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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 17:42 GMT
The Oscars: Did the right films win?
So Halle Berry, Denzel Washington and A Beautiful Mind were the big winners at the 74th Academy Awards.

This is the first time that two black actors have won the best actor and best actress Oscars.

A Beautiful Mind won four Oscars, including best film and best director, despite negative campaigning from its rivals for the awards.

The Lord of the Rings, despite 13 nominations, also won four Oscars - including cinematography and make-up.

So what do you think? Did the right films win? Was the Academy influenced in its voting by the race question, or the events of 11 September?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

To those of you that feel that Moulin Rouge should have won some music award, keep in mind that those awards are handed out for an original score. The songs of Moulin Rouge are almost entirely re-makes of other sings from Elton John to Alka Yagnik. That's why it didn't win any of those awards. Perhaps if there had been an award for best "remixed" score or something... it might have had a chance.
Valerie, USA

Overall, this years choices were an improvement from previous years

Monica, USA
This is the first year in a decade that I am content with all the winning movies and performers because all movies and performers nominated deserved recognition for their excellent work. Think about the movies that won in the past: Gladiator, Shakespeare in Love, and Titanic; none of those movies deserved to be nominated and yet they won the best picture. And Julia Roberts winning best actress last year was a farce! She's done that same role 13 times before - she should have perfected it by then. So overall, this years choices were such an improvement from previous years that I might actually watch the aware ceremony again next year.
Monica, USA

Again, this year just like any other a bunch of rich, Hollywood people are gathering to pat each other on their backs. And how Oscar competition influences my life? Who cares?
Anna, Canada

I think it is only too predictable that the Oscars - watched by millions across the world - should want to show America in a positive light

Following September 11, I think it is only too predictable that the Oscars - watched by millions across the world - should want to show America in a positive light. Give all the awards to Americans, give a Best Supporting Actor award (Tony Blair?) to a Briton, and show how tolerant a society America is by having ethnic minorities win the top awards and even present the show. Or perhaps I am just being cynical?

The Oscars, like so many needless award ceremonies are just a lot of self-congratulatory nonsense that we could all do without!
Jon, Cambridge, UK

Contributors who are angry with the comments that race was a factor in the Washington/Crowe vote might like to answer this question. If both actors had swapped roles, played them exactly as the originator did, would Crowe have been the winner for his bad cop turn? I think we must all accept that the answer would be no.

I think Lord of The Rings deserves all the awards it was nominated for, rural New Zealand has never looked so interesting as it does now. I want to move out to those wonderful hills and go tramping in the snow-clad mountains of the South Island. I have dozens of photos of ancient hills with great boulders that appear like ruined castles on long trails. Lord of The Rings has got me interested in building a hilltop castle in the country. A film that changes your life goals is worth dozens of awards.
Andrew McPherson, Wellington, New Zealand

Stop moaning about what the colour of an actors skin is, I for one don't give a monkeys. Jennifer Connelly deserved an award purely for her previous performances in Labyrinth and Requiem For A Dream aside from that the only pleasant surprise was the final rewarding of Jim Broadbent as one of the world's most talented performers, and he didn't need to bang on and on about his ethnic background to prove this. Enough of these movies about mental health and a hidden genius. After Shine and Good Will Hunting enough is enough, a film that was made purely for Oscar fodder deserves to be shunned. The dazzling (and how often can we say this) originality behind Moulin Rouge and the dedication of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings have true cinematic magic and are far more deserving winners of a prestigious accolade.
Louise, UK

What a bore! The only good bit was Whoopi Goldberg's entrance.
JB, England

Denzel Washington's performance in Training Day was against type, and he did it brilliantly

Denzel Washington's performance in Training Day was against type, and he did it brilliantly. Nothing to do with the colour of his skin, the man is a fine actor. Halle Berry is a good actress, I have not seen Monster's Ball yet so cannot comment on her performance, but I say good on her, any woman who can go from playing the secretary in the Flintstones to winning an Oscar is alright by me. Race shouldn't have had anything to do with the winners; talent should be the only merit they need. The only bad thing I have to say about the whole ceremony was "What was Gwynnie wearing and why?"

When the...'blessed time' comes for the Americans to realise that the European cinema is of a far better quality, then we can all sit down and discuss the issue of the Oscar awards. As I see it, the Oscars are a major showbiz issue and the politics involved in it determine what film and which actor/actress will be awarded each year! No wonder why only a few times, through the history of this institution, we had the chance to see really good films awarded (very few of them being European productions, however), but quite many of them European actors in their cast! That says it all! Thank you US for the...very nice settings, indeed, but unfortunately not for the essence of the whole thing!
T.N, Greece

As a young black female, my heart sometimes hurts so badly because of all this hatred. I just don't understand sometimes.... Halle Berry winning was legitimate and because she won all of a sudden she's not black anymore hmmm...I wonder how she feels to be discriminated against all her life and become famous and now poof! She's not black anymore you people are hilarious and hateful. Sometimes I would rather leave your sorry souls to God or devil - pick and choose!
Disappointed in Human Spirits, USA

Even the New Zealanders are at it, voting for Lord of the Rings, just because it was filmed there

How interesting that all the contributors on this page from Australia wanted Baz Lurman/Russell Crowe/Nicole Kidman and their respective films to win Oscars. Try giving an unbiased view for once. I suppose it's that old "Chip on shoulder/why doesn't the world take us seriously" attitude again. Even the New Zealanders are at it, voting for Lord of the Rings, just because it was filmed there.

