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Chicago Wins Huge

Posted March. 24, 2003 21:54,   


With the US military showering Iraq with missiles and bombs, the 75th Academy Awards took place yesterday morning (Korean time) in Los Angels, California. Lots of surprises came out this Oscars.

Musical "Chicago" won the Best Picture of the Year, as originally expected. But Holocaust drama "The Pianist" dazzled audiences with its big upset victory for director Roman Polanski. Despite his victory, Polanski did not show up as predicted because the director fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He faces a long prison term if he returns. One of the front-runners for the award, Martin Scorsese who directed Gangs of New York, failed yet against to grab the Oscar. It is his fourth time of failure just as a nominee.

Except Chicago, which swept through the Oscars on Sunday with six awards, most promising nominees failed to win the awards. "Gangs of New York," nominated for 10 awards, got home without any. The curtain came down for The Hours with only Nicole Kidman winning the Best Actress of the Year.

Brody in "The Pianist" gave the audience its biggest surprise with a best actor Oscar over heavily favored Daniel Day-Lewis of "Gangs of New York" and Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt." "Spirited Away" directed by Hayao Miyazaki became one of the winners of the Best Animated Feature Film.

Chicago is a musical, taking the Chicago in 1930s as its background, when murder is just one of those gossips. For the first time in 35 years, the Best Picture Award went to a musical.

People also paid keen attention as to who would make anti-war remarks in what ways. Five award winners and two presenters expressed their views against the ongoing war and wished for peace.

"My experience in making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war and the repercussions of war," said the best actor winner Adrian Brody during his acceptance speech. "Whether you believe in God or Allah, may he watch over you and let`s pray for a peaceful and swift resolution."

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, winner of the original screenplay Oscar for `Talk to Her` dedicated his award to "all the people that are raising their voices in favor of peace, respect of human rights, democracy and international legality."

Director Michael Moore, the winner for best documentary director with `Bowling for Columbine,` invited both applauses and boos by saying "We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you."

The Academy canceled the traditional red-carpet ceremony, with starts having brief interviews with the press. Peter O`toole showed up to receive his honorary statue for lifetime achievement. After the Academy announced its plans, O`Toole earlier requested that the Academy will not give him the honorary award just yet, in the hope that at 70.

Hee-Kyung Kim susanna@donga.com