78th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (2006)

  • Date of Ceremony: Sunday, March 5, 2006
  • For films released in: 2005
  • Host(s): Jon Stewart (video)
Other years:

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79th >

Welcome to Digital Hit’s coverage of the 78th Annual Academy Awards.

8:01 PM ET

The telecast opens with an amazing graphics package that combines iconic characters with a street scene.

8:03 PM ET

The Oscars try and find their hosts, but everyone turns it down but Jon Stewart.

8:05 PM ET

Jon Stewart takes to the stage. “Ladies, gentlemen, Felicity.” “Tonight is the night we celebrate excellence in film. With me…the fourth male lead in Death to Smoochy.” “For many of you, this will be the first time you’ve voted for a winner.” He also warned against piracy: “There are women here who could barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts.” “Capote was a groundbreaking film that showed that not all gay men are virile cowboys.”

“Bjork couldn’t be here tonight. She was trying on her dress and Dick Cheney shot her.”

“The remakes did well. Walk the Line is really Ray with white people.”

8:15 PM ET

Tonight’s first presenter is Nicole Kidman. She’s here to present the Academy Award for Actor in a Supporting Role. And the Oscar goes to George Clooney for Syriana.

“All right, so I’m not winning director. It’s the funny thing about winning an Academy Award, it will always be synonymous with your name from here on in. It will be Oscar winner, George Clooney. Sexiest Man Alive, 1997. Batman, died today in a freak accident at a — Listen, I don’t quite know how you compare art. You look at these performances this year, of these actors and unless we all did the same role, everybody put on a bat suit, and we’ll all try that. Unless we all did the same role, I don’t know how you compare it. They are stellar performances and wonderful work, and I’m honored, truly honored to be up here. And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while. I think it’s probably a good thing. We’re the ones who talk about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn’t really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I’m proud to be a part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch. And I thank you so much for this.” – George Clooney

8:24 PM ET

“I’m proud George Clooney won. It’s the kind of thing that could get a fellow laid,” quipped Stewart.

8:26 PM ET

Ben Stiller, dressed in a green-screen outfit, prepares to present the Visual Effects Oscar. Of course the joke is that he’s fully seen by all of us, as no green screen’s being done. And the Oscar goes to Joe Letteri, Brian Van’t Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor for King Kong.

“This is tremendous. For those of us who aren’t actors it’s really a thrill to be able to create a character and a performance like Kong. But I’ve got to say we had a great actor working with us the whole time to show us how it’s done. I’ve got to thank Andy Serkis for really giving us the heart of Kong, thank you.” – Joe Letteri

8:30 PM ET

Nominee Reese Witherspoon is the next presenter. She has the task of presenting the next Academy Award: Animated Feature Film. And the Oscar goes to Nick Park and Steve Box for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

“Just want to give a great big thank you to Helena Bonham Carter, and particularly to Peter Sallis who has been the voice of Wallace. He’s here tonight, ladies and gentlemen at the Oscars. He’s been the voice of Wallace for the last 23 years and you’ve been an absolute gem, Peter and you’ve sparkled all the way.” – Nick Park

8:34 PM ET

The lovely Naomi Watts introduces the first musical performance tonight: Dolly Parton performing “Travelin’ Though” from Transamerica.

8:35 PM ET

George Clooney’s back here right now. He’s asked about the other directors he’s up against later.

“I’m very proud to be even in a game with those guys. There’s three first time directors on this and then there is Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. So I’m just glad to put my name on that card. “ – George Clooney

8:42 PM ET

“Our next presenters are two very talented brothers,” says Stewart. “Which I realize is another way to introduce the Baldwin brothers.” Luke and Owen Wilson take to the stage to present Live Action Short Film. And the Oscar goes to Six Shooter’s Martin McDonagh.

Owen and Luke then introduce the computer animated presenters, Chicken Little and Abby Mallard, who protests that Disney’s ducks never get pants. They’re presenting Animated Short Film. And the Oscar goes to The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation’s John Canemaker and Peggy Stern.

“Peggy and I thank the Academy for this great honor. And also for your faith in hand-drawn animation, which still can pack an emotional wallop.” – John Canemaker

8:48 PM ET

Jennifer Aniston’s role tonight is to present the Academy Award for Costume Design. And the Oscar goes to Colleen Atwood for Memoirs of a Geisha.