People in the UK wonder why such a big deal is made over blacks winning this or that. As if you all don't get strung out over how many Brits are nominated or win? Sometimes you make me laugh. It's just too bad your intentional humour doesn't do the same. Besides, I thought you knew by now that what the media deems important rarely reflects the average person's opinions. The lowest ratings in Oscar history should have been a big clue.
A.A., US

First of all I want to congratulate my role model Denzel Washington for receiving an historical award on the right time. Many people are connecting the award to the colour of the skin. But the Oscar award is given to him upon his mental capability. Let always analyse things first. Before we bring in racial and other political things
Barnard Tjipuravandu, USA

I was very disappointed watching 0scar 2002 because Lord of the Rings didn't get Best Picture. For me Lord of the Rings was the best picture of the year. I think the ceremony of Oscar 2002 was the Worst in the World.
Donny, Indonesia

Why do we care to watch over paid actors pat each other on the back for three hours? What good can come out of a worthless awards ceremony? Why do people of the world waste time caring about other people's lives when we should be focusing on our own! And why does this embarrassing program come out of America?
Elena, USA

Last year, Gladiator won over Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (which was obviously better), and the explanation given was "Best Picture always go to the film with the most nominations". This year, Beautiful Mind over Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring even though the latter had the most nominations (and again, obviously, was the best film)
Spikyh, Malaysia

Many people feel that Lord of the Rings should have won more than four awards

Dave, Singapore
Many people feel that Lord of the Rings should have won more than four awards. They should remember that Hollywood knows of two more films in the series to come, they will get them when they are judged then! I also felt pity for Moulin Rouge as it may have been too brilliantly complex for the average moviegoer to have won more awards than it did. Especially sorry I feel for Nicole Kidman as she offered us a magnificent performance.
Dave, Singapore

The C-List celebrity hosts did an amazing job of being patronising and false whilst they interviewed the nominees on the 'red carpet'. The combination of sound problems, bad editing and embarrassed interviewees made the build-up hilarious. "And the Oscar for best build-up goes to..."
Simon, London, UK

For me this was one of best Oscars I've watched. Although it was long, it was very competitive. As opposed to having one movie win all the categories, we saw different movies win.
A. Noel - Aihie, Canada

"Lagaan" should have won the best movie in foreign film.
Peter, USA

Hey, it's really simple - all you have to do is realize who the "Academy" is - mostly a bunch of old white men, a good number of whom are very interested in following the PC rules of the moment.
Bonn, USA

Once again, the so-called Academy vote for their buddies

Best Actor: Russel Crowe
Best Actress: Nicole Kidman
Best Film: Lord of the Rings
Best Director: Peter Jackson
Best Animated film: Monsters Inc.
Best Costume Design: Harry Potter
Best Adapted Screen: Lord of the Rings (come on, it's a masterpiece!)
Best Foreign Language film: Amelie.
There, that is how it should have been, but once again, the so-called Academy vote for their buddies (little Ronny Howard should win, he was on the Andy Grifith show! He's been in the business for so long! Let's give it to him for that silly movie he made...) and of course, they always try to make a political statement (let's make this year's Oscars be the year of the African Americans, it would be really generous of us to do so...) Nothing against Halle Berry, she was amazing, but I think Nicole Kidman was breathtaking! Denzel was very the Hurricane, not Training Day, and Russel, as always, is amazing, but God forbid they should vote for him, he has an attitude not suitable for the Pristine Hollywood crowd.

So which is it? Are the Oscars meaningless, political rubbish, or are they valuable prizes of merit? If the former, then why the obvious disappointment, even outrage for heavens sake, that your nominees didn't win? And the lifetime achievement award for sour grapes goes to...the people of England!
Alie, USA

I can't even believe that the words 'furious' and 'outraged' are being used in this forum. Newsflash, UK...the Academy Awards are taken with a grain of salt by most Americans, and probably by the rest of the world. It's an entertainment event, nothing more. Yet here you are with hysterical opinions and conspiracy theories about something so silly. It only goes to show that you have no real grasp of the irrelevance of Hollywood in the lives of most Americans.
B. Fett, US

I thought the whole show was a great spectacle but I was wondering if anyone knew what happened to Will Smith? He was certainly there during the early stages yet when the Best Actor award (for which he was nominated) was presented he was nowhere to be seen, the academy instead putting up a picture of him instead of a live shot. Anyone know where he went and why?
Andy, Australia

To the writer who wondered about Will Smith's disappearance; he & his wife learned that their daughter had an ear infection & high fever, so they left. In skimming through some of the other comments, I am somewhat surprised that so many people who despise Hollywood, America, Americans & the Oscars would waste 4 hours of their lives watching the show.
P. Finn, USA

Oscars almost always choose sentimental fluff over masterpieces - remember how Kramer vs. Kramer got Best Picture over Apocalypse Now? Will anyone remember a Beautiful Mind in 5 years time?
Paul, UK

The Oscars were a disaster. The Academy was won over by sentimentality and politics and completely forgot about judging solely on merits. It tried to be progressive but chickened out before the last, leaving a winning roster which is inconsistent and confused. Lord of the Rings should have won best picture and director - the sheer scale and effort behind the film represents genuine achievement and creativity. Critically and popularly acclaimed it will survive long after Beautiful Mind. But the Academy doesn't like fantasy - never mind that the literary pedigree of Tolkien behind it dwarfs (no pun intended) any other on show that night. Even more unbelievable that it lost adapted screenplay - here was (the often difficult to access)Tolkien faithfully brought to the masses but Akiva Golsman got it for adapting Beautiful mind....badly. But it didn't win - the Academy ran back to its golden boy, Ron Howard. Straightforward, bland, mediocre but, importantly, he's a company man, a Hollywood son. We've seen the film in a hundred different guises before and Ron Howard looked feeble amongst the likes of Altman, Lynch and newcomer Jackson.

