72nd Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (2000)

  • Date of Ceremony: Sunday, March 26, 2000
  • For films released in: 1999
  • Host(s): Billy Crystal (video)
Other years:

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The 72nd Annual Academy Awards a.k.a. Oscars 2000 were presented at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, March 26th, 2000 and hosted by Billy Crystal.

DigitalHit.com attended the ceremony. Here’s our coverage:

Let me just paint the picture for you. We’re currently sitting in the press tent in the parking lot of the Shrine Auditorium. Before you shed a tear, you have to realize that this is the Hollywood version of a tent, so we’re actually sitting in a giant white tent that’s catered and air-conditioned. Not bad at all. We’re also sitting just one seat away from Roger Ebert, so we’re in good company.

After a very fast-paced arrivals pre-show, the 72 Annual Academy Awards are under way. The show already seems to have a different energy than last year and it’ll be interesting to see what the Zanucks and Billy Crystal have in store for us.

Robert Rehme, the Academy president, came out to start the show and made reference to the stolen statuettes by joking it almost wasn’t “Who’s going to win?”, but “What will we give them?”.

Billy Crystal’s trademark filmed opening had to be his funniest yet. These filmed spoofs that place Billy in the movies take weeks to shoot and deserve their own The Making of… show. His opening crack was that ABC called this “Regis’ Night Off”. He then launched into his song about the nominated films. Very smooth so far, but hey, Billy was born to host this show.

After the song, he paid tribute to Willy Fulgear, the man who found the stolen Oscars.

The first presenters of the evening were Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, the stars of the upcoming Charlie’s Angels. They gave out the Oscar for Best Costume Design. The winner was Topsy-Turvy.

Billy joked that Warren Beatty and the expecting-any-moment Annette Bening might be releasing their co-production this evening.

Haley Joel Osment, the terrific young nominated actor from The Sixth Sense, introduced a segment on the history of young movie actors.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me co-stars Mike Myers and Heather Graham came out next to present the award for Best Sound. The Oscar® went to The Matrix.

Next up were Tobey Maguire and Erykah Badu from The Cider House Rules. They presented the Oscar® for Best Makeup to Topsy-Turvy, the second one for that film tonight.

Winona Ryder then introduced the clip for the Best Picture nominee The Cider House Rules.

The pace is much better this year. They don’t always use Billy Crystal to move things along, sometimes they just use Peter Coyote as an off-screen announcer. Last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner, James Coburn, came out to present the Best Supporting Actress Oscar® to Angelina Jolie for her performance in Girl, Interrupted. As per usual, she was rather teary and managed to thank her entire family.

My mom, who is the most brave, beautiful woman I’ve ever known. And my dad, you’re a great actor but you’re a better father. And Jamie, this is, you’re just, I have nothing without you. You are the strongest, most amazing man I’ve ever known and I love you.” – Angelina Jolie

Billy Crystal’s next joke was that the next presenter, Morgan Freeman, was upset that his role in the action sequel to Driving Miss Daisy was being recast with Halle Berry. He presented a film segment on how filmmakers have portrayed the last two million years.

Meanwhile in the press room, Angelina Jolie explained why she always thanks her brother so much. She said that when her parents divorced, he was her strength and her everything. Let me explain what happens here. The tent is full of monitors and we’re all wearing infrared headphones so that we can hear the show. While the show’s going on, however, we also get a chance to interview the winners as they come offstage. Watching and listening to the show and interviews at the same time while wearing a tuxedo may soon become an exhibition sport in the Olympics.

Cate Blanchett and Jude Law then presented the award for Best Live Action Short Film to My Mother Dreams The Satan’s Disciples In New York.

Billy Crystal and Michael Clarke Duncan then came out with some Toy Story 2 props. That segued to a pre-taped segment with the Toy Story characters. They presented the Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film to The Old Man And The Sea.

Anjelica Huston was next, introducing the clip from the Best Picture nominee, The Insider.

