"And the winner is..." At the Oscars, this phrase is supposed to represent the height of suspense. But c'mon, folks let's cut the bull. The only people who really get excited by the utterance of those four little words are the nominees. At home, we get our kicks more cheaply, by presenting prizes based on the award show itself, in categories far less highfalutin (but no less relevant) than Best Actor and Picture of the Year. So, in addition to checking out the elite group that was admitted to the legitimate winners' circle during last night's neverending broadcast of the 74th annual black-tie backslap, TV Guide Online invites you to peruse the list of all-stars that we'd send home with trophies for...
Most Memorable Entrance: Whoopi Goldberg
. Parodying Nicole Kidman
's crowd-pleasing Moulin Rouge
number, the Oscar host descended from the rafters on a swing in a tin-foil getup that incorporated more plumage than Björk
's infamous swan dress. Runner-up: Thoth
. So unique was the violinist's look Gladiator
togs topped with Whoopi hair piled high that the producers of his documentary actually thanked "security for letting him play on the red carpet."
Fanciest Footwork: John Travolta
and Sharon Stone
. Perhaps testing their chemistry for some future project, the Saturday Night Fever
hoofer pulled the blonde bombshell into an impromptu dance as they took to the stage. The duo then went on to giggle their way through their presenter patter.
Best Spokesman for New York City:
In a funny, charming anecdote, Woody Allen
perhaps the only person more closely identified with Manhattan than Rudy Giuliani
related that, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences called to ask if he'd appeal to filmmakers to continue working in Gotham, he thought that the powers that be wanted back his Oscars. "I panicked," he said, "because the pawn shop has been out of business for ages."
Cutest Couple: Reese Witherspoon
and Ryan Phillippe
. When the time came to announce the victor in the makeup achievement category, the missus girlishly pleaded with her dour mate, "Let me read it?" prompting him to crack a smile along with a joke. "You make more [money] than I do," he said. "Go ahead."
Second-Cutest Couple: Ben Stiller
and Owen Wilson
. In a pretaped segment intended to "salute" costume designers, the Zoolander
co-stars came to blows because Wilson suggested that Stiller was jealous of his Best Original Screenplay nomination for The Royal Tenenbaums
. Protesting wildly, Stiller insisted, "I think you should've gotten another
nomination for Behind Enemy Lines
, for Best Running!"
Best Show of Team Spirit: Jim Broadbent
. In concluding his acceptance speech, the Iris
sweetheart gave a shout-out to the other
lauded 2001 movie in which he appeared "Good luck, Moulin Rouge
Loveliest Reunion: Ryan O'Neal
and Ali MacGraw
. Whether he was laughing in the face of death or at a New York Post
report that he had only 48 hours to live, leukemia-stricken O'Neal looked alive and very well as he reteamed with his Love Story
leading lady to introduce that classic tearjerker's director, Arthur Hiller
, the recipient of the Jean Hersholt
Most Prophetic Finally: Ron Howard
's late mother. The director revealed that Mom had forecast his Oscar success with A Beautiful Mind
. "She also made that prediction on every movie I've made since 1983," he added with a grin.
Outstanding Achievement in Glitter Jokes:
Whoopi Goldberg again. Setting up viewers for a somber note, she made reference to a certain recent tragedy, then pointed out that the nation quickly bounced back "Mariah Carey
's already made another movie."
Best Camouflage: Tom Cruise
. Thanks to a growth of sexy stubble, the Tinseltown top gun drew away attention from the clear braces that were straightening his million-dollar smile.
Most Amazing Navigation of a Tongue-Twister:
Tie Cameron Diaz
and Halle Berry
. Before announcing the winner of the Best Art Direction statuette, Diaz was forced to deliver a speech that was as circuitous as a spiral staircase. Yet she not only enunciated every word, she nailed her punch lines, too. Later, prior to giving out plaudits for Achievement in Sound, Berry animatedly delivered a monologue that could have been written by Dr. Seuss
and did leave her (and us) breathless.
Music to Our Ears:
As a standing ovation began for 16-time Original Song nominee Randy Newman
, the good-humor man genially gestured for the crowd to take their seats. "I don't want your pity," he cracked. But, of course, the Monsters, Inc.
tunesmith was plenty happy about at last getting his due and, moreover, about getting it from J. Lo
. "I'll never get to heaven," he said, "but that's as close as I'll get."
Least Dressed: Gwyneth Paltrow
. Holy smoke! Was the second-generation starlet trying to torment former beaux Ben Affleck
and Brad Pitt
or what? The black top that she donned was so sheer that now her exes aren't the only guys who know exactly what they're missing.
Most Compelling Speaker: Sidney Poitier
. As the honorary Oscar recipient expressed his gratitude to the African-American actors who preceded him, and his admiration for the ones who have followed in his footsteps, not a pin was heard dropping inside the Kodak Theater. In fact, as far as we could tell, nobody even moved. Every celebrity to whom the camera cut sat so still, they could have been attractions at Madame Toussaud's.
Nicest Backhanded Compliment: Denzel Washington
. Taking the mike to cop his Best Actor trophy, the Training Day
policeman said, referring to his idol, "Forty years I've been chasing Sidney [Poitier], and what do they do? They give [the award] to [him] in the same night."
Best Ad for Kleenex:
Halle Berry. On becoming the first African-American to win Best Actress, the Monster's Ball
knockout had herself an altogether different sort of bawl. Completely overwhelmed, she said through tears, "This moment is so much bigger than me." She then proceeded to dedicate her golden boy to fellow performers of color from Dorothy Dandridge
to Vivica Fox
Whoopi Goldberg once more. Although she sometimes seemed to amuse no one quite so much as herself, when she was good, she was very good indeed. For instance, in her opening monologue, she got our attention by pointing out that "Oscar is the only 74-year-old in Hollywood who doesn't need Viagra to last three hours." And how can anyone not
love an emcee who rebounds from flubbing a line near midnight by laughing, "Chile, please the lips are failing, and we've got hours