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'Crash' Pulls Oscar Upset

5 Mar, 2006 By: John Latchem


Lionsgate's Crash, an ensemble drama about racism in Los Angeles, was an upset winner over Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain for best picture at the 78th annual Academy Awards Sunday, March 5.

Crash also won the trophy for best original screenplay, shared by director Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco, and for best editing. Haggis won two trophies on the night, including one for producing Crash.

Crash may have been aided in its best picture efforts by an aggressive award-season marketing campaign by Lionsgate, which sent more than 100,000 copies of the DVD to Screen Actor's Guild and Academy members. Crash is the only best picture nominee currently on DVD, and a director's cut of the film streets April 4.

Brokeback Mountain won statuettes for best director, Ang Lee, best adapted screenplay and best original score.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor for playing Truman Capote in Sony's Capote, which chronicles how researching the book In Cold Blood affected the author. The Capote DVD streets March 21.

Reese Witherspoon won best actress for her turn as June Carter in 20th Century Fox's Walk the Line, which debuted on DVD Feb. 28.

George Clooney, who also was nominated for writing and directing Warner's Good Night, and Good Luck, won best supporting actor for Warner's Syriana. Rachel Weisz was named best supporting actress for Universal's The Constant Gardener.

DreamWorks' stop-motion adventure Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit took the award for best animated feature. The DVD was released Feb. 7.

Warner's March of the Penguins, a November DVD release, was named best documentary feature, while Miramax's Tsotsi, from South Africa, was named best foreign-language film.

Universal's King Kong remake from director Peter Jackson won three technical awards, for best visual effects, best sound mixing and best sound editing. The film roars its way to DVD March 28.

Also in the technical categories, Sony's Memoirs of a Geisha, on DVD March 28, earned trophies for cinematography, art direction and costumes, while Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, on DVD April 4, earned best makeup.

The biggest surprise of the night came in the best original song category, when the statuette went to rappers The Three 6 Mafia for writing “It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp,” the signature song of Paramount's Hustle & Flow, which turned out a DVD in January.

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