The Academy in the 21st century looks more like a dying institution than a progressive one.

Brian, UK
Furthermore, if Beautiful Mind took the picture and director what happened to Crowe? It's a historical biopic of one man played by Crowe for heaven's sake - how can you separate the two - if anything, the actor comes first? It's like honouring Gandhi without honouring Ben Kingsley, or Patton without George C.Scott. Absolutely mindless. It went to Denzel - I love him, he's been snubbed more times than I care to remember but it seems to me, Crowe lost it rather than Denzel won it. What can I say? It's a popularity contest.

The Academy in the 21st century looks more like a dying institution than a progressive one - stuck in its ways and mindful of setting its affairs into order before the final curtain.
Brian, UK

I am so glad that BAFTA recognised that LOTR was a better film than A Beautiful Mind. Ok, I wouldn't have minded if Russell Crowe had won the Best Actor Oscar but the film is SO incredibly lame. I cannot see how Ron Howard deserved to win for Best Director. Are the people who voted seriously saying that his direction was better than Peter Jackson or David Lynch? What a bunch of idiots!
Steve Lee, England

I think it was so wonderful to see the name of black Actress in the Oscars history. Why has this taken 74 years, beats me. And I am so happy for Denzel and Berry. Also I think Ali is another film that deserved an award. Denzel and Berry deserve these awards more than any other stars nominated with them. I do not see any reason why there is a debate over this. If anybody is in doubt go and see the films.
Ade Bamgbose, London

Well we can't have non-American films and non-American actors and actresses wining the major the Oscars now can we? As no-one else will pat them on the back so they have to do it themselves.
Jon Morgan, UK

If you haven't seen yet Monster's Ball, stop reading this and just run to the nearest theatre

Sen Kim, Switzerland
Isn't she lovely? Of course she is! S. Wonder's wonderful song seems to be clearly cut to the none less wonderful Actress Halle Berry. If you haven't seen yet Monster's Ball, stop reading this and just run to the nearest theatre. Halle has much, much more than a plastic... an inner soul! A new shinning star is born and her name is Halle Berry! Hats off!
Sen Kim, Switzerland

Being outside of the USA right now - it is apparent that the Oscars is an American catered award show. Nonetheless, it is a magical night filled with glamour, glitz and appreciation for entertainment. In the aftermath, we can critique and second-guess all we want - but shouldn't we just take the Oscars at face value - a glammed up Hollywood award show - and leave it at that?
Cristal, USA

I can see that Denzel Washington qualifies but all this hoopla about Halle Berry being 'black' would mean that most of my friends in France and Italy are; maybe even George Hamilton.
Bob Gardiner, Norway

Last night we went back to the cinema to cast our vote where it really counts - at the box office

Frances Morgan, UK
We stayed up all night on Sunday in the hope of seeing Peter Jackson receive recognition for Lord of the Rings. He achieved what most people thought impossible and made The Film of The Book. Last night we went back to the cinema to cast our vote where it really counts - at the box office. Why don't you all do the same!
Frances Morgan, UK

Year after year the Oscar results are greeted with dismay and claims of political wrangling and jingoism. Perhaps we should try and get some perspective and remember these awards are given out by Americans, in front of an audience of Americans, mainly to Americans. This isn't the movie Olympics where plucky Brits (or Aussies etc) stand an even chance of winning the gold. This is a self-affirmation exercise by the Hollywood machine.
Laurence, UK

Is it inconceivable to think that both Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won their Oscars because they gave the best performances. By focusing on the colour of their skin we are taking attention away from the fact that they are both extremely talented actors and have been rewarded as such.

Well done Jim Broadbent for saying "stone the crows" during his speech, and being generally "un-hollywoodish"!

John, England
It would be great if next year we were talking about a film portraying a group of rich, successful people accepting the plaudits of their peers with quiet grace and humility. It would be even better if this film was in the "best documentary" category! PS - Well done Jim Broadbent for saying "stone the crows" during his speech, and being generally "un-hollywoodish"!
John, England

I can't believe Lord Of The Rings only won 4 awards out of a possible 14! Plus they weren't exactly the best awards either! They should have definitely won best picture or at least best song or director. I can't believe A Beautiful Mind stole them all!
Charlotte, UK

I think Halle Berry deserved the award. I also thought 'Laagan' should have won an award, it's a good historical film.
Barinder, UK

74 years? It's about time we give credit to black talent, can't it be that simple.
M., UK

I am wondering if the Oscars awards for this year were chosen by the politicians! Unfair for "The Lord Of The Rings" not to have the best movie and director awards.
Dr.M. El Laithy, Egypt

Okay, I might be biased but I thought that Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe deserved Oscars for their performances in A Beautiful Mind and Moulin Rouge

Jess, Australia
Okay, I might be biased but I thought that Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe deserved Oscars for their performances in A Beautiful Mind and Moulin Rouge. They were both simply awesome. But I suppose it can't really be a surprise, especially when I read that some of the voter will only vote for people/movies from America. And what is up with Moulin Rouge, a Musical, not getting any nominations for their music?
Jess, Australia

I can see why A Beautiful Mind won for best picture because there is still two more Lord Of The Rings films, but I was disappointed that the first one didn't get it. Russel should have won over Denzel but I'm glad Halle Berry won for best actress.
David storey, Australia

It should be called Dollywood not Hollywood. And just as Dolly the sheep was cloned, so has Hollywood become politically cloned.
Glenn Beauchamp, New Zealand

Did the deserving candidates lose out on the Oscars? Did those who got the Oscars got it just because people of certain colour had not won them for long time? A lot of pondering to do, a lot of unanswered questions.
Swamy, India

I for one am proud. For how many decades have all the awards been given to white Americans?

