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LOTR sweeps Oscars

Peter Jackson's magnum opus Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King made a clean sweep at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2004 15:50 IST

Charlize Theron and ReneeZellweger hold their Oscar trophies backstage.

The last episode of

Lord of the Rings

movie trilogy walked away with 11 awards at

Sunday's Oscars

, including those for Best Film and Best Director for Peter Jackson.



Hot favourites Sean Penn and Charlize Theron won top awards for their roles in

Mystic River

and

Monster

respectively. Fellow colleagues Renee Zellweger and Tim Robbins snatched best supporting actor trophies.



Lord of the Rings also picked up Oscars for best visual effects, for best art direction, best costume design, for the double-nominated New Zealander Ngila Dixon, best sound mixing, best make-up, best original score and film editing.

The favourites in the twin best supporting actor categories also triumphed as predicted, winning their first Oscars. This year's Oscars host Billy Crystal, doing his eighth turn on cinema's biggest stage, mounted a hilarious musical spoof of this year's Oscar hopeful movies and stars.

But there were also poignant moments to the show attended by around 3,000 Hollywood stars and moguls all fitted out in their finest for cinema's biggest night of year.

Celebrated writer and director Blake Edwards, 81 received an honorary Oscar for his 50-year lifetime of work that includes Breakfast at Tiffany's and the PinkPanther movies.

Oscars won by 

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Best Picture

Directing

Makeup

Film Editing

Music (Song)

Music (Score)

Sound Mixing

Visual Effects

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Art Direction

Costume Design

And Julia Roberts presented a moving tribute to four-time best actress Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn who died aged 96 last June, and "her indominatable sense of humour," while their were also homages to Bob Hope and Gregory Peck who both dies last year.



But in the competition, Rings seems to have eclipsed its best picture rivals: Peter Weir's 10-time-nominated seafaring adventure Master and Commander:The Far Side of The World, horse-racing epic Seabiscuit, which has seven nominations, Mystic River, which has six nods, and Sofia Coppola's wistful comedy Lost in Translation, which has four.

The directing Oscar went to Peter Jackson, overlord of arguably the biggest undertaking in cinema history, the simultaneous filming of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. "I'm so honored and relieved that the academy and the members of the academy that have supported us have seen past the trolls and the wizards and the hobbits in recognizing fantasy this year," said Jackson, who just a few years ago was an obscure New Zealander known mainly for one admired art-house film (Heavenly Creatures), a run-of-the-mill Hollywood horror tale (The Frighteners) and a scattering of cult splatter flicks (Bad Taste, and Meet the Feebles).

Other top Oscars played out predictably, with front-runners claiming all four acting trophies _ the first for each. Sean Penn took the best-actor prize as a vengeful father in Mystic River, and South African-born Charlize Theron won for best actress as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Oscars for supporting performances went to Tim Robbins as a man emotionally hamstrung by childhood trauma in Mystic River and Renee Zellweger as a hardy Confederate survivor in Cold Mountain.

Return of the King matched the record 11 Oscar wins of Titanic and Ben-Hurand became only the third movie to sweep every category in which it was nominated. Jackson also shared the adapted-screenplay Oscar with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

The 42-year-old writer-director thanked "our wonderful cast who just got their tongues around this rather awkward text and made it come to life with such devotion and passion and heart." Return of the King also won for song, musical score, visual effects, editing, makeup, art direction, costume design and sound mixing.