Long shot best actor nominee Adrien Brody beat out previous winners Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt), Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York), Michael Caine (The Quiet American) and Nicolas Cage (Adaptation).


Chicago Wins Big, but The Pianist, Eminem Stun Hollywood With Unexpected Victories
The best picture Oscar for the musical Chicago was one of the few predictable elements at Sunday’s Academy Awards, which included three key wins for the Holocaust drama The Pianist, and an unexpected nod for Eminem.

Eminem won his Oscar for co-writing "Lose Yourself," a song from 8 Mile. Luis Resto, one of the co-writers of the song, accepted the Oscar on behalf of the rapper, whom he continually referred to as "Marshall." Eminem beat out U2, whose "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York was the odds-on favorite, and Paul Simon, who performed "Father and Daughter" from The Wild Thornberrys Movie. Other nominated songs included "Burn It Blue" from Frida and "I Move On" from Chicago.

In the musical score category, Elliot Goldenthal’s relatively obscure Frida toppled such favorites as John WilliamsCatch Me If You Can, Philip GlassThe Hours, Elmer Bernstein’s Far From Heaven and Thomas Newman’s Road to Perdition.

On a night of surprises when the war with Iraq set a shadowy tone, Adrien Brody took best actor honors, and Roman Polanksi nabbed the directing prize for The Pianist against higher-profile, more commercial front-runners.

With six awards, however, Chicago was the big winner, becoming the first musical to nab best picture since 1968's Oliver! Catherine Zeta-Jones, supporting actress winner for Chicago, was the first performer to win an Oscar for a musical since 1972.

Nicole Kidman won for lead actress for her work in The Hours. Chris Cooper earned the supporting actor Oscar for Adaptation. Kidman, Cooper and Zeta-Jones were expected to win, but first-time nominee Brody was a long shot in the best-actor field, where each of the other contenders already had at least one Oscar. Brody beat out Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt), Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York), Michael Caine (The Quiet American) and Nicolas Cage (Adaptation).

Polanski was also a long shot, as Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York) and Rob Marshall (Chicago), who took home the Directors Guild of America award, were viewed as the two to beat. Stephen Daldry (The Hours) and Pedro Almodovar (Talk to Her) were also nominated for best director.

The Pianist also earned the adapted screenplay award for Ronald Harwood.

Chicago came in with a leading 13 nominations, followed by Gangs of New York with 10. But Gangs was shut out in every category.

The ceremony included an angry indictment of the Bush administration from documentary winner Michael Moore, whose Bowling for Columbine won the feature-length documentary prize, railed against the White House, saying, ``Shame on you, Mr. Bush,'' for going to war. He received a standing ovation as he headed to the stage, and his angry speech was greeted with a mix of applause and boos.