Donna Palmer, England and Denmark
I for one am proud. For how many decades have all the awards been given to white Americans? And it has been accepted and seen as acceptable. But when the table turns, ever so slightly, for one year. Uproar! Positive discrimination! Political correctness! Look beyond that. Judge the art, judge how performances move you, listen to anything that the movie has taught you. As a black British woman, now formerly an actress (lack of roles, work, money, you name it) my heart is fit to burst with pride. Not only on the issue of colour but that maybe, just maybe, people are looking at the art - through the person and to the words and the performance. Maybe there is hope for the likes of me yet.
Donna Palmer, England and Denmark

I shouldn't be surprised that the best director went to an American - but it should have been Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings. I know it's obvious but the Oscars isn't about "Films" it's about American films. Pity really!
Jenny Hopkins, Hong Kong

As brilliant an actor as Denzel is, he did not deserve an Oscar this year, but did in previous years. As brilliant an actor as Russell is, he did not deserve the Oscar last year, but he did deserve it this year and for the year previous (The Insider). It seems the Oscars is about making up for past mistakes, that your actual performance for the movie you are nominated for is irrelevant, but my understanding is that you should win an award for the movie you are nominated for! How unfair is it for anyone to compete against a sympathy vote! Russ was robbed this year, and politics was most certainly at play here. The Oscars have very little creed in the real world, and it's the Academy's fault for screwing it up... and Baz - you are the best, despite the fact that you were ignored. I love your work, and so do a lot of other people!
Nique, Australia

While I think most of the awards that won in their categories were well deserved, I question the award that went to Washington and Berry

Jeremy Nyuwa, USA
As an educated young black man, I have learned to look at events with an eye of objectivity, not given to the so called strings of race, colour or creed. While I think most of the awards that won in their categories were well deserved, I question the award that went to Washington and Berry. Stripped of all racial strings and attachments, I don't think their performances merit as some of the nominees' in the same category. The fact that deserving winners didn't get their Oscar goes to demonstrate that things don't work factually in life and how politics dictates every of our whim as Americans from Washington to Hollywood. I guess Aristotle was right when he said that man is a political being. I hope to live one day in a world where people would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their true merits and content of character.
Jeremy Nyuwa, USA

There is no best film, actor, actress, etc, etc. It is purely a matter of opinion. Or rather pot luck. However one does get the impression that if it is not made in Hollywood, then it may be very difficult to convince Hollywood that it is indeed the best.
Ron Williams, USA (UK retired)

I enjoyed watching the Academy Awards last night, but I was disappointed that the Harry Potter film didn't receive any awards, considering that it had an excellent musical score and lovely costume design. I don't see how Moulin Rouge's flashy showgirl outfits could compare.
Rabah, USA

It was a travesty that Shrek won in the Best Animation category. Monsters Inc. clearly deserved to win, yet it was upstaged by something that was incompetently made, badly animated and unfunny. Having said that, the majority of the other awards seem to have been reasonably fair.
Michael Mackenzie, Scotland

Make a movie about mental illness and you are virtually guaranteed to get an Oscar!
Rich, UK

How sad it is that it is still worthy of comment that African Americans have won awards.

John Benjamin, UK
Not having seen Denzel's or Halle's performances, I can't say if they were deserving winners, but how sad it is that it is still worthy of comment, let alone headlines, that African Americans have won awards. It just shows how much the USA and other so called enlightened countries are mired in their unsavoury pasts.
Jon Benjamin, UK

Russell Crowe should have won best actor for his performance in Beautiful Mind. Brilliant performance. Denzel has proven himself to be a versatile actor, but I can't help feeling this award was for a number of good performances in different movies. For me Russell Crowe's performance was better than Denzel's, contributing more to the movie in what was a very challenging role. I wonder if he would have kicked up a fuss if coverage of his winning speech had been edited???
Ivan, UK

On a different note, doesn't anyone get the feeling that the Academy awarded Randy Newman the Best Song Oscar because they felt sorry for his dozen or so nominations without a win?
Anon, UK

How many of those making comments have seen Monster's Ball? It is clearly one the year's best films, and Halle Berry is unquestionably deserving of the Best Actress award. As to her speech, you only have to know the pervasively racist nature of American society to understand where she comes from.
Dino, USA

A set of local awards to the local films. No real surprises and a summing up of the attitudes that are prevalent in Hollywood. To be honest, after the events of September 11th it's not all that surprising that feel good movies and political correctness have been the main award winners.
Anthony, UK

I cannot believe the Academy honestly thought A Beautiful Mind was the best film of the year.