“Thank you all very much. Oh, so many people to thank for making this film. It was an effort that circled the globe, and came together here in Los Angeles. Thanks to Sony Pictures who were brave enough to make a movie about a woman. Fantastic. Thank you very much to Rob Marshall, my fantastic director, whose vision I only share.” – Colleen Atwood

8:51 PM ET

Pace feels good tonight. Our next star to take to the stage is Russell Crowe, who introduces a series of clips about biopics.

8:58 PM ET

Will Ferrell and Steve Carell, both with splotchy faces, talk about the skill of makeup artists before presenting the nominees for that category. And the Oscar goes to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’s Howard Berger and Tami Lane.

“Well, I’m just glad that Clooney doesn’t do makeup. So it worked out well. This is really an amazing life. It all started when I was a little boy and my mother read me Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and at that point I knew I wanted to go live with the monsters.” – Howard Berger

9:01 PM ET

Jon Stewart introduces a taped Rachel McAdams, who was the host of the previously held Scientific and Technical Awards presentation.

9:02 PM ET

Last year’s Best Supporting Actor, Morgan Freeman, is here to present the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role. And the Oscar goes to Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardner.

“Thank you so much to the Academy for this tremendous, tremendous honor. I share it with others, Ralph Fiennes my luminous acting partner. Fernando Meirelles our director who is brimming over with such humanity and our dignified sensitive producer, Simon Channing Williams, and of course, John le Carr, who wrote this unflinching, angry story. And he really paid tribute to the people who are willing to risk their own lives to fight injustice. And they’re greater men and women than I. But thank you, thank you so much. Thank you.” – Rachel Weisz

9:11 PM ET

Lauren Bacall talks about film noir. She seems to be having some problems with the TelePrompter as she stumbles through her introduction to a series of clips.

9:16 PM ET

Jon Stewart talks about award lobbying and shows a group of political ads supporting the various Best Actress nominees.

9:18 PM ET

Terrence Howard talks about the Documentary Short Subject category and the important subjects they cover. And the Oscar goes to A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin’s Corrinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson.

“I’d like to thank the Academy for seating me next to George Clooney at the Nominees Luncheon.” – Corrinne Marrinan

9:21 PM ET

Charlize Theron introduces the Documentary Features nominees. And the Oscar goes to March of the Penguins’ Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau.

“Looking out on these tuxedos tonight, it’s like seeing the movie again. Thank you for this homage. Thank you very much. Goodbye. Thank you. Thank you.” – Yves Darondeau

9:24 PM ET

Jennifer Lopez introduces the evening’s next song performance, Crash’s “In the Deep” performed by Kathleen “Bird” York.

9:31 PM ET

Speed co-stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock stroll out to present the Academy Award for Art Direction. And the Oscar goes to Memoirs of a Geisha’s John Myhre and Gretchen Rau.

Meanwhile, Rachel Weisz is back here. She’s asked if she feels the dominance of socio-political films at the awards this year might be a return to the “golden era” of the 1970s:

“It’s definitely nice to be a part of a moment where fiction is holding a mirror up to contemporary culture and asking questions about what’s going on. In the case of Good Night, and Good Luck it’s a historical piece, but it certainly made me think when I watched it what’s changed, you know, in a funny way. Anyway, I won’t get into that right now.” – Rachel Weisz

9:36 PM ET

The always cool Samuel L. Jackson talks about the films that made audiences think, both as a people and as a nation. They show some clips from All the President’s Men, China Syndrome and other films with powerful statements. In a year with so many nominees out of the mainstream, the Academy is definitely trying to show the socio-political power of the medium.

9:40 PM ET

“During that montage, Susan Sarandon mailed us a check for $50,000,” Stewart quips.

9:41 PM ET

AMPAS prez Sid Ganis takes to the stage to talk about storytelling. “State of the art may always change, but state of the heart remains true.”

He also mentions the productions that have gone to shoot in New Orleans before he introduces Salma Hayek. Salma’s there to introduce Itzhak Perlman, who plays a medley of the nominated scores.

