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OSCAR SPREADS THE WEALTH

At the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, held last night in Los Angeles, the kilt and sword epic Gladiator may have walked off with the coveted best picture Oscar (and best actor for its star, Russell Crowe), but the absence of a Titanic-sized sweep meant that several pictures could claim big-winner status. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon flew away with four trophies, including best foreign language film, cinematography, original score and art direction. Yet, in one of the evening's big surprises, that film's helmer, Ang Lee, was denied the best director statuette — despite his having been honored by the Directors Guild. Instead, double nominee Steven Soderbergh triumphed for his work on Traffic. The drug-war drama also netted three other prizes, for supporting actor Benicio Del Toro, adapted screenplay and film editing. As expected, Julia Roberts was a best actress victor for Erin Brockovich, but Almost Famous'

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At the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, held last night in Los Angeles, the kilt and sword epic Gladiator may have walked off with the coveted best picture Oscar (and best actor for its star, Russell Crowe), but the absence of a Titanic-sized sweep meant that several pictures could claim big-winner status. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon flew away with four trophies, including best foreign language film, cinematography, original score and art direction. Yet, in one of the evening's big surprises, that film's helmer, Ang Lee, was denied the best director statuette — despite his having been honored by the Directors Guild. Instead, double nominee Steven Soderbergh triumphed for his work on Traffic. The drug-war drama also netted three other prizes, for supporting actor Benicio Del Toro, adapted screenplay and film editing. As expected, Julia Roberts was a best actress victor for Erin Brockovich, but Almost Famous's Kate Hudson lost supporting actress kudos to Marcia Gay Harden, the dark horse candidate from Pollock. However, Almost Famous — which many felt had been robbed of a best picture nomination — still got in on the action, scoring for Cameron Crowe's original screenplay. For a complete list of winners, click here. And for an in depth wrap-up of Hollywood's glitziest hoedown, check out Insider today and tomorrow.