69th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1997)

  • Date of Ceremony: Monday, March 24, 1997
  • For films released in: 1996
  • Host(s): Billy Crystal (video)
Other years:

< 68th

70th >

Billy Crystal hosted the 69th Annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Monday, March 24th, 1997.

The night belonged to The English Patient, which won nine out of its 12 nominations, including Best Picture and a Best Director win for Anthony Minghella. The volume of wins caused Original Song winner Andrew LLoyd Webber to quip, “Well, thank heavens there wasn’t a song in The English Patient is all I can say.”

Geoffrey Rush won Best Actor for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in Shine

There’s a game you can play where you create a dinner party where you can invite guests from any time in history, real or fictional. The Academy has honored me by choosing to seat me as “David Helfgott” at a table with “Larry Flynt” and “Count Laszlo de Almásy” and “Karl Childers” and “Jerry Maguire.” I can’t quite imagine where the conversation might head that night, but it has really enriched me as an actor to be seated at that table.” – Geoffrey Rush

Frances McDormand wonderful performance as a small town police chief in Fargo earned her the Best Actress Award. McDormand thanked “The co-writer/director and producer of Fargo, Mr. Ethan Coen, who helped make an actor of me. His brother, Mr. Joel Coen, who made a woman of me. And our moon and our sun, Mr. Pedro McDormand Coen, who has made a real mother of me.”

A very surprised, overwhelmed, overjoyed and elated Cuba Gooding Jr. won for his role in Jerry Maguire. It was his moment and despite the music swelling up he leapt about, happily shouting out thanks to a laundry list of people, his enthusiasm leading to a standing ovation and an Oscar moment for the ages.

Another surprised winner was Best Supporting Actress Juliette Binoche. The pundits all had her category as a lock for the legendary Lauren Bacall. A stunned Binoche said, “I’m so surprised. It’s true I didn’t prepare anything, I thought Lauren was going to get it. And I think she deserves it.”


Best Picture

  • The English Patient
    Saul Zaentz [Producer]

Best Directing

  • The English Patient
    Anthony Minghella

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Fargo
    Frances McDormand

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Jerry Maguire
    Cuba Gooding Jr.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • The English Patient
    Juliette Binoche

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Kolya

Best Art Direction

  • The English Patient
    Stuart Craig [Art Direction] and Stephenie McMillan [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • The English Patient
    John Seale

Best Costume Design

  • The English Patient
    Ann Roth

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • When We Were Kings
    Leon Gast and David Sonenberg

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien
    Jessica Yu

Best Film Editing

  • The English Patient
    Walter Murch

Best Makeup

  • The Nutty Professor
    Rick Baker and David LeRoy Anderson

Best Music (Original Dramatic Score)

  • The English Patient
    Gabriel Yared

Best Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score)

  • Emma
    Rachel Portman

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Evita "You Must Love Me"
    Andrew Loyd Webber [Music by] and Tim Rice [Lyric by]

Best Short Film (Animated)

  • Quest
    Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  • Dear Diary
    David Frankel and Barry Jossen

Best Sound

  • The English Patient
    Walter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker and Chris Newman

Best Sound Effects Editing

  • The Ghost and the Darkness
    Bruce Stambler

Best Visual Effects

  • Independence Day
    Volker Engel, Douglas Smith, Clay Pinney and Joseph Viskocil

Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • Fargo
    Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Award of Commendation

  • Joe Lombardi
    Note: …in celebration of 50 years in the motion picture industry. His knowledge and leadership in the field of pyrotechnics and special effects along with his uncompromising promotion of safety on the set have established the standard for today's special effects technicians.

Honorary Award

  • Michael Kidd
    Note: …in recognition of his services to the art of the dance in the art of the screen.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

  • Saul Zaentz

John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation

  • Volker W. Bahnemann
    Note: …in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • Burton "Bud" Stone
    Note: …in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Scientific or Technical Award (Academy Award of Merit)

  • IMAX Corporation
    Note: …for the method of filming and exhibiting high-fidelity, large-format, wide-angle motion pictures.

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • John Schlag, Brian Knep, Zoran Kacic-Alesic and Thomas Williams
    Note: …for the development of the Viewpaint 3D Paint System for film production work.
  • William Reeves
    Note: …for the original concept and the development of particle systems used to create computer generated visual effects in motion pictures.
  • Jim Hourihan
    Note: …for the primary design and development of the interactive language-based control of particle systems as embodied in the Dynamation software package.
  • Jonathan Erland and Kay Beving Erland
    Note: …for the development of the Digital Series Traveling Matte Backing System used for composite photography in motion pictures.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Perry Kivolowitz and Dr. Garth A. Dickie
    Note: To Perry Kivolowitz, for the primary design, and Dr. Garth A. Dickie for the development of the algorithms, for the shape-driven warping and morphing subsystem of the Elastic Reality Special Effects System.
  • Ken Perlin
    Note: …for the development of Perlin Noise, a technique used to produce natural appearing textures on computer generated surfaces for motion picture visual effects.
  • Nestor Burtnyk [of the National Research Council of Canada] and Marceli Wein [of the National Research Council of Canada]
    Note: …for their pioneering work in the development of software techniques for Computer Assisted Key Framing for Character Animation.
  • Grant Loucks
    Note: …for the concept and specifications of the Mark V Director's Viewfinder.
  • Brian Knep, Craig Hayes, Rick Sayre and Thomas Williams
    Note: …for the creation and development of the Direct Input Device.
  • James Kajiya and Timothy Kay
    Note: …for their pioneering work in producing computer generated fur and hair in motion pictures.
  • Jeffrey Yost, Christian Rouet, David Benson and Florian Kainz
    Note: …for the development of a system to create and control computer generated fur and hair in motion pictures.
  • Richard A. Prey and William N. Masten
    Note: …for the design and development of the Nite Sun II lighting crane and camera platform.
ACADEMY AWARDS®, OSCAR(S)®, OSCAR NIGHT™ and OSCAR® design mark are the trademarks and service marks, and the OSCAR© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Awards Nominations List Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.