Helen, UK
I cannot believe the Academy honestly thought A Beautiful Mind was the best film of the year. Moulin Rouge, Gosford Park and Lord of the Rings all had more vision, scope, depth, interest and impact. What a boring, make by number, film to give the awards to.
Helen , UK

A comment in regards to Sidney Poitier's speech following his acceptance of the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. It is my most sincere feeling that this is the right man, in the right place, at the right time who has the intelligence, eloquence, and has throughout his career shown a tremendous perseverance against difficult odds. Not only was his speech extremely touching and poignant but displayed his incredible quality of spirit. He should be an example to not just younger black actors and actresses but to all of us as human beings. It is my sincere hope that many will take his example and try to emulate some aspect of this wonderful man.
Mike, Rochester, NY USA

How can Moulin Rouge, the first musical to be nominated for Best Film in 20 years, not have received nominations for Best Score or Best Song?!?! It should have won Best Film and it was an insult that Baz Luhrmann was not even nominated for Best Director.
Teresa, UK

The extent to which politics play in choosing Oscar winners has become ridiculous. Denzel Washington is an excellent actor, but giving him the Oscar over Russell Crowe is tribute to the powers that be in Hollywood. When A Beautiful Mind can win best picture, director and best supporting actress but not best actor when Russell Crowe is the core of the film, it is ridiculous. But I suppose when you have powerful people like Julia Roberts going around and singing Denzel's praises combined with huge media coverage of Crowe's argument with television executive after the Bafta's, it should not come as a surprise. The Oscars have once again proven they are not about artistic achievement but rather a popularity contest a la grand scale.
Erin , Canada

Beautiful Mind was a very good movie. However Lord of the Rings was also, and was so much more difficult to make. It's like comparing an ice cream sundae to Creme Brulee. They both taste good, but one is much harder to make, so should get the award. Lord of the Rings should have won both Best Director and Best Picture. The Academy just seems to like sentimental movies and votes its favourites rather than what actually went into making the quality.
Tom, Michigan

The Oscars have been hijacked for political purposes

Quentin Holt, New Zealand
It seems the Oscars have been hijacked for political purposes. I found the whole affair to be over-hyped, lacking depth, superficial, obnoxious and annoying. In other words, it was all very Hollywood.
Quentin Holt, New Zealand

I think that Denzel and Halle definitely deserved to win those awards. It is about time the racial barrier was broken, but why has it taken so long? It doesn't make sense. As for best film, The Lord of the Rings should have taken the cake. And the best director award doesn't really matter either way. I'm sure they all deserve to win.
Darla, Canada

I can't comment on performances in either Training Day or A Beautiful Mind as I have seen neither. However Denzel Washington has already proved himself to be an exceptional actor, having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Glory and he excelled in others like Cry Freedom. I don't think race is an issue here. We must give credit where credit is due.
Jean, Australia/UK

I feel the Academy Award for Sidney Poitier was so well deserved. His speech was beautiful. It clearly showed great dignity and character. Well done Sidney!
Lennaert, The Netherlands

Only the British could be so obsessed with such a farcical event. It's absolutely pathetic.
Dean, Boston, USA

Forget the winners and losers - didn't Whoopi Goldberg do a wonderful job as host. She should present the awards every year. She was witty, snappy and great at the adlibbing - "wipe up when you're done child". I was wiping up tears of laughter. Well done Whoopi. You were the real star of the show.
Paul, Ireland

Although Training Day was not as big a success in Britain as it deserved to be, Denzel Washington certainly deserved to win best actor for his role in it. The film was carried along by superb dialogue between Hawke and Washington, who both performed brilliantly, and really made the film. I have rarely seen such a deep and powerful character as that portrayed by Washington in the film, and on that basis he surely rightfully won the category.
Jeremy, England

Lord of the Rings was the film of 2001

Tim Park, Guernsey
I cannot comment on A Beautiful Mind as I have not seen it, but for me Lord of the Rings was the film of 2001. As for Denzel Washington getting the Best Actor, this really should have gone to Will Smith for his fantastic performance in Ali. The reason the Academy went with Denzel (and don't get me wrong, he is a fine actor) is that they will never give it to a "comic" in his first serious role. Just look at Jim Carrey. As for Best Director the real crime is that Baz (Moulin Rouge) was not even nominated, let alone winning it, because for me Moulin Rouge was "the other" movie of last year. Oh and by the way Shrek rocks!
Tim Park, Guernsey

Why make such a song and dance over three black people winning awards? Surely this only serves to widen the racist gap inherent in American society by patronising black people. It would have been refreshing to have heard nothing about skin-colour and recognise that the winners' achievements were of their own volition, a fact which now seems in doubt.
Geoff Walsh, UK

Politically correct with racial overtones

V. M. Wright, UK
Politically correct with racial overtones. What a pity. Russell Crowe should have won this year (but did not deserve to last year), so he obviously paid for that. The Oscars are now farcical and everyone should accept this and not pay too much attention to the accolade - it is meaningless and the best performance usually does not win.
V. M. Wright, UK

Who cares who wins, the big question is did they have fun?
Mitch, UK

Hate to be cynical but, again, Hollywood makes an unnecessary statement. This time it's positive racial discrimination. What a farce. Why not just give the awards to the actors who deserved them...just a thought.
Jolum, UK

More undeserved PC at the Oscars. Halle Berry was excruciating just as Gwyneth Paltrow was a few years ago. When will Americans learn to act with a bit more dignity and decorum, and also award "real" films and actors (i.e. the British)? Sentimental, overhyped rubbish! It's time they got real and started to appreciate the real heroes in life.
Maureen Wilson, UK

I think that the Oscars, along with all the other celebrity awards shows, are a huge waste of time. Why should we 'celebrate' a bunch of stuck-up, overpaid, underworked, arrogant, self serving, big headed personalities giving themselves a pat on the back for a job well done? The people who really deserve awards are the real people - everyday people like you and me. The Mirror's Pride of Britain awards or the Child of Achievement awards are something worth celebrating. Let's stop giving these high-paid scum bags recognition as, let's be honest, they do nothing anyway.
DaveB, UK

