Brad Pitt made a return to the Academy Award ceremonies to award cinematography to American Beauty's Conrad L. Hall. I found it interesting that he was chosen to give the award, two of Pitt's early starring roles won in this category. I had never actually seen Conrad L. Hall before and must say that he is a really funny guy. Who would have guessed?

Best Adapted Screenplay was then given to John Irving for The Cider House Rules by Kevin Spacey. This, of course, was no surprise at all, though Ripley really did deserve to win. Then there was Original Screenplay from Mel Gibson given to Alan Ball for American Beauty. My third hour closing is 12 for 19.

With a net at hand, Billy Crystal reluctantly introduces Roberto Benigni to give Best Actress, who then proceeds to go crazy as usual. The award goes to the highly deserving Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry. Swank gave a good speech, though I will say that her speech for the Golden Globes was much better. Abnormally quick commercial break.

Gwyneth Paltrow takes the stage to present Best Actor to the Kevin Spacey. I was really afraid that the greatest working character actor was going to lose to Denzel Washington, this was highly refreshing. Though, I'm sure that Alan Ball is the best of friends with Spacey for now on. Steven Spielberg then came on to award Best Director to Sam Mendes for American Beauty, a film made under Spielberg's Dreamworks studio. As a side note, think of what it would have been like if Spike Jonze had won for Being John Malkovich. With that and the mere two for Cider House so far, I think it's easy to guess who'll win for Best Picture. Clint Eastwood took the stage and gave Best Picture to American Beauty. After the show passed the combined length of The Sixth Sense and American Beauty, it was about time (by the way, this year's ceremony lasted longer than any ceremony before; but, as Billy Crystal said, it was the shortest of this century).
72nd Annual Academy Awards Coverage

71st Academy Awards Winners

71st Annual Academy Awards Coverage
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