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Glamour and emotion for Oscar winners

February 29, 2004
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It was a night of crime and fantasy at the 76th Academy Awards, with Mystic River, Monster and The Lord Of The Rings taking the major awards.

Just minutes into the ceremony Angelina Jolie named The Return Of The King winner of the gong for best art direction. And over the hours that followed, the epic production garnered a further ten trophies, including best director and best film.

The predictions of readers in our Oscar poll were proven correct when Charlize Theron was named best actress, thanks to her role as a serial killer in Monster. The South African beauty staved off competition from Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give, Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), and Britain's Samantha Morton (In America) to win the gong.

Sean Penn's portrayal of a vengeful father in Mystic River earned him the best actor award, while Tim Robbins was the first big winner at the ceremony, when he was named best supporting actor for his role in the same film.

Shortly afterwards Renee Zellweger took the best supporting actress trophy, despite a strong challenge from Iranian star Shohreh Aghdashloo. The Texan belle, who has been nominated for an Oscar twice before, struggled to contain her emotion when she received the award.

The event was once again presented, in rambunctious style, by Oscar veteran Billy Crystal. But his legendary predecessor, the late Bob Hope, who hosted an amazing 18 Academy Awards ceremonies, was honoured with a special tribute. The prestigious lifetime achievement award meanwhile went to Blake Edwards, the film-maker behind The Pink Panther series and Breakfast At Tiffany's.

It was also a night for the mums, with stars including Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Sean Penn all bringing their mothers to the glitzy prizegiving.

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Photo: ©
It was a big night for New Zealander Peter Jackson, after the final instalment of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy won all 11 categories in which it was nominatedPhoto: © AFP y
Photo: ©
Charlize Theron was looking her svelte self again, after shedding the 30 pounds she put on for Monster. The actress said she couldn't wait to bring the gong back to her homecountry of South AfricaPhoto: © AFP

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