The Academy got it spot on with Jim Broadbent who was superb

Paul Olden, England
The Academy got it spot on with Jim Broadbent who was superb, as were Judi Dench who should have beaten Halle Berry and Kate Winslet who deserved the Best Supporting Actress Award
Paul Olden, England

I'm furious that Russell Crowe didn't get awarded. Why was he the only nominee for Beautiful Mind to miss out? Wasn't his portrayal of Nash great? What did Jennifer do that he didn't get his Oscar? My sympathy to you, Russell, I would vote you any day.
Georgina Durand, Argentina

At last they have realised that there is no Hollywood without blacks.
Osas Erabor, Nigeria

What useless dross! Halle Berry was quite embarrassing, especially since Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey have done so much more to open doors for blacks in Hollywood. This win shows not a door opening, but that the right film at the right time is needed to win. In ultra liberal Hollywood, I don't think blacks have been "shut out" for some years now. The right role and the right publicist just didn't come along until now.
Fred Barnes, USA

A Monsters Ball isn't even out in the UK and so how can a UK audience yet judge whether Berry's performance was worthy of the award?

It is insulting to see that a number of the British comments posted suggest that the only reason Halle Berry & Denzel Washington won their awards was because of 'political' voting. A Monsters Ball isn't even out in the UK and so how can a UK audience yet judge whether Berry's performance was worthy of the award?

Be honest - the average Joe Soap really doesn't give a dam about the Oscars. Old pals back slapping each other - absolute rubbish.
Nick, UK

Russell Crowe was robbed of an Oscar on false grounds - for standing up for himself and his convictions. His performance was nothing short of "beautiful".

I'm amazed at some of the comments towards the winners of the leading roles. To say that it was a PC vote is to totally trivialize the accomplishments of these actors. If your mindset is that it is impossible for the two winners to be black unless it has been fixed then what does that make you?
Craig Mcleod, Scotland

Anyone get that feeling that we're all being taken for one big political ride? The whole thing was a farce; isn't it a little bit too convenient that a black man won best actor and a black woman best actress? Also, the best foreign film was about Bosnia... I mean come on. It's got the words 'American Propaganda' written all over it. As for that speech... Are all Hollywood actresses these days trying to out do Gwyneth Paltroe to win the 'Most Ridiculous Oscar Speech Ever' award? Absolute rubbish. I personally give praise to Spielberg for mastering Kubrick's last motion picture; A.I. and the Cohen Brothers for their excellent masterpiece; 'The Man Who Wasn't There'.
Mark, United Kingdom

Russell Crowe should have won. So should have Robert Altman for best director (Gosford Park) and Judi Dench for best supportive actress (in Iris). Too bad for Memento which was a clearly superb and highly innovative movie.

How A Beautiful Mind could win best director I have no idea

Hamish, Scotland
How A Beautiful Mind could win best director I have no idea. It's well directed, yes, but there isn't anything remotely innovative or new about it, unlike the shockingly unnominated Moulin Rouge or Lord of the Rings. These awards are about Hollywood Darlings, and not a true reflection of the movies made. Still, it's a laugh, innit?
Hamish, Scotland

Thank god Lord of the Rings didn't win anything else.
Bob, UK

If Beautiful Mind can bring attention to the real need for better mental health care here in the US, then hats off to its Oscar. I did see the movie though, and loved it. I cannot comment on Halle Berry nor Denzel Washington because I didn't see their movies. However, I've seen Mr Washington in previous movies, and think he is fabulous.

I was very disappointed watching the ceremony. I couldn't agree more that the whole thing was so politically correct. So much talking about Blacks not being recognized in the film industry - not true! I have nothing against Denzel, but I have seen the film Training Day and have to say his part was not outstanding. My number one is definitely Russel Crowe. The same with women leading role. My choice was Nicole Kidman. And the greatest movie of all was The Lord Of Rings. I am happy that the film will have two more chances to win Oscars :)
Izabela, Poland

The Oscars, as always, proved successful in terms of media coverage, dollars spent and interest/gossip factor

Kate Lovegrove, UK
The Oscars, as always, proved successful in terms of media coverage, dollars spent and interest/gossip factor. It's a shame that society don't think that other issues less attractive, such as poverty, disease, lack of education, etc. deserve as much media interest and coverage. I'm not harping about the Oscars, good luck to all involved, it's an industry like any other, but let's have some balance and social responsibility shown elsewhere - if we spent a fraction of the time that we take to talk about all of this / the money spent on it all on some other problems, the world would be a better place.
Kate Lovegrove, UK

I find it depressing that that anyone thinks it worthy of comment when black actors win Oscars. This seems to point to institutional racism within Hollywood. Moreover, why did Denzel Washington have to wait so long before getting his Oscar? He is undoubtedly one of the finest screen actors of his generation, and the fact that he did not win an Oscar years ago speaks volumes about the racist attitudes that prevail in Hollywood.
Adam, UK

Getting awards for doing your jobs; I wish they did the same thing for taxi drivers like me.
David W

Denzel Washington is a brilliant actor

Alcuin, UK
Denzel Washington is a brilliant actor. I have to admit I was somewhat shocked to realise this was his first Oscar. Let's hope it's not his last. I can't really comment on Halle Berry because I've never heard of her. I've never even heard of the film. I rather liked In the Bedroom but then, I've liked Sissy Spacek ever since Carrie. Oh yes, and I wish Randy Newman could have an award for his acceptance speech.
Alcuin, UK

Having seen both 'Training Day' and 'A Beautiful Mind', I think Denzel Wasington richly deserves his Oscar. As for political correctness, it might have something to do with targeting the Afro-American moviegoers. However, this does not detract from the recognition of black talent.
S, England

Well that was a surprise. The fact that Denzel and Halle won wouldn't have anything to do with their skin colour would it?
alan keir, Scotland

Moulin Rouge didn't win anything and Lord of the Rings only won technical achievement awards. There is justice in the world.
Andrew Cover, UK

Well done to Denzel Washington!

