75th Academy Awards

75th Academy Awards

Official poster
Date March 23, 2003
Site Kodak Theatre
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted by Steve Martin
Preshow host(s) Jann Carl
Chris Connelly
Jim Moret
Shaun Robinson[1]
Produced by Gil Cates
Directed by Louis J. Horvitz
Best Picture Chicago
Most awards Chicago (6)
Most nominations Chicago (13)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 30 minutes[2]
Ratings 33.04 million
20.58% (Nielsen ratings)

The 75th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) took place on March 23, 2003, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories honoring films released in 2002. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and was directed by Louis J. Horvitz.[3] Actor Steve Martin hosted for the second time, having previously presided over the 73rd ceremony held in 2001.[4] Three weeks earlier in a ceremony at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California held on March 1, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Kate Hudson.[5]

Chicago won six awards including Best Picture.[6][7] Other winners included The Pianist with three awards, Frida and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with two, and Adaptation, Bowling for Columbine, The ChubbChubbs!, 8 Mile, The Hours, Nowhere in Africa, Road to Perdition, Spirited Away, Talk to Her, This Charming Man, and Twin Towers with one. The telecast garnered about 33 million viewers in the United States, making it the least watched and lowest rated televised Oscar ceremony at the time.

Winners and nominees

The nominees for the 75th Academy Awards were announced on February 11, 2003, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Frank Pierson, president of the Academy, and actress Marisa Tomei.[8] Chicago received the most nominations with thirteen. It was the eighth film to receive that many nominations.[9] Gangs of New York came in second with ten.[10]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 23, 2003.[11] Chicago became the first musical film to win Best Picture since 1968's Oliver![12] At age 29, Adrien Brody was the youngest person to win Best Actor.[13] With her 13th nomination, Meryl Streep became the most nominated actor in Oscar history.[14] Meanwhile, Best Actor nominee Jack Nicholson earned his 12th nomination, extending his record as the most nominated male performer.[15] Julianne Moore was the ninth performer to earn two acting nominations in the same year.[16] "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile became the first rap song to win the Best Original Song award.[17]


Portrait of a man in his late seventies wearing a black suite over a white shirt and a black tie.
Roman Polanski, Best Director winner
Upper torso of a Caucasian male wearing a tuxedo.
Adrien Brody, Best Actor winner
A photo of a woman smiling. She is wearing a black dress.
Nicole Kidman, Best Actress winner
A man in his late fifties is standing in front of a white wall printed with several logos scattered throughout. He is wearing a black fleece jacket over an orange T-shirt.
Chris Cooper, Best Supporting Actor winner
A photo of a black haired woman wearing earrings and a black dress.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Supporting Actress winner
A Japanese man with white facial hair is holding a microphone. He is dressed in a white tuxedo.
Hayao Miyazaki, Best Animated Feature winner
A man standing in front of a white wall is wearing a beige baseball cap over his head. He is also dressed in a black T-shirt with yellow lettering underneath a black hooded jacket with white drawstrings.
Michael Moore, Best Documentary Feature co-winner
Photo of Bill Guttentag at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
Bill Guttentag, Best Documentary Short Subject winner
Photo of Elliott Goldenthal in 2006.
Elliot Goldenthal, Best Original Score winner

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (double-dagger).[18]

Academy Honorary Award

Multiple nominations and awards

The following 13 films received multiple nominations:

Nominations Film
Gangs of New York
The Hours
The Pianist
6 Frida
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Road to Perdition
4 Adaptation.
Far From Heaven
2 Talk to Her
About Schmidt
Catch Me If You Can

The following four films received multiple awards:

Awards Film
The Pianist
2 Frida
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Presenters and performers

The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers.[20]


