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Oscars 2000 Monday, 27 March, 2000, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
British bask in Oscar glory
Steven Spielberg and Sam Mendes
Steven Spielberg poses with "his man" Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes and Michael Caine led British winners at the 2000 Oscars - which also saw two prizes for Mike Leigh's film Topsy-Turvy.

American Beauty, produced by Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studio, picked up five Oscars, including best picture and best director for its British director Sam Mendes.

Accepting his prize, he thanked colleagues at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London, where he is artistic director.

Click here for a full list of winners.
American Beauty
Group hug: American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball embraces Mendes and the film's producers
He said: "I'm a bit overwhelmed. I want to say thank you to an astonishing young studio DreamWorks for having the courage to hire a bloke from English theatre to make a movie about American suburbia and trusting him."

The film's US star, Kevin Spacey, won best actor, while it also picked up awards for its cinematography and its screenplay.

Michael Caine won the second Oscar of his career when he picked up best supporting actor for his role as an unorthodox abortion doctor.

The 67-year-old missed the 1987 Oscars, where he won the same prize for Hannah And Her Sisters.

Moving speech

This year he was almost overcome with emotion as he collected his prize from Dame Judi Dench, and paid tribute to each of his fellow nominees - Jude Law, Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Cruise and 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment - in turn.
Michael Caine
Survivor: Best supporting actor Michael Caine
He said: "I was looking, watching all the others up there and thinking back to when I saw the performances and I was thinking of how the Academy changed 'The winner is...' to 'the Oscar goes to ...'

"And if ever there was a category where the Oscar goes to someone without there being a winner because I do not feel like being a winner."

He added of his fellow winners: "So really I'm basically up here guys to represent you as what I hope you will all be, a survivor."

Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy picked up two craft awards, for costume design and make-up. The film follows Gilbert and Sullivan's work on The Mikado.
Lindy Hemming
Lindy Hemming picks up her Topsy-Turvy award
Costume designer Lindy Hemming thanked the Academy for "giving our little film such a brilliant start".

Her past work includes the James Bond films Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, as well as Four Weddings And A Funeral.

Christine Blundell and Trefor Proud shared the best make-up prize. Blundell said: "What can I say? Mike Leigh, top guy, you are so brilliant."

Leigh's Secrets And Lies received five nominations in 1997, but won nothing.

Swinging success

Meanwhile, pop veteran Phil Collins won best original song for You'll Be In My Heart, from the Disney movie Tarzan.

The 49-year-old, who has been nominated three times previously for his songs, said his award was "a big deal for a drummer from England".
Phil Collins
Phil Collins: First Oscar for his music
He told the audience: "Now my life can go on, I think. It's been hell.

"You don't know what this means to me and you don't know what this means to my kids. It's fantastic."

Best Documentary Oscar went to Arthur Cohn and Briton Kevin Macdonald for their feature One Day in September.

Their film, about the slaughter of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, beat the heavily-tipped Buena Vista Social Club -a documentary that fuelled world-wide interest in Cuban jazz and was a major commercial and critical success.

One Day in September producer Arthur Cohn said his film had yet to find a distributor and he praised the Academy for giving it the award even though it had no box office record.

But there was disappointment for Samantha Morton, who lost out in the best supporting actress award to Girl, Interrupted star Angelina Jolie. The 22-year-old had been nominated for her part in Woody Allen's Sweet And Lowdown.

Tumbleweeds star Janet McTeer also lost out on an award when best actress went to Hilary Swank.

Meanwhile, the UK's surprise entrant in the foreign language category - Welsh film Solomon and Gaenor - lost out 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
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