73rd Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (2001)

  • Date of Ceremony: Sunday, March 25, 2001
  • For films released in: 2000
  • Host(s): Steve Martin (video)
Other years:

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The 73rd Academy Awards were presented by first-time host Steve Martin at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, March 25th, 2001. It was the last time the Shrine would be the Oscars home as they moved to the Kodak Theatre in 2002.

We attended the ceremony, here’s our coverage:

It’s 4:15pm Pacific and like a lot of people around the world, those of us in the press room are watching the local broadcast of the red carpet arrivals. I’ll know more when we see the photos, but so far I haven’t seen any extremely outrageous dresses. Style and grace so far seems to be the order of the day. Okay, scratch that. I’ve now seen Björk’s gown with a fake swan draped across it.

5:30pm Pacific and the show’s about to start. The big question is: how will Steve Martin open the show? We’ll find out in a few seconds.

With a 2001 space motif, the show was opened by clips from shows past. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station then introduced Steve Martin. Returning to his absurdist stand-up roots, Martin’s opening discussed the foibles of celebrity.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was the first presenter of the evening. She was there to hand out the Oscar® for Art Direction. And the Oscar® goes to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Moving right along, Nicolas Cage was the next presenter. We’re ready to hand out the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress. And the Oscar® goes to Marcia Gay Harden for Pollock. With Kate Hudson being the perceived front-runner, there was a whoop of surprise from the press in the press room.

Ed Harris, thank you for inviting me to share your passion. You are a brave director and an even braver actor and I love you. Dad, who’s here tonight, thank you for teaching me how to soldier through tough situations, and Mom, for teaching me how to do it gracefully.” – Marcia Gay Harden

Steve Martin introduced the next presenter, Russell Crowe by saying “I like to call him a close personal friend, but he’s asked me not to.” He was there to hand out the award for Best Film Editing. And the Oscar® goes to Traffic.

Ben Stiller was the next presenter, handing out the award for Best Live Action Short. And the Oscar® goes to Quiero Ser (I Want To Be…). He then announced the nominees for Best Animated Short. And the Oscar® goes to Father and Daughter.

Halle Berry then introduced the first musical performance of the evening, Sting performing “My Funny Friend and Me” from The Emperor’s New Groove.

Annette Bening introduced the first clip of the evening: Erin Brockovich.

Penelope Cruz was up next to present the award for Best Costume Design. And the Oscar® goes to Gladiator.

Martin then introduced Robert Rehme, who is serving his fifth and final year as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Bob made his speech about the excellence the awards recognize, and promised presidential pardons for those who didn’t live up to those standards.

Angelina Jolie was the next presenter, handing out the Best Supporting Actor Oscar®. And the Oscar® goes to Benicio Del Toro for Traffic.

And I’d also like to dedicate this to two locations where we shot this film. We went from Washington, D.C. all the way to San Diego, California. I’d like to dedicate this to the people of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Mexico. Thank you.” – Benicio del Toro

Mike Myers was presenting two awards this evening. The first award he handed out was for Sound. And the Oscar® goes to Gladiator. Next was the award for Sound Editing. And the Oscar® goes to U-571.

Julia Stiles introduced the next musical performance: Coco Lee performing “A Love Before Time” from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Julia Roberts was there to recognize Best Cinematography. And the Oscar® goes to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Three-time nominee Morgan Freeman introduced the next clip for Best Picture: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Kate Hudson was the next presenter, handling the duty of handing out Best Makeup. And the Oscar® goes to Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Dustin Hoffman was on hand to present the first special Oscar® of the evening. An honorary award was given to Jack Cardiff to recognize his mastery of cinematography.

Steve Martin introduced Samuel L. Jackson next, saying he was still bitter that Jackson had beat him out for the role of Shaft. “Apparently he had this whole black take on the role that I didn’t have.” The first award that Sam handed out was Documentary Short Subject. And the Oscar® goes to Big Mama. The second statue he handed out was for Documentary Feature. And the Oscar® goes to Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.

Sarah Jessica Parker introduced Randy Newman and his performance of “A Fool in Love” from Meet the Parents, which he performed with the Bangles’ Susannah Hoffs.

When Steve Martin next came out, he made reference to the plot to kidnap Russell Crowe, adding “Tom Hanks, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh were up next to present the Oscar® for Visual Effects. And the Oscar® goes to Gladiator.

Renee Zellweger was there recount her experiences hosting the awards for Scientific and Technical Achievement.

Sigourney Weaver then introduced the clip for Best Picture nominee Gladiator.