Peter, Essex, UK
Well done to Denzel Washington! A much underrated actor who deserves to win, if not for this performance, but for all his others. Having not seen Halle Berry's film I cannot say whether her Oscar is deserved. It must have been an exceptional performance to win ahead of the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman. I would imagine Ms Berry's speech will make her cringe in the days to come, but hey, who hasn't been excited to win a major award? A note for Luis - Oscars the best show on earth? Oh please! Try watching some decent documentaries, eh?
Peter, Essex, UK

The academy should reward the acting skills shown in a film, not the behaviour off camera. I'm with you Russel Crowe...
Pablo Justiniano, Bolivia

Denzel deservedly won, however it was a shame that Tolkein's masterpiece was not given more recognition, this was the film of the decade.
Lucy, UK

Imagine the odds on Denzel beating Russell

Andrew Lees, UK
Considering the amount of money involved, does anyone really believe that the Oscars are about skill? Imagine the odds on Denzel beating Russell.
Andrew Lees, UK

There have been years when the "Best Oscar" didn't go to the best. But this year's crop was so good it was anybody's call.
T.J. Cassidy, U.S.A.

Yes, I think justice was done. It was a shame not to see Ghost World pick up best adapted screenplay, but other then that the swing towards A Beautiful Mind on the more major awards was fully justified. I agreed with the acting nods, too - Berry in particular was amazing in her role, and her acceptance speech was a genuinely rare emotional moment, and symbolic for all aspiring young black actresses - her acceptance speech was wonderful - I can't believe all the mud slinging on this forum; how typically British. Washington too was justified in collecting his award - all in all another great evening. One final word though - come back Billy Crystal!! We need more improvised funnies - Goldberg was good but far too scripted. Can't wait till next year!
Matt, UK

Funny how Denzel deserved it so many times before but not tonight

Shahiran Sahari, Singapore
Who will Russell Crowe threaten now for not being given the award he seemed to have deserved? Funny how Denzel deserved it so many times before but not tonight. But Russell didn't deserve to win it as Gladiator last year, did he?
Shahiran Sahari, Singapore

Now that the BBC has live coverage of the Oscars, I got to see the whole show this time... what a shame, it was so tedious and boring!! Next time I'll just watch the highlights. As for the awards, I can only say that the only way I can judge films is how much enjoyment they provide, and the best film I've seen this year is Lord of the Rings.
Patrick, UK

Never mind the much overrated films, well done to Randy Newman for best song. It's about time this very talented singer song writer was rewarded.
Phil, UK

A Beautiful Mind was a typical Ron Howard film: sappy. Reminds me of when Titanic won. Lord of the Rings was (and will be) an epic.
Yank, USA

Lord of the Rings is one of the finest films of its genre since the original Star Wars

Paul Johnson, England
Lord of the Rings is one of the finest films of its genre since the original Star Wars. I was extremely disappointed it was overlooked for the major awards. In keeping with recent Oscar awards, US favouritism and political agenda have won again. Perhaps Tom Cruise as Aragorn would have produced different results?
Paul Johnson, England

Black Hawk Down winning best editing...In the middle of the film there is a close up of an M240 machine gun firing. It is clearly loaded with BLANK ammunition. This should have been re-shot with live ammo or edited out.
Peter Gough, UK

Denzel Washington truly deserved the Oscar as he won it on his acting ability. The same cannot be said for Ms Berry whose flagrant play of the race card in her speeches leading up to the awards obviously won it for her...Dame Judi Dench should be celebrating this morning, well done!
Spen, England

Washington deserved his Oscar but Berry and especially Connelly didn't

Lew, UK
Although there were enough foreign nominees qualified to win one of the big Oscars (Jackson, Crowe, Lord of the Rings, McKellen, Dench, Wilkinson) did anyone really expect them to win any of those in these times of 'American patriotism' and 'political correctness' ? Washington deserved his Oscar but Berry and especially Connelly didn't. Rhose should have gone to Spacek and Mirren.
Lew, UK

Why is it even an issue that the actors that won the Oscars are black! We don't carry on with the same hype when both the actors that win were white when will we ever get over this race hurdle. As far as Berry's speech ...after all she just received best actress. Irony?
Heather, UK

I've seen Training Day, and A Beautiful Mind. When you cut through all the political issues, and arguments about the accuracy of the biography in A Beautiful Mind, and just look at the films as pieces of entertainment, and vehicles for the ability of the actors / directors etc, I cannot see how Russell Crowe did not get the Best Actor Oscar. Denzel Washington is a fine actor, but in Training Day, he is limited by the film subject, and is nowhere near his best. It's a shame when outside interests start to influence the intentions and principles of the Oscars. Or am I being naive?
Robert Bedwell, UK

I have 3 points to make: (1) Halle Berry's speech was an embarrassment. So obviously rehearsed. It's so ironic that she was being honoured for her acting and she displays such a poor performance whilst collecting the award. I don't blame her though, Gwineth Paltrow started the trend of fake tears a couple of years ago. (2) Good to see Jennifer Connelly honoured after her great performance. She has been the most elegant and beautiful actress in recent movie history and now she's guaranteed star status - although she might not want it as she lives in NY and isn't into the Hollywood thing.
Asif, UK

The Best film was between Beautiful Mind and Lord of The Rings. I am glad Beautiful Mind won it. The Oscars is about looking back at what has been achieved. Lord of the Rings can only, to quote Robert Redford, "glimpse in the "rear view mirror". It has to keep its eyes on the road ahead and the films to come.
Kristian Lynch, US

"A meaningless, self-serving meat parade."