Names(s) Role
Ross, NeilNeil Ross
Randy Thomas
Announcers for the 75th annual Academy Awards
Diaz, CameronCameron Diaz Presenter of the award for Best Animated Feature
Reeves, KeanuKeanu Reeves Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects
Connelly, JenniferJennifer Connelly Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Lopez, JenniferJennifer Lopez Presenter of the award for Best Art Direction
Travolta, JohnJohn Travolta Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "I Move On"
Garner, JenniferJennifer Garner
Mickey Mouse
Presenters of the award for Best Animated Short
Garner, JenniferJennifer Garner Presenter of the award for Best Live Action Short
Sorvino, MiraMira Sorvino Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Vardalos, NiaNia Vardalos Presenter of the award for Best Makeup
Connery, SeanSean Connery Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Fraser, BrendanBrendan Fraser Presenter of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on the Best Picture segment
Hudson, KateKate Hudson Presenter of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gordon E. Sawyer Award
Zellweger, RenéeRenée Zellweger Presenter of the award for Best Original Score
Andrews, JulieJulie Andrews Presenter of the montage highlighting past Academy Award telecast musical numbers
Bernal, Gael GarcíaGael García Bernal Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "Burn it Blue"
Hayek, SalmaSalma Hayek Presenter of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Moore, JulianneJulianne Moore Presenter of the awards for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing
McConaughey, MatthewMatthew McConaughey Presenter of the film Gangs of New York on the Best Picture segment
Lane, DianeDiane Lane Presenter of the award for Best Documentary Feature
Valenti, JackJack Valenti Presenter of the award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Roberts, JuliaJulia Roberts Presenter of the award for Best Cinematography
Bates, KathyKathy Bates Presenter of the montage interviewing previous acting Oscar winners
Farrell, ColinColin Farrell Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "The Hands That Built America"
Davis, GeenaGeena Davis Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Sarandon, SusanSusan Sarandon Presenter of the In Memoriam Tribute
Swank, HilaryHilary Swank Presenter of the film The Hours on the Best Picture segment
Berry, HalleHalle Berry Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Streisand, BarbraBarbra Streisand Presenter of the award for Best Original Song
Streep, MerylMeryl Streep Presenter of the Academy Honorary Award to Peter O'Toole
Hoffman, DustinDustin Hoffman Presenter of the film The Pianist on the Best Picture segment
Washington, DenzelDenzel Washington Presenter of the award for Best Actress
de Havilland, OliviaOlivia de Havilland Presenter of the Oscar Family Album segment
Gere, RichardRichard Gere Presenter of the film Chicago on the Best Picture segment
Harden, Marcia GayMarcia Gay Harden Presenter of the award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Affleck, BenBen Affleck Presenter of the award for Best Original Screenplay
Ford, HarrisonHarrison Ford Presenter of the award for Best Director
Douglas, KirkKirk Douglas
Michael Douglas
Presenters of the award for Best Picture


Name(s) Role Performed
Conti, BillBill Conti Musical arranger
Queen Latifah, Queen Latifah
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Performers "I Move On" from Chicago
Simon, PaulPaul Simon Performer "Father and Daughter" from The Wild Thornberrys Movie
Downs, LilaLila Downs
Caetano Veloso
Performers "Burn It Blue" from Frida
U2, U2 Performers "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York

Ceremony information

A man in his middle sixties is standing up against a wall. He wears a suit and glasses.
Steve Martin hosted the 75th Academy Awards

In November 2002, the Academy hired veteran Oscar telecast producer Gil Cates to oversee the telecast for the eleventh time.[21] "With ten shows under his belt, no other living producer even comes close to the depth of his experience," said AMPAS president Frank Pierson in a press release announcing the selection. "Gil practically invented the awards show as a stylistic genre. We're privileged to have him present a very special event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Oscars."[22] A few days later, actor and comedian Steve Martin was chosen to emcee the upcoming telecast. Cates explained his reason to bring back the veteran comedian saying, "A host who's witty, clever, sharp, intelligent, quick on his feet and always on top of the unfolding action. Wait, I've forgotten something. Oh yeah, and outrageously funny."[23] According to the article published in the Los Angeles Times, Cates approached actor and veteran Oscar host Billy Crystal for emceeing duties. However, as time passed and Crystal was still undecided regarding the job, Cates offered the hosting role to Martin.[24] In a statement, Martin expressed that he was honored to be selected to emcee the telecast joking, "I'm very pleased to be hosting the Oscars again, because fear and nausea always make me lose weight."[25] In addition, this was the first Oscar ceremony broadcast in high-definition.[26]

