2005 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.
Best Picture

CRASH (2005)

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Capote (2005)

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

Munich (2005)

Best Animated Feature Film


Howl's Moving Castle (2004, Jp.)

(Tim Burton's) Corpse Bride (2005)

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN in "Capote," Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow," Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain," Joaquin Phoenix in "Walk the Line," David Strathairn in "Good Night, and Good Luck."
REESE WITHERSPOON in "Walk the Line," Judi Dench in "Mrs. Henderson Presents," Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica," Keira Knightley in "Pride & Prejudice," Charlize Theron in "North Country"
Supporting Actor:
GEORGE CLOONEY in "Syriana," Matt Dillon in "Crash," Paul Giamatti in "Cinderella Man," Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain," William Hurt in "A History of Violence"
Supporting Actress:
RACHEL WEISZ in "The Constant Gardener," Amy Adams in "Junebug," Catherine Keener in "Capote," Frances McDormand in "North Country," Michelle Williams in "Brokeback Mountain"
ANG LEE for "Brokeback Mountain," George Clooney for "Good Night, and Good Luck.," Paul Haggis for "Crash," Bennett Miller for "Capote," Steven Spielberg for "Munich"

The Academy Award honorees for this year, for the most part, continued the trend away from big-budget, mega-blockbusters and aimed at smaller independent efforts. Four of the five Best Picture nominees were independently financed, including the winner Crash. In recent memory, the last time this happened was in 1996, when four of the five top nominees (The English Patient, Fargo, Secrets & Lies, Shine - and Jerry Maguire) were independent productions.

Many of the themes of the nominees were focused on sociopolitical issues (corporate corruption), provocative socially-relevant ideas (racial tension and terrorism), and intimate personal themes (gay and transgender). There was a perceived backlash against flashy, "popcorn" Best Picture nominees/winners, such as Gladiator (2000), Chicago (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) in this decade. Mega-budget box-office blockbusters that received minimal nominations included:

The five low-budget Best Picture nominees fairly evenly split the major nominations - no film received more than 8 nominations. This was also the first time since 1947 that no picture won more than 3 Oscars. They were all modest in scope, and challenged political, sexual and intellectual mores. Two were biopics. Focus Features topped all other studios with 16 nominations, including its Best picture contender Brokeback Mountain (8), The Constant Gardener (4) and Pride & Prejudice (4). Of the five nominees, only one of them had a budget over $14 million (Spielberg's Munich at $70 million), and three of them were budgeted at about $7 million. The combined gross of all five nominees was a very low $187 million, and none of the films grossed more than $53 million at the box-office at the time of the nomination's announcements in late January.

When the final tally of Oscars was determined, the awards were sparsely divided among all the major film nominees. For the first time in 49 years (since 1956) and only the third time in Oscar's 78-year history (it also occurred in 1952), six different films split the top six Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress).

The Best Picture winner was a major upset sleeper film - Crash (with 6 nominations and three wins, also for Best Film Editing and director Paul Haggis' Best Original Screenplay) - it was an ensemble film about racism involving whites, blacks, Latinos, Koreans, and Iranians that was centered around a killing in Los Angeles which might have been racially motivated. For two consecutive years, therefore, the Best Picture winner was set in Los Angeles (the previous year's winner was Million Dollar Baby (2004)). [Some noted its aggressive studio campaign that sent pre-release DVDs of the film to nearly every person involved in the motion picture industry -- possibly a new trend in future marketing campaigns. Reportedly, Lions Gate Films spent $4 million promoting a film that cost only about $6.5 million to make.]

Crash was an anomaly winner for many reasons:

The other four nominees for Best Picture were:

Other notable multiple award winners/nominees were:

All five of the Best Picture-nominated directors were nominated for Best Director - the first occurrence in 24 years! This was very rare and happened only three other times in Oscar history: 1957, 1964, and 1981. [Note: Of the five nominees, only Steven Spielberg has been a beneficiary both times - in 1981, Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was nominated in both categories.]

The Best Director winner was veteran director Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (he was previously nominated for directing and producing the foreign-language film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - the best Foreign Language Film winner!). He was notable for being the first Asian (or non-white) filmmaker to win the top film-making honor. The only other nominated veteran director was six-time Best Director-nominated and two-time Best Director winner Steven Spielberg, for Munich -- (previously winning three Oscars: Best Director for Best Picture-winning Schindler's List (1993) and Best Director for Saving Private Ryan (1998)). Spielberg was also nominated for producing Munich.

Two other Best Director nominees, both first-timers, also attained milestones in Oscar history:

The fifth Best Director nominee was Bennett Miller (with his first nomination) for his first narrative feature film Capote.

Special mention should be made of the fact that Woody Allen earned his 14th career writing nomination (all for Best Original Screenplay) for Match Point - it was his 21st career nomination. He has won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar twice, for Annie Hall (1977) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), the only Allen films nominated for Best Picture, and he won the Best Director Oscar for Annie Hall (1977). The next closest nominee remained Billy Wilder, with 12 career writing nominations and 3 career writing wins.

For the first time in the short history of the Best Animated Feature Film category, none of the three nominees were CGI films, although that could be accounted for since Pixar (winner of last year's award for The Incredibles (2004)) took the year off. All three were only moderately successful, scarcely making $100 million in total. The winner was: Aardman Animation's second feature-length 'claymation' and first feature-length Wallace and Gromit film from co-directors Nick Park and Steve Box (with this being his third Oscar win) - Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, about eccentric, cheese-loving inventor Wallace (voice of Peter Sallis) and his faithful mute dog assistant Gromit. This was the first stop-motion/'claymation' film to win the Best Animated Feature award.

