75th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (2003)

  • Date of Ceremony: Sunday, March 23, 2003
  • For films released in: 2002
  • Host(s): Steve Martin (video)
Other years:

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8:20 PM ET

Welcome to Digital Hit’s coverage of the 75th Annual Academy Awards®. We’re just a few minutes away from the start of the show. Tonight we’ve got two backstage spots as we work in the press room and in the backstage photo room.

Right now, I’m just warming my fingers up to get ready for our minute-by-minute results and commentary.

8:27 PM ET

We’re getting closer…

8:30 PM ET

The show opens with a montage celebrating the last 75 years of film-making. It appears no Oscar® telecast would be complete without the Bette Davis “bumpy night” clip.

8:33 PM ET

Host Steve Martin makes his entrance. “You may have noticed that there was no red carpet tonight…that’ll show them.”

“Writers. Directors. Actors. If we run out of food, that’s the order of who we eat.”

“Nicole Kidman has worn a fake nose in every movie she has made….except The Hours.”

“There’s Queen Latifah …or as I like to call her: sequel money.”

“Movie stars can be many things: tall, short, thin or skinny.”

“There are no losers here tonight…but we’re about to change that.”

Cameron Diaz was the first presenter of the evening. She was there to present the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature Film. And the Oscar® goes to Spirited Away.

8:49 PM ET

Keanu Reeves was up next to present the Oscar® for Best Visual Effects. And the Oscar® goes to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

8:56 PM ET

Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Jennifer Connelly, was the next presenter. She introduced a clip of the previous Best Supporting Actor winners before helping to add a name to that list. And the Oscar® goes to Chris Cooper for Adaptation.

“From the Academy to the womb that bore me: thank you…in light of all the troubles in the world, I wish us all peace.”

8:59 PM ET

Jennifer Lopez was next to hand out the Best Art Direction Oscar®. And the Oscar® goes to Chicago.

9:02 PM ET

John Travolta was next up to introduce the performance of “I Move On” from Chicago performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah.

9:14 PM ET

Jennifer Garner and an animated Mickey Mouse were the next presenters, presenting the award for Best Animated Short. And the Oscar® goes to The Chubb Chubbs. Jennifer also handed out the Oscar for Best Live Action Short to This Charming Man.

9:19 PM ET

Mira Sorvino was the next presenter, presenting the Oscar for costume design. And the Oscar® goes to Chicago.

9:26 PM ET

Paul Simon performed his song from The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

9:30 PM ET

Nia Vardalos had the task of presenting the Oscar for Best Makeup. And the Oscar® goes to Frida.

Sean Connery presented the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress to Chicago’s Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The very pregnant Zeta-Jones said, “My hormones are just too way out of control to be dealing with this.”

9:44 PM ET

Matthew McConaughey presented the next clip for the Best Picture nominee Gangs of New York.

Host Steve Martin said that the Science and Tech Awards are always handed out by an attractive actress who basically taunts them with something that they will never have. This year’s Sci/Tech host, Kate Hudson, did a recap of that night’s winners.

9:47 PM ET

Renee Zellweger handled the presenting chores for the Best Original Score category. And the Oscar® goes to Frida. Composer Elliot Goldenthal dedicated his win to Mexico.

Julie Andrews was out next and received a standing ovation from the audience. She introduced a segment paying tribute to the great musical performances on past Oscar shows.

9:56 PM ET

Salma Hayek, gorgeous as always, handled the presenting duties for Best Foreign Language Film. The winner was Germany’s Nowhere in Africa.

9:59 PM ET

Double-nominee Julianne Moore was the next presenter on the Kodak stage. Her category: Best Sound. And the Oscar® goes to Chicago. Okay, I’m going out on a limb here, but I think they’re having a good night. Julianne then handed out the Best Sound Editing Oscar® to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

10:04 PM ET

Gael García Bernal was up next to introduce the performance of the song from Frida, “Burn It Blue”.

10:14 PM ET

Oscar®-winner Hilary Swank introduced the clip for The Hours.

Nominee Diane Lane was on stage next to present the Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature. And the Oscar® goes to Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. He invited his fellow nominees up on stage with him. “They’re here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. Any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up.” Some booed his remarks, while others in the audience supported him.

MPAA Prez Jack Valenti presented the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject to Twin Towers.

10:22 PM ET

Steve Martin said the scene backstage was sweet as the Teamsters helped Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo. He then introduced “a close personal fantasy”, Julia Roberts. Julia was there to handle the chore of handing out the Oscar for Best Cinematography to The Road to Perdition and the late Conrad L. Hall. The award was accepted by his son.

10:25 PM ET

Kathy Bates was up next, saying “Every time an Oscar is handed out, an agent gets his wings.” She introduced a clip of past winners discussing what winning is like.

10:32 PM ET

Michael Moore has just walked into the press room…lots of applause.

Colin Farrell was out next to introduce the performance of U2 for their song from Gangs of New York.