Josh, UK in US
To quote the great George C. Scott, the only person to ever refuse an Oscar after winning, the Awards are "a meaningless, self-serving meat parade."
Josh, UK in US

As much as I admire the Oscars I'm afraid the PC card was well and truly played in LA tonight. Russell Crowe, despite being a formidable actor does not conform to the Hollywood stereotype "nice guy" image.
Sarah L, UK

Am I the only one who thinks the voting was very political....don't get me wrong, it's great that African-Americans are being recognised for their work but the actors should be judged on merit not race...I mean did the right people really win?
Neil Byers, UK

Sounds a little contrived to me but what else do you expect of Hollywood?

Rookie, US
Sounds a little contrived to me but what else do you expect of Hollywood? The results would have been easier to digest did we not have to endure such nauseating emotion from Berry. When will Oscar winners learn that it's just an award? Will someone please teach them to retain a modicum of dignity and self respect instead of splashing around in the tears of their self-esteem.
Rookie, US

I'm sure the winners and nominees are all very competent but it seems uncool to win an Oscars in the major categories these days.
Political climate and PR work are the key factors to determine who wins.
P, Hong Kong

The right films often don't win. Unless they confirm to the Oscar stereotypical mould, which in recent years has been of the feel-good, Oprah Winfrey type, that promotes movies that feel inadequate unless they think they think they're teaching you something about life. Moulin Rouge should have won best picture.
Boots, Hong Kong

A black man winning an Oscar for best actor in decades, that's one thing, but a black woman also winning best actress for the first time, that's another thing. It's time for Hollywood to finally recognize the talents, hard work, courage and efforts black actors and actresses bring to Hollywood.
Oladipo James, U.S.A

No contest! It was about time for Denzel.
Simon Cameron, UK

As ever, JUSTICE was done at the always memorable and brilliant Academy Awards! Long Live the wonderful Oscars, it's the best and most exciting show on this planet. [Far better than the awards shows that the British try to do]. OSCARS FOREVER AND EVER. It's the best show on EARTH!
Luis, U.S.A

Despite the myth that the Oscars are a global event in which films from all countries are all up for grabs, it is really a local event wherein the Hollywood films are the only real contenders and UK/Foreign language films are only considered for the peripheral awards. That is unless there is a famine of films and, as such UK films do well. I wonder why there is such press hype for UK actors who are nominated when is so very rare for them to get anything.
Tom Hall, UK

A Beautiful Mind is NOT the best movie for 2002. I'm glad Denzel won for Best Actor. He is such a great actor has gone unrewarded so many times in the past. If he had not won, my choice would have been Will Smith for was superb in Ali.
Neil Smith, South Africa

She made a mockery of the award

Carrie, Dublin, Ireland
I think Halle's oh so rehearsed speech was embarrassing. Deserved or not, she made a mockery of the award by intimating racism. Can she not just accept the Oscar because they thought her the best actress and not because she is black? Three words Halle - GET OVER IT!!
Carrie, Dublin, Ireland

The race question should not be an issue. Actors and actresses should win on talent, and talent alone.
Katherine, UK

Sad to see Peter Jackson not picking up best director for his masterful adaptation of Tolkein's epic.
Tim, UK

As a spectacle and gloriously indulgent self-congratulation session the Oscars are still way ahead of anything else

Ben, UK
Yet again the Oscars have proved themselves to be a politically correct farce, whilst other film awards - Golden Globes, Cannes Film Festival, Sundance etc, etc - show themselves to be superior in terms of recognising talent, originality and awarding awards to those films that deserve them rather than the ones the establishment is comfortable with. As a spectacle and gloriously indulgent self-congratulation session the Oscars are still way ahead of anything else, but as a barometer of quality they have become both predictable and obsolete.
Ben, UK

I cannot figure out how they could give the music Oscar to "Lord of the Rings"! It is such forgettable music compared to many of the scores also up for the award... Strange times!!
Michele, UK

I am thrilled that two African Americans have won the top awards. It shows a great change in the attitude of Hollywood.
Omar, UAE

Fabulous film and fabulous director

Angela Tokalau, Thailand
About time Denzel Washington was appreciated for the quality performances he has given throughout his career. He is by far more deserving than Russell Crowe this year. Beautiful Mind and Ron Howard - fabulous film and fabulous director. Shrek - an awesome film that has taken animation to new heights. Well done all.
Angela Tokalau, Thailand (British)

All I can say is that after his earlier performance over here I'm so glad that Russell Crowe won nothing.
Bill, UK

How could they not give Russell Crowe an Oscar for that superb performance! The movie was what it was mainly due to his versatile acting..
Nirmal Govind, USA

See also:

12 Feb 02 | Oscars 2002
Rings leads Oscars race
12 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
UK Oscar stars party on

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