9:48 PM ET

After the performance, Salma introduces the nominees for Original Score. And the Oscar goes to Gustavo Santaolalla for Brokeback Mountain.

“I’m so proud to have work in this movie “Brokeback Mountain.” A movie that once again showed us that love is what makes us all very similar, in spite that we can be so different.” – Gustavo Santaolalla

9:56 PM ET

After joking that Perlman was “finger-syncing”, Stewart introduces Jake Gyllenhaal, who introduces a series of clips from films that deserve to be seen on the big screen, e.g. Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars.

9:59 PM ET

Stewart says, “Wow, I can’t wait till we see the Academy’s tribute to montages. Wow, we’re out of clips.”

10:00 PM ET

Saying he’d like to see them repopulate the Earth, Stewart introduces Eric Bana and Jessica Alba. The pair are here to present Best Sound Mixing. And the Oscar goes to Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek for King Kong.

10:03 PM ET

Lily Tomlin and thirteen-time nominee Meryl Streep fool around with the script as they prepare to introduce honorary Oscar recipient Robert Altman, a director who wants spontaniety from his actors.

10:09 PM ET

Altman walks out to a thunderous standing ovation.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ve got a lot to say, and they’ve got a clock on me. I want to thank everybody for this. The Academy. I was really honored and moved to accept this award. When the news first came to me about it, I was caught kind of off guard. I always thought this type of award meant that it was over. And then it dawned on me, that I was busy in rehearsals on a play, that I’m doing in London right now. It opened last night, Arthur Miller’s last play “Resurrection Blues.” I was doing an interview for my new film, that I just finished “Prairie Home Companion” which will come out in the summer. And I realized that it’s not over. Of course, I was happy and thrilled and thrilled to accept this award. And I look at it as a nod to all of my films, because to me, I’ve just made one long film. And I know some of you have liked some of the sections, and others, you — any way, it’s all right.

And I want to thank all of the people that have worked on all of my pictures so hard. And the brilliant actors, the amazing crews. I can’t name them all, so I’m going to name a doctor that is taking care of me, Jody Kaplan. So she represents everybody. And who have supported me and made it possible. I’ve always said that making a film is like making a sand castle at the beach. You invite your friends and you get them down there, and you say you build this beautiful structure, several of you. Then you sit back and watch the tide come in. Have a drink, watch the tide come in, and the ocean just takes it away. And that sand castle remains in your mind. Now I’ve built about 40 of them, and I never tire of it. No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have. I’m very fortunate in my career. I’ve never had to direct a film I didn’t choose or develop. I love filmmaking. It has given me an entree to the world, and the human condition and for that I’m forever grateful.” – Robert Altman

10:18 PM ET

Stewart introduces the evening’s next presenter, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. He’s introducing the performance of the third nominated song, Hustle & Flow’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”

10:22 PM ET

Queen Latifah now present the winner of the Best Original Song category. And the Oscar goes to Hustle & Flow’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” which was written by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard.

“Oh, my. Hey, we want to thank Keith Young our choreographer. And the whole Sony Records, Lisa Ellis, our moms, our whole families. Thank you, Jesus. And for giving us a chance, the Academy. We love the Academy. You know what I’m saying? Gil Cates. Everybody. I got plenty of time. Ain’t nobody else. I want to thank everybody. Yeah. Donnie Einer. Once again our families. Ludacris. What’s up? Going down. George Clooney, my favorite man, he showed me love when I first met him. We bringing the house. We out of here. Memphis, Tennessee!” – Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard a.k.a. Three 6 Mafia

10:25 PM ET

“I think it just got a little easier out here for a pimp,” jokes Stewart.

10:27 PM ET

They run the lobbying joke on the Sound Editing nominees. Jennifer Garner almost trips as she comes out to present the award. “I do my own stunts.” And the Oscar goes to King Kong’s Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn.

10:30 PM ET

George Clooney presents the annual In Memoriam segement.

10:34 PM ET

Robert Altman’s back here…more later.

10:37 PM ET

Will Smith is presenting Foreign Language Film. And the Oscar goes to South Africa’s Tsotsi.

