STORYBOARD 1 THE OSCARS everything you need to know about a story you m eant to read

the headlines; the key players; what the pundits say; what you should say
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The Independent Culture
"Britons make history with Oscar triumphs," said the Independent, saluting the small but significant showing by the home team. "Night of history and heartache," sang The Daily Telegraph. The Times, chuffed that yet another English classic scooped awards, got behind our Em, who accepted her second Oscar "with thanks to Austen". The Guardian pondered the potentialities for the Scottish leisure industry as it "waits to trade on Oscar's bounty".

Bloodthirsty costume carve-'em-up Braveheart nabbed five with Mel Gibson picking up two as producer and director, while acting honours went to Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas and Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking. Supporting winners were Mira Sorvino for Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite, and Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects. Animator Nick Park notched up his third, for Wallace and Gromit-starrer A Close Shave.

"A bad, boring year for the Oscars," declared The Independent, but "nothing but justice" in the acting departments. Most pundits focused on the presentation, which was uncharacteristically bland. "Tom Hanks, usually so reliably nonsensical, was disappointingly comprehensible," carped The Guardian. The Times found it "grossly patronising" to "to clap someone for being paralysed or black" (appearances by Christopher Reeve and Sidney Poitier).

"Darling, Braveheart only won by inducing feelings of nostalgia for historical epics but this year's ceremony is emblematic of a distinct shift from the major studios and star names to a younger, more innovative breed of film-makers and performers."

And what you shouldn't:

"The British are coming!"

"What a shame Jarvis Cocker couldn't make it"

"What a moving performance from Christopher Reeve."

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