Film: The oscar box

Last week we asked film pundits to name their best and worst Oscar awards. Here, they give their verdicts on this year's results...
Braveheart is a throwback to the kind of boringly respectable movies that won in the Eighties. That said, both the main acting awards struck me as being fairly adventurous, as these things go. Giving Mel Gibson Best Director is absurd: we now have a situation where Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner and Robert Redford have Best Director awards, but Martin Scorsese doesn't.

Kim Newman, novelist and critic

I thought Kevin Spacey and Christopher McQuarrie's awards for The Usual Suspects were well deserved, particularly the screenwriting one; I thought it was a fantastic script.

We had an Empire awards ceremony a month or so ago, and our readers voted Braveheart their favourite film of last year, so it was quite nice for us to see that it won Best Picture

Mark Salisbury, editor, 'Empire'

Having seen A Close Shave, I think its Oscar was thoroughly deserved: it was one of the best British films I saw last year.

It was nice to see a three-hour, historical epic with a lot of kilts getting a Best Film award. I thought Braveheart was probably the only serious contender for Best Film. I'd love to have seen Babe walk off with more, but I don't think the voters of the Academy take films like that very seriously.

Anne Billson, film critic, 'Sunday Telegraph'

I did find it fascinating that there was only one movie than won more than two awards, and even that one didn't win many in the major categories. It really showed how the strengths of film-making were dispersed in the last year. So many of these people are first-time winners and it's very exciting.

Paul Gambaccini, critic and Radio 3 presenter

Interviews by Scott Hughes