Philip Seymour Hoffman, Martin McDonagh Win Academy Awards; "Crash" Named Best Film | Playbill

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News Philip Seymour Hoffman, Martin McDonagh Win Academy Awards; "Crash" Named Best Film Stage and screen star Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose Broadway credits include the revivals of True West and Long Day's Journey Into Night, won a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Oscar March 5 for his performance as Truman Capote in Capote. Playwright Martin McDonough (The Pillowman, The Beauty Queen of Leenane) also won for his live action short file, "Six Shooter."
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote Photo by 2005 Sony Picture Classics

Hoffman triumphed over Heath Ledger ("Brokeback Mountain"), Terrence Howard ("Hustle and Flow"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Walk the Line") and stage regular David Strathairn ("Good Night, and Good Luck".) The "Capote" actor did not make good on a teenage bet to bark his acceptance speech.

Playwright Martin McDonagh, whose The Lieutenant of Inishmore is currently playing the Atlantic Theater Company, won for Best Live Action Short Film for "Six Shooter," which he wrote and directed. Other shorts nominated include "The Runaway," "Cashback," "The Last Farm" and "Our Time Is Up."

Broadway and Off-Broadway director Eric Simonson (String of Pearls, The Song of Jacob Zulu), an ensemble member at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, was an Oscar winner for his short documentary "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin." (He is the brother of editor Robert Simonson.)

The 78th Annual Academy Awards, which were presented live from the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Center, named "Crash" as Best Film. Jon Stewart, who anchors Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," hosted.

Felicity Huffman, the former stage actress now best known for her work on the hit ABC series “Desperate Housewives,” lost the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Oscar to Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon won for her work as June Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line." Other contenders in that field included stage and screen veteran Judi Dench (“Mrs. Henderson Presents”), Keira Knightley (“Pride & Prejudice”) and Charlize Theron (“North Country”). Frances McDormand, whose Broadway credits include Awake and Sing! and A Streetcar Named Desire, lost in the category of the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role field for her work in “North Country” to Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”). Others in that field included Amy Adams (“Junebug”), Catherine Keener (“Capote”), and Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain”).

George Clooney (“Syriana”) won in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, besting theatre regular Paul Giamatti for his performance in “Cinderella Man.” His competitors included Matt Dillon (“Crash”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”) and William Hurt (“A History of Violence”).

Actor-turned-screenwriter Dan Futterman, who has been seen on Broadway in Angels in America and Off-Broadway in A Fair Country and Further Than the Furthest Thing, was a nominee for "Capote" but lost the Best Adapted Screenplay award to Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana (“Brokeback Mountain”). Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Eric Roth were also nominated in that field for the adapted screenplay for “Munich.” Other competitors in that field included Jeffrey Caine (“The Constant Gardener”) and Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”).

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