Academy makes it Eastwood's year as 'Million Dollar Baby' sees off Scorsese

When the Oscars are losing confidence in themselves, who better to turn to than Clint Eastwood to make their day?

When the Oscars are losing confidence in themselves, who better to turn to than Clint Eastwood to make their day?

In a year when the stars seemed to be shining a little less brightly and the dirge-like ritual of dishing out statuettes actually put the escort of one lower-order nominee to sleep, Eastwood's downbeat boxing movie Million Dollar Baby was chosen to do the face-saving honours, picking up four of the top awards including best picture, best director, best actress (Hilary Swank) and best supporting actor (Morgan Freeman).

The night was a disappointment for Martin Scorsese, a bundle of nerves as he waited to find out if the Academy would recognise him at last for The Aviator (it didn't), and for some exceptionally fine performers (Don Cheadle, Kate Winslet, Imelda Staunton, among others) who had the bad luck to be nominated in a year when the buzz was elsewhere. Cheadle, who acted his heart out in Hotel Rwanda, lost out for best actor to Jamie Foxx doing his uncannily accurate turn as Ray Charles in the biopic Ray.

It was a night of few surprises and even less spontaneity, as the lords of the Oscar telecast - terrified by tumbling ratings and a crescendo of anti-Hollywood jibes from grassroots Republicans - moved proceedings at a military clip and forced award winners to stare at a giant clock counting down from 30 seconds as they delivered their acceptance speeches.

A few rebelled against the strictures, with some success. Robin Williams, whose original plan for a musical number making fun of the right-wing attacks on Hollywood was censored, appeared on stage at the Kodak Theatre with a large plaster taped across his mouth. Andrea Arnold, the Oscar-winning British director of the short film Wasp, responded magnificently to being confined to the auditorium (as were all the second-tier winners) by calling her win "the dog's bollocks".

The self-appointed guardians of America's public decency might have taken offence, or even bleeped her out - the broadcast was on a time-delay to stomp on any unexpected unpleasantness - but bollocks is not a term commonly found in American English, and she got away with it. No other acceptance was half as much fun - not least because most of them had already been delivered at the Golden Globes.

The MC holding the whole show together, the comedian Chris Rock, did his best to put a little edge into the proceedings, making fun of the fact that none of the five films nominated for best picture had been seen by a mass audience (he polled cinema-goers in an African American neighbourhood of Los Angeles, and discovered they were all rooting for a film called White Chicks instead), and even lampooning the new, caste-conscious idea of keeping the lesser winners off stage. "Next year they're going to hand out Oscars in the parking lot," he quipped.

Rock also got dangerously personal, making such relentless fun of the ubiquitous Jude Law that Sean Penn later felt obliged to stand up for him in an impromptu riff from the stage calling him "one of our finest working actors".

The event made for the usual vignettes of Oscar excess and absurdity: Clint Eastwood getting kissed on the mouth by Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand, an unbelievably hammy Antonio Banderas singing the Oscar-winning song from The Motorcycle Diaries like he was auditioning for an after-shave commercial directed by Julio Iglesias, someone associated with the short film Two Cars, One Night caught on camera snoozing, and Robert De Niro, once Scorsese's favourite leading man, underscoring the diminished times by appearing during one of the breaks in a commercial for American Express charge cards.

The complete list of winners at the 77th annual Academy Awards:

Picture: Million Dollar Baby.

Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray.

Actress: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby.

Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby.

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator.

Director: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.

Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways.

Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Art Direction: The Aviator.

Cinematography: The Aviator.

Film Editing: The Aviator.

Visual Effects: Spider-Man 2.

Sound Mixing: Ray.

Sound Editing: The Incredibles.

Original Score: Finding Neverland.

Original Song: Al Otro Lado Del Rio from The Motorcycle Diaries.

Costume: The Aviator.

Makeup: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Foreign Film: The Sea Inside (Spain).

Animated Feature: The Incredibles.

Animated Short: Ryan.

Documentary Feature: Born Into Brothels.

Documentary Short: Mighty Times: The Children's March.

Live Action Short: Wasp.

Oscar winners previously announced this year:

Honorary Academy Award: Sidney Lumet.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Roger Mayer.

Gordon E. Sawyer Award (technical achievement): Takuo Miyagishima.

Scientific and Technical Oscars: Horst Burbulla, Jean-Marie Lavalou, Alain Masseron and David Samuelson.

Arts and Entertainment
Cillian Murphy stars as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks in 2011

Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandal

Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago

Arts and Entertainment
Comedian Jack Dee has allegedly threatened to quit as chairman of long-running Radio 4 panel show 'I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue'

Edinburgh Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Director Paul Thomas Anderson (right) and his movie The Master featuring Joaquin Phoenix

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

Arts and Entertainment
There are no plans to replace R Kelly at the event

Arts and Entertainment
Carmichael- Lady Edith Crawley</strong></p>
<p>Carmichael currently stars as Sonya in the West End production of
Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville Theatre. She made headlines this autumn
when Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Hall shouted at her in a
half-sleepy state during her performance. </p>
<p>Carmichael made another appearance on the stage in 2011, playing
two characters in David Hare’s <em>Plent</em>y
at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. </p>
<p>Away from the stage she starred as receptionist Sal in the 2011
film <em>Tinker Tailor Solider Spy</em>. </p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana admits she's

Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star