Oscar Night About Surprises, History-Making

Halle Berry first black woman in show's history to win Best Actress in Leading Role.

For what is usually a long and boring awards show, this year’s Oscars had a few dramatic moments: history-making wins for Halle Berry and Denzel Washington, Best Director snub reversal for Ron Howard and singer/songwriter Randy Newman’s narrow escape from the Academy Awards’ dubious distinction of biggest loser.

Sunday night’s big winners were Denzel Washington for Best Leading Actor in “Training Day” and Halle Berry for Best Leading Actress in “Monster’s Ball.” Berry is the first black woman in the history of the Oscars to win in that category, while Washington is only the second black man to nab the Best Actor award — Sidney Poitier, who won an honorary Oscar Sunday night, was the first, for his role in “Lilies of the Field,” an award he took home in 1963.

Ron Howard and Russell Crowe powerhouse “A Beautiful Mind” won for Best Picture, and Howard picked up the Best Director honor. Jennifer Connelly received the award for Best Supporting Actress in the film.

Jim Broadbent took home the Best Supporting Actor award for “Iris.”

“The Lord of the Rings” had several wins, including Best Visual Effects and Best Musical Score. “Moulin Rouge” was another multiple winner, taking awards for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.

Newman, the Susan Lucci of the Oscars, has been nominated 16 times without a win, but all of that changed this year when he took home the statuette for Best Song. His “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc.” may not have been his best material, but it did save him from the clutches of some history-making of his own: the longest losing track record.

Newman has written and recorded songs for films including “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Meet the Parents” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

The full list of winners can be found at www.oscars.com.