In honor of the 79th Academy Awards, here is a story I wrote in 2003. Enjoy!
The top five most memorable moments of the 75th annual Academy Awards:
Assist. Movies Editor
Issue Date: 03/27/03
5. Oh, What A Nice Guy: Martin Scorsese is one of Hollywood’s most respected directors despite the fact that he has never won an Academy Award. As the moment came and another directing great, Roman Polanski, was named Best Director for his work on The Pianist, Scorsese was the first to stand and lead in the honoring of the absent winner.
4. It Felt So Empty Without Em: One of the most beloved and ridiculed entertainers of the 20th century, Barbara Streisand, seemed to be in shock as she announced the winner of Best Original Song. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” became the first rap song to ever win an Oscar. The Academy had viewers sit through a show filled with a bunch of performances that were all going to lose without even a note to be heard from the winning composition. On second thought, it’s probably better for Barbara that Eminem wasn’t on hand to personally accept the award.
3. Best Use of Tears in an Acceptance Speech: Nicole Kidman follows Halle Berry’s blueprint on how to accept the Best Actress honor. First, you state how surprised you are to be receiving this award (make sure you repeat this point at various times during the speech), then shed some tears and ramble on for a few minutes until the orchestra chimes in. And, if you’re really Best Actress material, you’ll make us believe all those feelings and emotions were actually real. Well, Nicole, I believe.
2. Is That a Pianist on Your Lips?: Anywhere else, at any other time, the kiss Adrien Brody planted on an unsuspecting Berry would be considered sexual harassment. After his lip-lock with Berry, Brody delivered one of the year’s best speeches, even beckoning the orchestra to stop playing (a la Julia Roberts). The star of The Pianist capped it off by sharing his hopes for a peaceful resolution to the current war.
1. Boo-Ya!: “Shame on you, Bush.” And with that, Michael Moore makes a cozy nest for himself atop my list of the Oscar’s most memorable moments. No matter what stance you may have on the war, one must give credit where credit is due. What he did Sunday night took a lot of guts. His fearless approach may have earned him more respect than some of his peers who hid behind fancy outfits and shiny awards.