Geena Davis was the next presenter. She was their to present the Oscar for Best Film Editing. And the Oscar® goes to Chicago.

10:39 PM ET

Susan Sarandon introduced this year’s memorial segment that pays tribute to those in the industry that passed in the last year.

Moore’s still back here talking to the press. When asked why he said what he said, Moore answered “I’m an American and you don’t leave your citizenship when you enter the doors of the Kodak Theatre.” He continued to knock Bush, saying “Our democracy was hijacked and there is a squatter on federal land at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Adding that he has had the best-selling non-fiction book over the past year, he felt that he had his finger on the pulse of the nation.

10:48 PM ET

Saying her win last year broke down the barriers for extremely hot women, Martin introduced Halle Berry. Halle was there to present the Oscar® for Best Actor. And the Oscar® goes to Adrien Brody for The Pianist. He was so moved he gave a very surprised Berry a huge kiss. “I bet they didn’t tell you that was in the gift bag.” He was also very moved by the timing of the awards.

“My experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war.” As the audience gave him an ovation, he also mentioned that “I have a friend from Queens who’s a soldier in Kuwait right now…and I hope you and your boys make it back real soon.”

10:56 PM ET

Dustin Hoffman then came out to introduce a clip from The Pianist.

Barbra Streisand as on stage next. She presented the Oscar for Best Song to “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile. Co-writer Luis Resto accepted the award.

Meryl Streep then introduced the honorary Oscar® presentation for superb, fantastic and legendary actor Peter O’Toole.

11:08 PM ET

The audience takes to its feet as O’Toole comes out to accept his Oscar. O’Toole said he was “always a bridesmaid, but never a bride” but now he had an Oscar that would stay with him “till death us do part.” He thanked all the people he worked with and who he took energy from.

11:15 PM ET

Five awards to go. Denzel Washington is out now to present the Oscar for Best Actress. And the Oscar® goes to Nicole Kidman “…by a nose.” The tearful Kidman said, “Russell Crowe said ‘Don’t cry if you get up there.’ And now I’m crying…” She said that you come to the awards in time of war “Because art is important. And because you believe in what you do. And you want to honor that. And it is a tradition that needs to be upheld.”

11:22 PM ET

Martin said that fashion experts said cleavage was in, “so without further ado, here’s Academy President Frank Pierson.” Pierson said “that’s the last time I share a dressing room with him.” After showing a clip of about televised Oscars, he then introduced legendary actress Olivia de Haviland. They then introduced some past winners including Julie Andrews, Halle Berry, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, George Chakaris, Jennifer Connelly, Sean Connery, Geena Davis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Louise Fletcher, Brenda Fricker, Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr., Joel Grey, Tom Hanks, Marcia Gay Harden, Dustin Hoffman, Celeste Holm, Anjelica Huston, Claude Jarman Jr., Jennifer Jones, Shirley Jones, George Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Martin Landau, Cloris Leachman, Karl Malden, Marlee Matlin, Haley Mills, Rita Moreno, Patricia Neal, Jack Nicholson, Margaret O’Brien, Tatum O’Neal, Jack Palance, Louise Reiner, Julia Roberts, Cliff Robertson, Mickey Rooney, Eva Marie Saint, Susan Sarandon, Maximillian Schell, Mira Sorvino, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Hilary Swank, Jon Voight, Christopher Walken, Denzel Washington, and Theresa Wright. They were then joined by tonight’s acting winners.

11:41 PM ET

Richard Gere’s on stage now. His task: to introduce the clip for Best Picture nominee Chicago.

Martin said, “When I heard that Richard Gere wasn’t nominated for his role in Chicago, I said ‘Welcome to my world, Richard Gere.’” He then introduced Marcia Gay Harden who announced the nominees for Adapted Screenplay. And the Oscar® goes to Ronald Harwood for The Pianist. He said that Roman Polanski deserved the award.

11:46 PM ET

Former Original Screenplay winner Ben Affleck came out to present the award for that category. And the Oscar® goes to Pedro Almodóvar for Talk to Her.

11:50 PM ET

Peter O’Toole’s back here with us right now. He said he was delighted and exhilarated with the Oscar. When asked about the war, O’Toole said he was an entertainer and his job was to entertain the troops. If civilians can’t go on with their lives, he said, “what on earth are they fighting for?”

11:52 PM ET

Back on stage, Harrison Ford is getting ready to hand out the Oscar® for Best Director. And the Oscar® goes to Roman Polanski for The Pianist. Polanksi, who can’t return to the States without being arrested, was of course not there to accept the award.

Kirk and Michael Douglas were the next presenters. They had the final award of the night: Best Picture. Kirk ripped the winner’s sheet in half, passed half to his son and they both yelled, Chicago!

Martin ended the show by saying “We’re now at the halfway point.” He also thanked Steven Spielberg, saying “it couldn’t hurt.”

12:01 AM ET

That’s it folks. Another year is over. Take a look at our backstage photos and thanks again for joining us. G’night.

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