Oscar Loves Dylan, 'Almost Famous'

Folk legend's 'Things Have Changed' wins Academy Award for Best Song; homage to rock grabs Best Original Screenplay.

Bob Dylan won his first Oscar Sunday night for "a song that doesn't pussyfoot around or turn a blind eye to human nature," the folk legend said in his gracious acceptance speech.

"Things Have Changed," which Dylan wrote for Curtis Hanson's quirky "Wonder Boys," won Best Song at the Academy Awards, beating out a diverse group of nominees that included Björk, Sting and Randy Newman, who lost for the 14th time.

Dylan, 59, performed the song live via satellite on the Oscar telecast from Sydney, Australia, and was awarded the trophy minutes later.

"Oh good God, this is amazing," Dylan said. "I'd like to thank the members of the academy who were bold enough to give me this award for this song."

Following Dylan's acceptance speech, host Steve Martin poked fun at the singer: "There's an 18-hour time difference with Australia, but for Bob that's normal," he said.

Pop singer, actress and former Sean "Puffy" Combs girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, who wore a nearly see-through dress and told reporters in preshow interviews that she was happily dating a new man, introduced the "Things Have Changed" performance and described the song as "mirroring the ongoing career of Bob Dylan."

The award-winning song, which features the chorus, "People are crazy and times are strange/ I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range/ I used to care, but things have changed," was the first original song Dylan wrote for a movie since "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," from the 1973 western in which he starred, "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid."

"Wonder Boys," which starred Michael Douglas as a struggling novelist and professor, also featured several previously released classic rock tracks, including three other Dylan tunes, Neil Young's "Old Man" and John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels."

Dylan, who had only won four minor Grammys until he snagged three in 1998 for Time Out of Mind, won the Golden Globe for "Things Have Changed'' in December, but lost the Grammy in the film song category last month to Newman's "When She Loved Me," from "Toy Story 2."

Along with Dylan's rollicking, very close-up performance on Sunday, Oscar viewers were treated to a surprise duet between Newman and Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs on "A Fool in Love" (from "Meet the Parents") and an inspiring rendition of "I've Seen It All" (from "Dancer in the Dark") by Björk, who wore the evening's most interesting dress — a stuffed white swan wrapped around her waist and neck.

In other music-related awards, Cameron Crowe picked up the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Almost Famous," his love letter to rock and roll. Kate Hudson, who plays a "band aid" in the film, was the favorite for the Best Supporting Actress award, but lost to Marcia Gay Harden (from "Pollock"). Hudson, 21, was accompanied by husband Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes.

Chinese-born composer Tan Dun, who also was nominated for Best Song, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the martial arts fantasy "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

(For a full-length interview with Björk about her Oscar performance and more, check out "Björk: In Focus.")

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