“God bless Africa. Wow. I have a speech, it’s in my pocket, but that thing says 38 seconds. But mine’s way too long. Go to tsotsi.com and there is a huge long list of people. Because I’m accepting this not for myself. This is for best foreign language film. It is sitting right there to start with. Please stand up Presley Chweneyagae and Terry Pheto. My two fantastic young leads. Put the cameras on them, please. Viva Africa. Viva. I’ve got ten seconds. Ten seconds I just want to thank my fellow nominees who I’ve become deep friends with. We may have foreign language films, but our stories are the same as your stories. They’re about the human heart and emotion. It says please wrap. Thank you so much. Thank you to the Academy. Thank you.” – Gavin Hood

10:41 PM ET

The night’s next star is the luminous Ziyi Zhang. She’s presenting the Academy Award for Film Editing. And the Oscar goes to Crash’s Hughes Winborne. He wishes his father a happy 83rd and calls director Paul Haggis a force of nature.

10:43 PM ET

The Three 6 Mafia are back here now. More later…

10:44 PM ET

Last year’s Best Actress winner, Hilary Swank, is here to present Best Actor in a Leading Role. And the Oscar goes to Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote.

“Wow, I’m in a category with some great, great, great actors. Fantastic actors, and I’m overwhelmed. I’m really overwhelmed.” – Philip Seymour Hoffman

10:54 PM ET

Jon gives a shout out to the ceremony’s orchestra, led by Bill Conti. He then introduces John Travolta, who introduces the nominees for Best Cinematography. And the Oscar goes to Memoirs of a Geisha’s Dion Beebe. It a great night for Geisha.

10:57 PM ET

Last year’s Best Actor winner, Jamie Foxx, presents the Best Actress trophy. And the Oscar goes to Reese Witherspoon.

“Oh, my goodness. I never thought I’d be here my whole life growing up in Tennessee. I want to say Johnny Cash and June Carter had a wonderful tradition of honoring other artists and musicians and singers, and I really feel that tradition tonight. It is very important, and I really feel it. So I want to thank the Academy for this incredible honor. I want to say thank you to so many people who helped me create this role. Everyone at Fox, Cathy Konrad, James Keach, for producing the film. A very special thank you to Jim Mangold who directed the film and also wrote this character. Who is a real woman. Who has dignity and honor, and fear, and courage, and she’s a real woman. And I really appreciate that. It was an incredible gift that you gave me. So thank you. And T-Bone Burnett for helping me realize my lifelong dream of being a country music singer. Thank you T-Bone. And I want to say thank you to Joaquin Phoenix who just put his heart and soul into this performance. His commitment and passion for this character and for this performance was just remarkable, and I feel so lucky to have gone on this journey with you.” – Reese Witherspoon

11:07 PM ET

Stewart introduces Dustin Hoffman. Dustin’s presenting the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay. And the Oscar goes to Brokeback Mountain’s Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.

11:12 PM ET

Moving right along, Uma Thurman comes out to present Original Screenplay. And the Oscar goes to Crash’s Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco.

11:18 PM ET

Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks presents the Academy Award for Direction. And the Oscar goes to Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain. He thanks the film’s two lead characters, Ennis and Jack.

“First of all, I want to thank two people who don’t even exist. Or I should say, they do exist, because of the imagination of Annie Proulx and the artistry of Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Their names are Ennis and Jack. And they taught all of us who made Brokeback Mountain so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself.” – Ang Lee

11:21 PM ET

And now, for the final award of the night, we have Jack Nicholson, who gets a roar from the audience as he walks out. He’s presenting Best Picture. And the Oscar goes to Crash and producers Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman. There’s a huge cheer from the press room.

“Thank you. Oh, my gosh. Oh, thank you so, so much. What an amazing night. Thank you to all of the members of the Academy for embracing — for embracing our film, about love and about tolerance, about truth. Thank you to the people all around the world who have been touched by this message. And we are humbled by the other nominees in this category. You have made this year one of the most breathtaking, and stunning, maverick years in American cinema, thank you.” – Cathy Schulman

11:26 PM ET

Trying to keep it under 3 1/2 hours, and to squeeze in one more ad break, the orchestra finally cuts off Cathy’s acceptance speech.

11:29 PM ET

Reese is back here as the telecast ends.

Thank you for joining us again this year.

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