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Academy Awards, 59 actors who have received both competitive and honorary awards appeared seated onstage together during a segment called Oscar's Family Album.[27] Each former winner was acknowledged by announcer Neil Ross and Randy Thomas with the films he or she won for. At the end of the segment newly minted winners Adrien Brody, Chris Cooper, Nicole Kidman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Honorary Oscar recipient Peter O'Toole, joined them.[28]

Furthermore, the American-led invasion of Iraq affected the telecast and its surrounding events. Hours after news that the war had commenced several actors such as Cate Blanchett, Jim Carrey, and Will Smith resigned from their roles as presenters citing safety concerns and respect for military families.[29] Despite pleas from broadcaster ABC to postpone the proceedings up to a week, AMPAS president Pierson and ceremony producer Cates refused to delay the gala to a different date citing unavailability of the Kodak Theatre during that time.[30][31] Pierson also stated that moving the festivities to a different venue would be too expensive for the Academy.[32] However, they also announced that the red carpet festivities would be severely curtailed.[33] The bleacher seats situated along Hollywood Boulevard would also be dismantled, and ticket holders for those seats would receive rain checks that were good toward next year's event.[34][35] Periodically during commercial breaks, ABC News anchor and journalist Peter Jennings gave news brief updates regarding the events happening overseas.[36]

Box office performance of nominated films

At the time of the nominations announcement on February 11, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $486 million, with an average of $97.3 million per film.[37] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $321 million in domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Gangs of New York ($70.1 million), Chicago ($64.5 million), The Hours ($21.8 million), and finally The Pianist ($9.1 million).[37]

Of the top 50 grossing movies of the year, 47 nominations went to 14 films on the list. Only The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2nd), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (5th), Ice Age (9th), Catch Me If You Can (11th), Lilo & Stitch (13th), Road to Perdition (23rd), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (35th), Gangs of New York (37th), and Chicago (41st) were nominated for Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, or any of the directing, acting, or screenwriting awards.[38] The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Spider-Man (1st), Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (3rd), Minority Report (16th), 8 Mile (22nd), and The Time Machine (44th).[38]

Bowling for Columbine acceptance speech

Shortly after winning the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, Bowling for Columbine director Michael Moore spoke out against U.S. President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. He further criticized the president stating, "We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect fictitious presidents. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."[39] The speech was received with a mix of boos, applause, and standing ovations from the audience at the theater,[40] Moments after the speech concluded, in order to lighten the mood, host Martin joked, "The Teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo."[41]

Critical reviews

The show received a positive reception from most media publications. Television critic Robert Bianco of USA Today commended Martin's hosting performance writing that, "Luckily for viewers, Martin has two other qualities that are essential to a good Academy Awards host: wit and insider status. He used both to his and our advantage, winning the crowd's confidence and then gleefully mocking them all night." He also noted that the political remarks from presenters and speeches "a touch of tension to what is so often a dull evening."[42] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette television columnist Rob Owen raved that "Martin radiates class and wit, something often lacking in awards show hosts. From jokes about the allegedly scaled-down ceremony to reaction to his return to the Oscar stage, Martin entertained consistently." He also quipped that even the segments honoring Oscar history "seemed tighter and less tedious."[43] Tom Shales of The Washington Post gave high marks to Martin commenting, "Helping immeasurably to make it a great show was Steve Martin, who served as host for the second time and triumphed as a welcome sardonic voice amid all the usual piousness and self-adulation." He also commented that despite the toned-down atmosphere, the speeches and tributes provided several heartfelt and memorable moments desperately needed in uncertain times.[44]

