A great deal of controversy surrounded the awarding of an honorary Oscar to Elia Kazan, as there remained much lingering resentment stemming from his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee 47 years earlier. In addition to a handful of protesters outside the theater, many members of the audience remained seated when he received his award and refused to even applaud. See more »
I still can't understand why they gave "Shakespeare in Love" Best Picture. I was rooting for "Life is Beautiful". Even "Saving Private Ryan" and the conspicuously snubbed "Truman Show" were better. But at least they gave Roberto Benigni the two Oscars that he really deserved; does anyone deny that his acceptance speech was the ceremony's highlight? I know that some people deride Whoopi Goldberg as a host, but I really like her (especially with that "20th century fox" remark). Probably the funniest comment of the night was Robin Williams's "Guns and Moses: The Charlton Heston Story. But you can't say Moses; you have to say The Artist Formerly Known as the Prince of Egypt!" As for Elia Kazan, I say that honoring him for his movies would be like honoring Pol Pot for stamping out corruption. At least the cameras showed people not applauding (among them Nick Nolte).
Overall, a worthy ceremony.
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