Steve Martin introduced his friend, Goldie Hawn. She was there to present a performance of the nominees for Original Score performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. And the Oscar® goes to Tan Dun for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Time for another special Oscar®, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. Sir Anthony Hopkins came out to present the honor to producer Dino De Laurentiis.

I must say I’ve been very lucky in my life. Three continents, different cultures, through good times and not-so-good times, but today wonderful times, had the privilege to work with the greatest masters of film. Let me dedicate this happy hour to the Italian film industry with the hope they come back in life with new talent and fresh ideas.” – Dino De Laurentiis

Winona Ryder was up next to introduce Björk, who was there to perform “I’ve Seen It All” from Dancer in the Dark.

John Travolta then introduced the yearly In Memoriam segment, which honors those in the industry that have died in the last year.

Juliette Binoche and MPAA President Jack Valenti came out to present the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. And the Oscar® goes to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Ben Affleck then introduced the clip for Best Picture nominee Traffic.

Jennifer Lopez introduced the performance of the night’s final nominated song Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys. She then reviewed the nominees for Best Original Song. And the Oscar® goes to Bob Dylan for “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys. Bob was actually on stage in Australia but was able to make his speech via satellite.

Last year’s Best Actress, Hilary Swank, came out to hand out the Oscar® in the wide-open Best Actorcategory . And the Oscar® goes to Gladiator’s Russell Crowe, who looked genuinely surprised that he had won.

Whew! My grandfather’s name was Stan Wemyss. He was a cinematographer in the second World War. My uncle David, David William Crowe, he died last year at the age of sixty-six. I’d like to thank the Academy for something which is pretty surprising and dedicate it to two men who still continue to inspire me. I’d also like to thank my mum and dad, who I just don’t thank enough, I suppose.” – Russell Crowe

Ashley Judd introduced the last clip of the night for the Best Picture nominee Chocolat.

Julie Andrews came out to present an honorary Oscar® to screenwriter Ernest Lehman who is responsible for scripting such classics as West Side Story, The King And I and The Sound of Music.

I accept this rarest of honors on behalf of all screenwriters everywhere, but especially those in the Writers Guild of America. We have suffered anonymity far too often. I appeal to all movie critics and feature writers to please always bear in mind that a film production begins and ends with a screenplay.” – Ernest Lehman

Steve Martin then introduced Kevin Spacey, saying “Most people think of him as an actor’s actor. I think of him as an ophthalmologist.” Kevin was there to present the award for Best Actress but before that he had special thanks for Judi Dench who brought his forgotten tuxedo from their filming location in Nova Scotia. He called Dame Judi the classiest delivery service. And the Oscar® goes to Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich.

Referring to the producer’s offer of a free TV for a short speech, Julia said she already had a TV so she was going to take her time. She said she truly was honored to have been listed among the other women nominated for the category. She thanked Steven Soderbergh for making her want to be the best actress she never thought she could be.

I would like to start with telling you all how amazing the experience of feeling the sisterhood of being included in a group with Joan Allen and Juliette Binoche and Laura Linney and Ellen Burstyn for these last weeks has been. It’s just felt like such a triumph to me to be in that list. My name starts with “R” so I’m always last, but I still love the list.” – Julia Roberts

Steve Martin then introduced Tom Hanks who he said became a star by taking the easy route: “He only made hits.” Keeping with a 2001 theme, he introduced Sir Arthur C. Clarke by satellite from Sri Lanka. Arthur was there to hand out the Oscar® for Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. And the Oscar® goes to Stephen Gaghan for Traffic who said “If I made up a story where someone like me would find himself somewhere like this, nobody would believe it.”

Hanks then presented the award for Best Original Screenplay. And the Oscar® goes to Cameron Crowe for Almost Famous. Besides his cast and family, Crowe thanked his mentor and idol Billy Wilder.

Tom Cruise was the next presenter, and he quickly launched into the nominees for Best Directing. And the Oscar® goes to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic.

What I want to say is — I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music… Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. I think this world would be unlivable without art, and I thank you.” – Steven Soderbergh

Michael Douglas was the final presenter of the evening. He had the big job of handing out the Oscar® for Best Picture. And the Oscar® goes to Gladiator.

It takes a lot of people to make a colosseum, but it only takes one or two to mess it up. To all the wizards who brought to life the sights, sounds and citizens of a faraway world, we should take a chisel to this statue and give you your fair share. But instead I hope you will accept our thanks for not messing it up.” – producer Douglas Wick

Wow! Less than 3 1/2 hours! That’s it for us right now. Check out our red carpet photos and thank you for joining us tonight.

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