Host Billy Crystal’s next crack was that the Pope had just apologized for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigilo. Vanessa L. Williams and LL Cool J introduced the performances for the nominated songs. Sarah McLachlan and Randy Newman performed “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2. Aimee Mann then performed “Save Me” from Magnolia. Phil Collins followed that with “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan. (Man these are fast paced tonight!) Gloria Estefan and ‘N Sync then sang “Music of My Heart” from Music of the Heart. Finally, Robin Williams sang the controversial “Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Robin handled the song wonderfully and deflated any of the worries that people had about it. Cher then came out to present the award for Best Original Song, joking that she was dressed like an adult and wouldn’t do it again. The Oscar® went to Phil Collins, who seemed genuinely moved to win his first Academy Award®.

Now my life can go on, I think. Boy, it’s been hell I tell you. You don’t know what this means to me. You don’t know what this means to my kids. It’s fantastic.” – Phil Collins

Wes Bentley, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari, the young stars of American Beauty, were the next presenters. They presented the award for Documentary Short Subject to King Gimp.

Husband and wife team Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke then presented the award for Best Documentary Feature to One Day in September.

Dame Judi Dench, winner of last year’s Best Supporting Actress, came out to present the winner of the really tight, anybody’s guess, race for Best Supporting Actor. The winner of the Oscar® was Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules. He received a standing ovation. He was very moved and went on to point out each of the other nominees. He had kind words of admiration for Duncan, Law and Osment and joked that if Tom Cruise had won, his price would of gone down. “Do you have any idea how much a supporting actor makes?”, he joked.

I was looking, watching all the others, and thinking back when I saw the performances and I was thinking of how the Academy changed ‘The winner is…’ to ‘The Oscar goes to…’. And if ever there was a category where the Oscar goes to someone without there being a winner, it’s this one. Because I do not feel like being the winner.” – Michael Caine

Billy then introduced Jane Fonda, who was there to present the Honorary Oscar® to Andrzej Wajda, the Polish director. He concluded his comments by saying “My fervent hope is that the only flames people will encounter will be the great passions of the heart — love, gratitude and solidarity.”

Meanwhile in the press room, Michael Caine said he was moved seeing the ovation and that’s when he decided to throw out what he wanted to say and instead paid tribute to his fellow nominees.

Chow Yun Fat then came out to present the Best Sound Effects Editing award to The Matrix.

The Lovely Salma Hayek was the next presenter. She was the host of the Scientific and Technical Oscar® presentation and gave a recap of the evening.

Crystal joked that between Andrzej Wajda, Chow Yun Fat and Salma Hayek being on the show, John Rocker must be going crazy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was given the task of presenting the Oscar® for Best Visual Effects. The winner was The Matrix.

Diane Keaton introduced the segment for the Best Picture nominee American Beauty.

Crystal then did a fantastic comedy bit where he told us what various members of the audience were thinking. For example, Denzel Washington was hoping that they wouldn’t pin the missing Oscars on Hurricane Carter and Annette Bening was hoping that her child wouldn’t look like David Crosby.

Burt Bacharach then introduced a medley of Original Song winners performed by Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Ray Charles, Queen Latifah, Isaac Hayes and Dionne Warwick.

Angela Bassett then introduced the clip for The Sixth Sense.

Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz were teamed up to announce the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film. The Oscar® went to All About My Mother much to the satisfaction of the two presenters. Crystal joked that director Pedro Almodóvar made Roberto Benigni seem like an English teacher.

Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves then presented the Original Score award. The Oscar® went to The Red Violin by John Corigliano.

Edward Norton introduced the yearly In Memoriam segment of performers and filmmakers who had passed away in the past year.

Samuel L. Jackson introduced the clip for the Best Picture nominee The Green Mile.

Russell Crowe and Julianne Moore presented the Oscar® for Best Art Direction. The winner of that little golden guy was Sleepy Hollow.

Double Jeopardy co-stars Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones were the next set of presenters. They were there to present the Oscar® for Best Film Editing. The award went to The Matrix, its fourth statuette of the night.