Some media outlets were more critical of the show. Television critic Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly bemoaned, "A wonderful, intelligent Oscar host two years ago, Martin on this night looked as though he'd thrown in the towel backstage and let comedy writer Bruce Vilanch come up with a batch of gormless ain't-Hollywood-goofy lines to absolve him of responsibility for being hilarious."[45] Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Johnson lamented, "Martin in his second turn hosting Hollywood's big night was, especially in the early going, slightly off-key, his attempt to keep a jovial face on things understandable but eventually coming to seem a touch disrespectful." He went on to say, "Except for the Moore line, he simply was not able to perform a perhaps impossible task, putting people at ease about attending, or watching, a party as a war raged, visible to anyone who flipped over to CNN."[46] David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun quipped, "As the rest of the world saw televised images of captives and corpses identified as American soldiers, we watched host Steve Martin and a theater full of celebrities celebrating their self importance. Try as they might last night in the capital of Fantasy Land to create a program that would transport us beyond current events, they never came close." He also complained that many of the evening's comments and jokes seemed tone deaf and disrespectful in light of the war.[47]

Ratings and reception

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 33.04 million people over its length, which was a 21% decrease from the previous year's ceremony.[48] An estimated 62.55 million total viewers watched all or part of the awards.[49] The show also earned lower Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 20.58% of households watching over a 40.34 share.[50] In addition, it garnered a lower 1849 demo rating with a 12.55 rating over a 35.37 share among viewers in that demographic.[50] Many media outlets observed that cable news coverage of the Iraq war diverted home viewers' attention from the ceremony and therefore contributed to the lower ratings.[51] To date, it earned the lowest viewership for an Academy Award telecast since figures were compiled beginning with the 46th ceremony in 1974 and the lowest ratings for any broadcast since Nielsen Media Research kept track of such data since the 33rd ceremony in 1961.[52]

In July 2003, the ceremony presentation received eight nominations at the 55th Primetime Emmys.[53] Two months later, the ceremony won three of those nominations for Outstanding Art Direction For A Variety Or Music Program (Roy Christopher), Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-camera) for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (Robert Barnhart, Robert A. Dickinson, Andy O'Reilly), and Outstanding Music Direction (Bill Conti).[54]

In Memoriam

The annual In Memoriam tribute, presented by actress Susan Sarandon, honored the following people.[55]

