28/02/2005

'Million Dollar Baby' scoops major Oscars

Clint Eastwood's boxing drama, 'Million Dollar Baby' won four of the main Oscars at last night's 77th Academy Awards.

The movie won 'Best Picture', Clint Eastwood picked up the Oscar for 'Best Director' and Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman collected the award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

'The Aviator', which had been the hot favourite to pick up several of the major awards, only picked up one – 'Best Supporting Actress' for Cate Blanchett. The move, a biopic of Howard Hughes, directed by Martin Scorsese, also collected four technical awards for art direction, cinematography, costume design and film editing.

Jamie Foxx, who was the favourite to win in the 'Best Actor' category, picked up the Oscar for his role in Ray Charles biopic, 'Ray'. However, British actor, Clive Owen, who was widely expected to pick up the Oscar for 'Best Supporting Actor', following his wins at both the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, was beaten by Morgan Freeman.

British hopes of picking up a major award were further dashed as 'Vera Drake', Mike Leigh's much acclaimed abortion drama failed to win a single award, despite director Mike Leigh being nominated for 'Best Director' and actress Imelda Staunton being included in the 'Best Actress' line-up. Leigh had previously received nominations for his films 'Secrets and Lies' and 'Topsy Turvy'. 'Vera Drake' was also beaten in the 'Best Original Screenplay' category, by Charlie Kaufman's 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless' Mind'.

Kate Winslet was also left empty-handed, failing to win in the 'Best Actress' category for her role in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', her fourth Oscar nomination so far.

However, former children's television presenter, Andrea Arnold, brought the 'Best Live Action Short Film' award for her film 'Wasp' home to the UK, while British Sandy Powell, picked up the award for 'Best Costume Design' for 'The Aviator'.

Other major winners included Pixar's box-office success, 'The Incredibles', which was named 'Best Animated Feature Film', powerful Spanish euthanasia drama, 'The Sea Inside', which collected the award for 'Best Foreign Film' and independent comedy, 'Sideways' ,which picked up the award for 'Best Original Screenplay'.

The full list of Oscar winners can be found at: www.oscar.org.

(KMcA/SP)

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