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Oscars 2000 Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 01:16 GMT 02:16 UK
American Beauty's Oscar triumph
American Beauty has won five Oscars at the 72nd Academy Awards - including best picture, best director for Sam Mendes and best actor for Kevin Spacey.

The dark satire on American suburbia's success topped a successful night for British cinema, which also saw awards for Michael Caine and director Mike Leigh's film Topsy-Turvy.
Michael Caine
Michael Caine with his prize
The film also won best cinematography and best original screenplay.

Accepting his best director prize, Mendes - who had never made a feature film before making American Beauty - thanked Steven Spielberg's production company DreamWorks for "having the courage to hire a bloke from England to direct a film about American suburbia".

He added for friends and relatives at home in London: "I will be forever in your debt. To all my friends watching in my flat in Primrose Hill - have a drink on me."

For Spacey, it was the second Academy Award of his career. He won best supporting actor for The Usual Suspects.

Click here for a full list of winners.

Newcomer Hilary Swank, 25, beat Spacey's co-star Annette Bening to the best actress prize for her role in Boys Don't Cry, based on the true story of Teena Brandon, who lived her life as a man called Brandon Teena in Nebraska before being murdered.

She said: "I want to thank Brandon Teena for being such an inspiration to us all.

"His legacy lives on through our movie to be ourselves, follow our hearts and not conform. "I pray for the day when we not only accept our differences, but celebrate our diversity."

Meanwhile, British movie icon Michael Caine took the best supporting actor prize for The Cider House Rules.

In an emotional acceptance speech Caine told the audience he "did not feel like being the winner", and paid tribute to each of his fellow nominees.

He singled out 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment, nominated for The Sixth Sense, calling his achievement "astonishing".

"When I saw you, I thought, 'That's me out of it,'" he said.

Topsy-Turvy success

It is Caine's second Academy Award. He first won in 1987 for Hannah And Her Sisters.

Angelina Jolie, the 24-year-old daughter of actor Jon Voight, took the best supporting actress prize for her role in Girl, Interrupted.

Mike Leigh's film Topsy-Turvy got British cinema off to a winning start by picking up two craft statuettes.

The film, which documents the run-up to the making of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, took the first Oscar of the evening when Lindy Hemming took the prize for best costume design.

On stage, she thanked the academy for "giving our little film such a brilliant start".

Later, Christine Blundell and Trefor Proud took the prize for best make-up.

British success continued when Phil Collins won best original song for You'll Be In My Heart, from Tarzan.

"You don't know what this means to me - you don't know what this means to my kids," he said.

However, Welsh film Solomon and Gaenor lost out in the best foreign language film category to Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother.

See also:

27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
24 Mar 00 | Entertainment
22 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
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