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The 71st Annual Academy Awards ®22 Mar 1999
HOLLYWOOD, CA - (March 22) It was billed as the last Academy Awards ceremony of the century (although some would say not until the year 2000). It was also the longest in history.
There were plenty of surprises this year, along with all the speculation. The top two issues this year were the Lifetime Achievement Oscar given to Elia Kazan, and what would Jim Carrey say when he came on stage to present the Oscar for Best Film Editing.
Carreyholics were upset last February as Jim Carrey was not among those listed for a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in "The Truman Show." Fans (and even some who are not) felt that Carrey was snubbed by the Academy. "The Truman Show" itself did earn three Oscar nominations, including Best Director (Peter Weir), Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris) and Best Original Screenplay (Andrew Niccol) - none of which took home the coveted statuette.
Carrey came out and immediately started talking about his not being nominated. He dramatically explained that it wasn't winning, it was getting nominated that was the most important, and abruptly acted like he broke down and cried. He then switched tact, and joyously made a mention of Best Actor nominee Roberto Benigni ("Life Is Beautiful") a la Benigni's excitable awards acceptance style. As he opened the envelope, Carrey acted like he suffered a severe paper-cut, and said in an annoyed tone of voice, "That's just perfect."
Carreyholics around the world (who watched Carrey's speech) agree that it was a tactful and classy method of conveying - and calming - not only their own disdain, but of everyone who was upset.
Oh, and Jim Carrey, wearing an all-black tuxedo ensemble by Donna Karan, presented in style.
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen."
"I'm here tonight to present the Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing. (pause) That's… all I'm here to do. (pause) I have nothing else to worry about. I can just… show up and enjoy the parties."
(Exaggerated, fake-happy sigh with appropriate expression.)
(He starts to break down and cry.)
(sniffles) "Um, I'm sorry… (sniffles) And… Um… I didn't expect that to happen. (pause) Um… Winning the Oscar is not the most important thing in the world… It's an honor just to be no-… Oh, God!"
(He completely breaks down and starts to bawl.)
"It's my own fault, I screwed it up… (cries a bit) About a month ago… (pauses to collect himself and sniffles) I would have thought that voting for myself was gonna make the difference, but, y'know… (pause) You really gotta get out there and talk to people…"
(He abruptly changes tact, and is now happy and energetic.)
"Anyway, who cares? (a la Roberto Benigni) I have been beaten by Roberto Benigni! He has jumped into my ocean! (laughing and returning to himself) Ah… Woo! Alright, man."
[At this point, Jim reads the scripted explanation of film editing, as well as the nominees.]
"And the winner is…"
(He starts to open the envelope's seal. He suddenly and extravagantly acts as if he's suffered a very nasty paper-cut on his thumb.)
"Ah! Geeze! (grimacing, shakes out his hand, then is annoyed) That's just perfect!"
[Jim laughs again, then announces the winner and presents the Oscar.]
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