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Oscars 2006: Crash adjudged best film

While Philip Seymour Hoffman won the best actor award, Reese Witherspoon bagged the best actress honour. Pics

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 19:50 IST

Lead-acting Oscars went to Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in Capote and Reese Witherspoon as country singer June Carter in Walk the Line, while corporate thrillers earned supporting-performer Oscars for George Clooney in Syriana and Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener.

Crashwon the best film award beating the much-fancied Brokeback Mountain.The low-budget culture-clash drama, Crash, which explores racial prejudices among a range of characters who are connected in often surprising ways, garnered six Oscar nominations and won three, for film editing, best original screenplay and best picture.

Ang Lee grabbed the best director award for Brokeback Mountain, the tale of two old shepherding pals who carry on a love affair they conceal from their families for years.

Lee, whose martial-arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won the foreign-language Oscar five years ago, became the first Asian filmmaker to win Hollywood's main filmmaking honor. "I'm so proud of the movie," Lee said backstage, where he was asked if he was disappointed that his film about gay cowboys lost best picture and what might have kept it from winning. "Why they didn't go for it, I don't know. You're asking a question that I don't know the answer. ... Congratulations to the Crash filmmakers."

George Clooney won the supporting-actor Academy Award for the oil-industry thriller Syriana, and Rachel Weisz took the supporting-actress prize for another corporate thriller, The Constant Gardener.

The Sunday win capped a remarkable year for Clooney, who made Oscar history by becoming the first person nominated for acting in one movie and directing another.In Syriana, Clooney effaced his glamour-boy looks behind the bearded, heavyset facade of a CIA patriot who grows jaded over US oil policy in the Middle East.

"All right, so I'm not winning director," Clooney joked, adding that an Oscar win always would be synonymous with his name from then on, including in his obituary. "Oscar winner George Clooney, sexiest man alive 1997, 'Batman', died today in a freak accident."

It was a share-the-wealth evening, six different films splitting the top six Oscars.

Brokeback Mountain won two others - adapted screenplay for Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) and Diana Ossana and musical score for Gustavo Santaolalla.

Crash also won for the original screenplay by the film's director, Paul Haggis, and Bobby Moresco.

Witherspoon won a close race over Felicity Huffman in a gender-bending performance as a transsexual in Transamerica. "Oh, my goodness I never thought I'd be here in my whole life growing up in Tennessee," said Witherspoon, who like co-star Joaquin Phoenix as Carter's soul mate, country legend Johnny Cash, handled her own singing in Walk the Line.

"People used to ask June how she was doing, and she would say I'm just trying to matter. I know what she means," said Witherspoon, who told the audience the Oscar made her feel she was doing work that matters.

Hoffman's performance nimbly straddles the magnetic qualities of raconteur Capote and the effete, off-putting egoism of the author. "Wow, I'm in a category with some great, great, great actors, fantastic actors, and I'm overwhelmed. Really overwhelmed," said Hoffman, who asked the Oscar audience to congratulate his mother for bringing up four children alone.

"We're at the party, mom," Hoffman said. "Be proud, mom, because I'm proud of you."

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 08:49 IST