Oscar's Long Story

As Oscar host Billy Crystal warned everybody during his opening musical parody at last night’s ceremony: “Tonight, tonight, there’ll be no dance tonight, and yet this show will still run too long.” How right he was. The 72nd annual Academy Awards clocked in at a reportedly record four hours and eight minutes, topping even last year’s overlong running time. Even so, there wasn’t time for everything. “I have to say something that I didn’t say while I was up there,” best actress winnerHilary Swank, 25, told the press after she picked up her Oscar for “Boys Don’t Cry.” “I have to thank my husband, Chad Lowe.” Best actor Kevin Spacey (for “American Beauty”), 40, said backstage that his win stunned him so that “I was actually experiencing an aneurysm. I forgot my entire speech.” “Beauty” won five Oscars, including best picture, while “The Matrix” scored four, all in technical categories. Michael Caine, 67, received the evening’s first standing ovation, when he won the best supporting actor award for “The Cider House Rules.” Afterward, he told reporters that the Oscar represented the fact that he’s “a survivor.”

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