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Tuesday, 23 March, 1999, 02:55 GMT
UK applauds Oscars success
Oscar winners
Paltrow, Dench, Coburn and Benigni celebrate success
The British film industry is celebrating after a successful night at the Academy Awards, with Shakespeare In Love winning seven Oscars.

Oscars '99
The Elizabethan period drama beat Steven Spielberg's hotly-tipped war epic Saving Private Ryan, which took five awards.

Shakespeare In Love won best picture, best screenplay, best score, best art direction, and best costume as well as best actress for Gwyneth Paltrow and best supporting actress for Dame Judi Dench.

With one award each for Elizabeth and Gods and Monsters, the British film industry took home a total of nine Oscars.

Their triumph brought a tribute from Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said: "It has been a tremendous night for British talent at the Oscars. I warmly congratulate all the winners."

gwyneth paltrow
No more tears: Best actress Gwyneth Paltrow backstage
Film Minister Janet Anderson said it was a "wonderful night for British film and a well-deserved accolade for British talent".

Spielberg claimed best director for Saving Private Ryan. Italian movie Life Is Beautiful created a stir by winning three Oscars, to the obvious delight of director and actor Roberto Benigni, who jumped onto the chairs at Los Angeles' Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to celebrate.

He is the first non-English speaker to win the best actor prize. Two Italian women have won best actress before: Sophie Loren in 1961 for Two Women, and Anna Magnani in 1955 for The Rose Tattoo.

Gwyneth Paltrow broke down in floods of tears when she accepted her best actress Oscar, while Dame Judi said she was moved by the best supporting actress award, but added: "The best bit of the Oscars is getting a nomination".

Spielberg celebrates with his wife Kate Capshaw
Referring to her brief appearance in Shakespeare In Love, she said, holding her Oscar: "I feel I only deserve a little bit of him after only being on screen for eight minutes."

Shakespeare In Love writer Sir Tom Stoppard said he would find a suitable place for his Oscar - "on a bookshelf". When he collected his prize he thanked the film's director, John Madden, and Ken Ewings, to whom he sent his first play 38 years ago.

Spielberg said he wanted to "sincerely thank all the families who lost sons in World War II" when he collected his best director Oscar.

Roberto Benigni's performance collecting the best foreign film Oscar brought roars of laughter. When the announcement was made, he leapt from seat to seat on his way to collect the prize from Sophia Loren.

roberto beigni
Benigni: Three Oscars
"I have the Oscar but I want you, Sophia. I feel I want to dive into this ocean of generosity, this hailstorm of kindness and gratitude."

When he won best actor, he said he had already used up all his English in collecting his earlier prize. "My body is in tumult," he said.

But there was controversy when veteran director Elia Kazan received a lifetime achievement award. Several big names, including Ed Harris and Nick Nolte, refused to join a standing ovation for the man who "outed" colleagues and friends as communists in 1952.

Veteran actor James Coburn won best supporting actor for his performance in Affliction.

Coburn said: "I have been doing this for a long time, but I guess I have finally got one right. Some you do for money and some you do for love - and this one was for love."

The BBC's Razia Iqbal: The event combines schmaltz and glamour
The BBC's Nick Higham on Oscars night
Dench: "It's just a shame someone has to win"
Stoppard: "It's romantic and it has good jokes"
Paltrow: "A beautifully-written screenplay"
See also:

09 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Full list of Oscar nominees
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Oscar night in pictures
21 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Oscar fever on the streets
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Judi Dench: Not just a pantomime Dame
21 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Elia Kazan: Forgive and forget?
24 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Full list of Oscar Winners
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Hollywood's annual fashion show
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Italy salutes Oscars hero
22 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Telling the Holocaust story
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Kazan award divides Oscars audience
22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Who said what?
24 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Sweating it out with the stars
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