[Nick Park's prior Wallace and Gromit short films, A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), and A Close Shave (1995) were all nominated for Best Animated Short Oscars, with the latter two winning, and the former losing to another of Park's nominated short films Creature Comforts (1989) - giving him his first Oscar. This Oscar, his fourth, maintained Park's streak of winning every category he'd been nominated for.]

The other nominees in the Best Animated Feature Film category were:

The Best Documentary Feature category featured among its five nominees three strong contenders, with the winner: Luc Jacquet's absorbing March of the Penguins - the highest-grossing nature documentary to date (at $77.4 million), about the mating rituals and breeding cycle of flightless Emperor penguins in Antarctica. March of the Penguins was the first nature documentary to win Best Documentary Feature since The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971). The other nominees included:

All four winners in the acting categories were first-time nominees - marking the first time this has happened since 1961 (Maximilian Schell, Sophia Loren, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno). In fact, 14 of the twenty nominees were first-timers, the highest number in nine years! (Four of the six remaining veterans had won one Oscar: William Hurt in 1985, Frances McDormand in 1996, Judi Dench in 1998, and Charlize Theron in 2003. Joaquin Phoenix and Catherine Keener had never won.) The average age of this year's nominees, at the time of the announcement of nominations, was 38, younger when compared to the average of 41 in 2004. Nine of the 20 acting nominees were aged 35 or under - four more than last year - while six of them were in their 20s. Four of the nominees: Matt Dillon, David Strathairn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and George Clooney - finally received nominations after dozens of films and many years in the business.

Three of the five Best Actor nominations were characterizations of real-life persons, and four of the five nominations were also for first-time nominees.

The winner in the Best Actor category was 38 year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman (with his first nomination) as squeaky-voiced, effete, eccentric, mentally-deteriorating, pop icon/biographer Truman Capote in Capote [Hoffman had long been considered a perennial Oscar snub, for worthy unnominated roles in Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), Flawless (1999), Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), and Cold Mountain (2003).] His strongest competition came for another nominee portraying a gay/bisexual man: 26 year-old Heath Ledger (with his first nomination), as Wyoming ranch hand Ennis Del Mar who experienced an illicit affair with another cowboy in the ill-fated love story of Brokeback Mountain.

The remaining three Best Actor nominees included:

Three of the five Best Actress nominations were for first-time nominees. The winner in the category was 29 year-old Reese Witherspoon (her first nomination) as June Carter, a country-western singer who toured with and eventually married fellow performer Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. [Note: This marked the fifth time that both Best Actor and Best Actress went to portrayals of real-life persons, and the first time since 1980 (when Robert De Niro won as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980) and Sissy Spacek won for her role as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)).]

The other Best Actress nominees were:

The winner in the Best Supporting Actor category was 44 year-0ld George Clooney as over-the-hill CIA agent Bob Barnes, who became a tortured hostage while investigating an oil company conspiracy in Syriana (Clooney also received a Best Director nomination and Best Screenwriting nomination for Good Night, and Good Luck). Clooney was joined by three other first-time nominees:

The remaining Best Supporting Actor nominee was 55 year-old, four-time nominee William Hurt, in a powerfully unsettling, creepy 10-minute role as volatile mobster Richie Cusack in A History of Violence (with 2 nominations, including Best Screenplay Adaptation). [Hurt's prior three nominations were all for lead roles, including a win for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), and nominations for Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987).]

The winner in the Best Supporting Actress category was 34 year-old Rachel Weisz (with her first Oscar nomination and win) as Tessa, the murdered wife of foreign diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), whose activism against a corrupt pharmaceutical company in a poor Third World African country contributed to her death, in Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles' drama The Constant Gardener (with 4 nominations). The other nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category were:

Robert Altman received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his contributions to motion picture history. His most obvious innovations including the use of multiple storylines and characters, overlapping dialogue, and improvised original performances from large ensemble casts. The iconoclastic 81 year-old writer/director/producer and seven-time Academy Award nominee never won a competitive Oscar. He received five directorial nominations for: the anarchic M*A*S*H (1970) (with five nominations and one win for Best Adapted Screenplay), Nashville (1975) (with five nominations and one win for Best Song), The Player (1992) (with three nominations and no wins), Short Cuts (1993) (with one nomination), and Gosford Park (2001) (with seven nominations and one win for Best Original Screenplay). He also directed such films as the acclaimed McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973) with Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe, California Split (1974), 3 Women (1977), Popeye (1980), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), Vincent & Theo (1990), Prêt-à-Porter/Ready to Wear (1994), Kansas City (1996), and Dr. T and the Women (2000). He passed away less than a year after receiving the Honorary Oscar, during the same year in which his final film was released, A Prairie Home Companion (2006).

This year, composer John Williams earned his incredible 44th and 45th Oscar nominations for Best Original Score for Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich. (He has a total of 40 nominations for Best Score, and five nominations for Best Original Song.) It was also the eighth time he'd been nominated twice in a single category (also in 1972, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, and 2001). He had "only" previously won four Best Original Score Oscars for Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982), and Schindler's List (1993), and one Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score Oscar for Fiddler on the Roof (1971).

Gary Demos received the honorary Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his pioneering CGI work in such films as TRON (1982) and The Last Starfighter (1984). He had won three technical awards in 1984, 1994 and 1995 for his revolutionary work in film.

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Contrary to form, George Lucas' sixth and final installment of his galactic epics, that made more than $380 million at the box-office, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (with only 1 nomination, Best Makeup) did not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. All five previous movies either were recognized in the category or received a Special Achievement Award for the work of his own high-tech company, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

The biggest omissions of the year overlooked two legendary auteurs:

Other films that failed to earn a Best Picture and/or a Best Director nomination included:

Acting Omissions:

Other worthy performances included:

Documentary and Best Animated Feature Film Omissions from Nominees:

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