN)

* KEATON'S OSCARS CONSOLATION

DIANE KEATON might not be celebrating an OSCAR win, but she is looking forward to moving into a new home.

The actress has bought a new Laguna Beach ocean-front home in California for $7.5 million (£3.9 million).

The Spanish-style property was built in 1928 and has four bedrooms.

Keaton missed out on a Best Actress Oscar last night (29FEB04) when CHARLIZE THERON claimed the prize for her role in MONSTER. (KL/LAT/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

Young WHALE RIDER star KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES wore a lucky charm to the OSCARS last night (29FEB04) - a whale hair clip designed by New Zealand jeweller SYDNEY EVANS. (KL/WN/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

OSCAR nominee KEN WATANABE studied with three English coaches to perfect his dialect for his role in THE LAST SAMURAI. (KL/WNV/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

WHALE RIDER star KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES celebrated a belated birthday at the OSCARS last night (29FEB04) - she turned 14 five days before the ceremony. Unfortunately she missed out on capping off her big night with a win - she lost out to CHARLIZE THERON in the Best Actress category. (KL/WN/TN)

* FASCINATING FACT:

It was ladies night at the OSCARS for PHIL COLLINS last night (29FEB04) - he turned up at the ceremony with wife ORIANNE CEVEY and daughters JOELY and LILY. (KL/WN/TN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"I think this is the answer for actresses over 40 who are complaining they don't have enough work - marry a brilliant musician and start writing songs." Actress ANNETTE O'TOOLE jokes about how writing tunes with her husband, THIS IS SPINAL TAP star MICHAEL McKEAN, have boosted her career. The couple were OSCAR nominated last night (29FEB04) for their A MIGHTY WIND song A KISS AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW. (KL/WN/TN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"I had to take off my nipple ring after seeing JANET's, which looked like a doorknob." OSCAR presenter ROBIN WILLIAMS jokes about having to clean up his act at the ACADEMY AWARDS. (KL/WN/TN)

* WILL AND JACK GO GREEN FOR THE OSCARS

Pals WILL FERRELL and JACK BLACK arrived at the OSCARS last night (29FEB04) together after sharing a hybrid car.

The comics, who presented the Best Song award at the ACADEMY AWARDS, joined the likes of TIM ROBBINS and SUSAN SARANDON, who snubbed traditional limousines for environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Black admits he was surprised that so few people chose to arrive in hybrid cars: "If you didn't come in the hybrid then you're kind of a jerk."

Ferrell joked, "I was kinda bad. I littered the whole way - I threw junk out of the window." (KL/WN/TN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"I was scared I wouldn't get the role because I didn't have any hair or eyebrows." British actress SAMANTHA MORTON was worried she wouldn't get a role in JIM SHERIDAN's IN AMERICA because she had to audition while playing a bald robot in MINORITY REPORT. (KL/WN/TN)

* BRITISH GIRLS GO BACK IN TIME AT THE OSCARS

GIVENCHY opened the vaults for British actress SAMANTHA MORTON last night (29FEB04) - she wore a vintage 1951 dress to the OSCARS.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES also went back in time at the Oscars - picking out a dress from pal DONATELLA VERSACE's back catalogue.

The red gown was discontinued but Versace remade the dress especially for the Welsh actress. (KL/WNV/TN)

* THE THINGS THEY SAY:

"There's upchucking that's going on in certain rooms and there's little white pills being swallowed in others." OSCAR presenter TOM HANKS keeps his eyes open backstage at the ACADEMY AWARDS. (KL/WN/TN)

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