- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2003

From combined dispatches
LOS ANGELES "Chicago" became one of the most honored musicals in Oscar history last night, winning six Academy Awards including best picture.
It was the first musical to earn best picture honors since 1968's "Oliver!"
"Chicago" also won the film editing, sound, art direction and costume design prizes, as well as the best supporting actress award for Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The actress, wife of actor Michael Douglas, sang and danced in a number from "Chicago" at last night's ceremony despite being eight months' pregnant.
Miss Zeta-Jones, who played a woman who killed her husband and sister, was the first performer to win an acting Oscar for a musical since Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey for 1972's "Cabaret."
"My hormones are too way out of control to be dealing with this," Miss Zeta-Jones said.
Heightened security marked the 75th Academy Awards, as the war with Iraq dampened some of the usual festive atmosphere.
Many stars made small anti-war gestures at last night's ceremony, including the husband-and-wife duo of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, who flashed peace signs as they entered the Kodak Theatre.
But documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was loudly booed when he unleashed a rant against President Bush.
"We live in fictitious times," Mr. Moore said when picking up the best documentary Oscar for his anti-gun film "Bowling for Columbine."
"We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect fictitious presidents. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons," the producer said, as boos erupted from the audience. "We are against this war Mr. Bush. Shame on you. Shame on you."
After Mr. Moore was escorted off the stage, Oscar host Steve Martin joked that "the Teamsters are helping Mr. Moore into the trunk of his limo."
The Holocaust saga "The Pianist" earned best director honors for Roman Polanski, living in exile since he fled to France after being charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old California girl in 1977.
Adrien Brody won the best actor Academy Award for "The Pianist," while Nicole Kidman won best actress for her role as English novelist Virginia Woolf in "The Hours."
It was the first Oscar for Miss Kidman, 35, who transformed herself from an elegant, glamorous redhead to a virtually unrecognizable, depressed woman in "The Hours."
Mr. Brody played the title character in "The Pianist," based on the real-life story of musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew who lived through World War II by hiding from the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto.
While "Chicago" was racking up awards, the best song honors went to Eminem for "Lose Yourself" from his loosely autobiographical feature debut "8 Mile."
Chris Cooper won the award for best supporting actor for his role in "Adaptation." A veteran character actor whose credits include "American Beauty" and "Lone Star," Mr. Cooper played a scraggly haired, toothless horticultural poacher on a mission to preserve rare orchids in the film loosely based on author Susan Orlean's "The Orchid Thief."
"In light of all the troubles in this world, I wish us all peace," Mr. Cooper said as he received his award.
The Japanese fantasy "Spirited Away" won the award for animated feature film, which had a limited U.S. release last fall and grossed a modest $5.5 million. It was a surprise winner against a field of nominees that included $100 million Hollywood hits "Ice Age" and "Lilo & Stitch."
Written and directed by animation master Hayao Miyazaki, "Spirited Away" is Japan's top-grossing movie ever at $234 million.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" won the visual effects award.

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