Billy Crystal introduced Jack Nicholson to present Warren Beatty with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Billy joked that Warren’s sister, Shirley MacLaine, was to give him the award but she still hadn’t finished her Streisand speech at the Golden Globes.

Nicholson mentioned that Warren has such an attention to detail, he even produced his own tribute and made sure that all the seat-fillers were obstetricians.

Beatty said he was first, last and always an actor and apologized for sometimes being a producer. He also paid loving tribute to his expectant wife, Annette Bening.

Okay, now, to those of you who may have heard rumors here or there of my life in Hollywood as a single man. The poet wrote, ‘Only solitary men know the true joy of friendship. Others have their family, but to a solitary man his friends are everything.’ So I want to thank you, my friends, for leading me through those days, and finally, in fact, leading me to Annette. Please forgive me for making her unavailable to your movies four times — that’s four times. I would like to say I’ll try to do better, but you and I know that I won’t. So, let’s just say that I’ll try to do less. Yes, I’ll try to do less. She is my treasure. She has given me what I value most, her love. And she’s given me Kathlyn and Ben and Isabel and at the moment, this much anticipated and very loved unnamed being, who could actually join us any minute right here in the second row if I don’t wrap this up.” – Warren Beatty

Brad Pitt then presented the Oscar® for Best Cinematography. The award went to American Beauty.

Kevin Spacey was the presenter for Best Screenplay Adaptation. The award went to John Irving for The Cider House Rules. Irving said “I want to thank the Academy for this honor to a film on the abortion subject and Miramax for having the courage to make this movie in the first place.”

The Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay was handed out by Mel Gibson. The statuette went home with Alan Ball for American Beauty. About his director Ball said, “Sam Mendes, I thank my lucky stars for you every day, for your extraordinary talent, your tenacity, and your friendship, and for getting it just right.”

Roberto Benigni then came out to present the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar®. Crystal joked that Roberto had had nine espressos before he came out. The winner was Hilary Swank. Her husband, Chad Lowe, had tears streaming down his face as she made her speech.

Thank you, thank you so much. We have come a long way. To think that this movie wouldn’t have been made three-and-a-half years ago, and we made it now for under two million dollars. And now this. It’s quite remarkable. I want to thank the Academy for their support and recognition of me and my work in a movie that is so important, and I am so proud to be a part of it.” – Hilary Swank

Gwyneth Paltrow then announced the winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role. The winner was Kevin Spacey. The press room was on the edge of their seats as many felt it could have gone to Denzel Washington. He dedicated the award to his friend, mentor and father figure, Jack Lemmon.

This is the highlight of my day. I hope it is not all downhill from here. I first have to say that I would like to dedicate this to the man who inspired my performance. A man who has been my friend and my mentor, and since my father died, a little bit like my father, whose performance in ‘The Apartment’ stands as one of the finest we’ve ever had. Jack Lemmon, wherever you are, thank you, thank you, thank you.” – Kevin Spacey

The Best Director award was handed out by Steven Spielberg. The Oscar® went to Sam Mendes for American Beauty. He thanked Dreamworks for hiring a British director to make a film about American suburbia and then trusting him. He also thanked Spielberg for sending him the script in the first place.

And finally, I’d like to say thank you to a personal hero of mine who is a big influence on this movie. I want to say thank you to Billy Wilder. And I want to say to him, if my career after this point amounts to one tenth of what yours has been, I will be a very happy man.” – Sam Mendes

Meanwhile in the interview room, Hilary Swank said she forgot to thank her husband and did so right there.

Okay, the last award: The Academy Award for Best Picture. After a harrowing few weeks of missing ballots and stolen statuettes, the Oscar® went to American Beauty. This was the film’s fifth award this evening.

It was almost exactly two years ago that Andrew Cannava sent us a screenplay called ‘American Beauty’ by Alan Ball. It dealt with sex and drugs, blackmail, homophobia, infidelity and suburban dysfunction. And in the middle of all this was a character named ‘Ricky Fitts,’ who at one point says, ‘Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it.’ And everyone in the audience knew exactly what he meant.” – producer Dan Jinks

That’s all folks. Thank you for joining us.

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