See also


  1. "Oscar Watch: Jann Carl, Chris Connelly, Jim Morel, Shaun Robinson". Variety. PMC. February 6, 2003. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  2. Isherwood, Charles (March 23, 2003). "Review: '75th Annual Academy Awards'". Variety. PMC. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  3. "Oscar watch: Horvitz to direct kudocast". Variety. PMC. November 24, 2002. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  4. Feiwell, Jill (November 7, 2002). "Oscar taps old pal Martin". Variety. PMC. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  5. "Oscar Watch: Kate Hudson". Variety. PMC. February 18, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  6. Elliott, David (March 24, 2003). "'Chicago's' Best". San Diego Union-Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  7. Rickey, Carrie (March 24, 2003). "'Chicago' wins big; Polanski surprises The musical won six awards, including best picture. "The Pianist" won three, including best director. War casts shadow on Oscars Actor Actress Supporting Actor Honorary Supporting Actress". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  8. "Oscar Watch: Marisa Tomei". Variety. PMC. February 5, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  9. Osborne 2013, p. 423
  10. Ross, Bob (February 12, 2003). "And This Year's Nominees Are...". The Tampa Tribune. Tampa Media Group, Inc.
  11. Persall, Steve (March 24, 2003). "A night filled with surprise, emotion". Tampa Bay Times. Times Publishing Company. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  12. "Chicago celebrates at Oscars". BBC News. BBC. March 24, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  13. Wloszczyna, Susan (March 30, 2003). "A kiss isn't just a kiss". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  14. Welkos, Robert W. (February 12, 2003). "The Harveys". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  15. Lyman, Rick (February 12, 2003). "'Chicago' Tops Oscar Nominees; Miramax Lifted Into Front Ranks Among Studios". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  16. Karger, Dave (February 11, 2003). "Moore or Less". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  17. Vaziri, Aidin (February 26, 2012). "Oscar's 9 best original song winners". The San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  18. "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  19. Harvey, Dennis (March 9, 2003). "Elegant Madmen". Variety. PMC. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  20. "75th Academy Awards Presenter and Performers". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Archived from the original on March 8, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  21. Archerd, Army (November 4, 2002). "Cates to Lead Oscarcast". Variety. PMC. p. 2.
  22. "Gil Cates to Produce 75th Anniversary Oscar® Telecast". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. November 4, 2004. Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  23. "Steve Martin to host 75th Oscars". BBC News. BBC. November 7, 2002. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  24. Welkos, Robert W. (November 8, 2002). "It's Martin for Oscars 2003". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  25. Errico, Marcus (November 7, 2002). "Martin Meets Oscar Again". E!. NBCUniversal. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  26. Taub, Eric (March 31, 2003). "Technology: HDTV's Acceptance Picks Up Pace As Prices Drop and Networks Sign On". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  27. Pond 2005, p. 347
  28. Flaningan, Kathy (March 24, 2003). "Glitz prevails". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Journal Communications. p. 1E.
  29. Pond 2005, p. 331
  30. Pond 2005, p. 328
  31. Welkos, Robert W.; Horn, John (March 23, 2003). "Oscar Gets Ready for a Difficult Role on Wartime Stage". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  32. Pond 2005, p. 329
  33. Horn, John; Piccalo, Gina; Quintanilla, Michael (March 19, 2003). "Oscar's Red Carpet Fades to Black; Next Question, Will Show Go On?". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  34. Paul, Max (February 28, 2004). "Not only actors work hard to get to Oscars". NBC News. NBCUniversal. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  35. Oakes, Keilly (February 28, 2004). "Hollywood Gears Up for Oscar Party". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  36. Pond 2005, p. 344
  37. 1 2 "2002 Academy Award Nominations and Winner for Best Picture". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  38. 1 2 "2002 Domestic Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  39. Pond 2005, p. 345
  40. Effron, Eric (March 30, 2003). "The World: Acting Out; At the Oscars, a Cause and Effect". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  41. Jicha, Tom (March 24, 2003). "A Night Rules By Decorum. Mostly". Sun-Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  42. Bianco, Robert (March 24, 2003). "A jolly good show — for a host of reasons". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  43. Owen, Rob. "Review: Host Martin makes Oscars a great escape from grim reality". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Crain Communications. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  44. Shales, Tom (March 24, 2003). "This Year, The Drama Goes to Oscar". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company.
  45. Tucker, Ken (April 4, 2014). "The Show". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  46. Johnson, Steve (March 24, 2003). "Telecast stumbles trying to find footing during wartime". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  47. Zurawik, David (March 24, 2003). "A Muted Celebration". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  48. Levin, Gary (March 25, 2003). "War coverage steals some of Academy Awards' thunder". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  49. Ryan, Joal (March 25, 2003). "Ratings Bomb as War Rages". E!. NBCUniversal. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  50. 1 2 "Academy Awards ratings" (PDF). Television Bureau of Advertising. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  51. Johnson, Allan (March 25, 2003). "Show goes on, but ABC sees its lowest-ever Oscars rating". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  52. Gorman, Bill (March 8, 2010). "Academy Awards Averages 41.3 Million Viewers; Most Since 2005". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  53. "Primetime Emmy Award database". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. ATAS. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  54. Braxton, Greg (September 16, 2003). "HBO, NBC Are Big Winners in First Wave of Emmys". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  55. Pond 2005, p. 346


  • Osborne, Robert (2013). 85 Years of the Oscar: The Complete History of the Academy Awards. New York, United States: Abbeville Publishing Group. ISBN 0-7892-1142-4. 
  • Pond, Steve (2005), The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards, New York, United States: Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-21193-3. 

External links

Official websites
News resources
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