78th Academy Awards

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78th Academy Awards
Official poster promoting the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Official poster
Date March 5, 2006
Site Kodak Theatre
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted by Jon Stewart
Preshow hosts Billy Bush
Chris Connelly
Cynthia Garrett
Vanessa Minnillo[1]
Produced by Gil Cates
Directed by Louis J. Horvitz
Best Picture Crash
Most awards Brokeback Mountain, Crash, King Kong, and Memoirs of a Geisha (3)
Most nominations Brokeback Mountain (8)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 33 minutes[2]
Ratings 38.94 million
23.0% (Nielsen ratings)

The 78th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), took place on March 5, 2006, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. EST. The ceremony was scheduled one week later than usual to avoid conflicting with the 2006 Winter Olympics.[3] During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories honoring films released in 2005. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and directed by Louis J. Horvitz.[4][5] Actor Jon Stewart hosted the show for the first time.[6] Two weeks earlier in a ceremony at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California held on February 18, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Rachel McAdams.[7]

Crash won three awards including Academy Award for Best Picture.[8] Other winners included Brokeback Mountain, King Kong, and Memoirs of a Geisha also with three awards apiece, and Capote, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Constant Gardener, Hustle and Flow, March of the Penguins, The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin, Six Shooter, Syriana, Tsotsi, Walk the Line, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit with one each. The telecast garnered nearly 39 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees

The nominees for the 78th Academy Awards were announced on January 31, 2006, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters by Sid Ganis, president of the Academy, and actress Mira Sorvino.[9] Brokeback Mountain earned the most nominations with eight total; Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Memoirs of a Geisha tied for second with six nominations each.[10] All five Best Picture nominees received corresponding Best Director nominations (the fourth occurrence in Oscar history since the Best Picture nominees roster was limited to five films).[11]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 5, 2006.[12] Several notable achievements by multiple individuals and films occurred during the ceremony. Crash was the first Best Picture winner since 1976's Rocky to win only three Oscars.[13] Best Director winner Ang Lee became the first non-Caucasian winner of that category.[14] For this first time since the 34th ceremony held in 1962, all four acting winners were first-time nominees.[15][16] Best Supporting Actor winner George Clooney was the fifth person to receive acting, directing, and screenwriting nominations in the same year and the first person to achieve this feat for two different films.[17] By virtue of his nominations for both Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich, composer John Williams earned a total of 45 nominations tying him with Alfred Newman as the second most nominated individual in Oscar history.[a][18] "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" became the second rap song to win Best Original Song and the first such song to be performed at an Oscars ceremony.[19]


Photo of Ang Lee at the 66th Venice Film Festival in 2009.
Ang Lee, Best Director winner
Photo of Philip Seymour Hoffman at a Hudson Union Society event in September 2010.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Actor winner
Photo of Reese Witherspoon at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Reese Witherspoon, Best Actress winner
Photo of George Clooney at the premiere of the film The Men Who Stare at Goats in 2009.
George Clooney, Best Supporting Actor winner
Photo of Rachel Weisz attending the Deauville American Film Festival in 2012.
Rachel Weisz, Best Supporting Actress winner
Photo of Paul Haggis at the Canadian Film Centre in 2013.
Paul Haggis, Best Original Screenplay co-winner
A photo of Nick Park at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2007.
Nick Park, Best Animated Feature winner
Photo of Gavin Hood at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Gavin Hood, Best Foreign Language Film winner
Photo of Martin McDonagh attending the premiere of the film Seven Psychopaths at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
Martin McDonagh, Best Live Action Short Film winner
Photo of Richard Taylor in 2014.
Richard Taylor, Best Visual Effects co-winner

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (double-dagger).[20]

Academy Honorary Award

  • Robert Altman — In recognition of a career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike.[21]

Multiple nominations and awards

Presenters and performers

The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers.[22][23][24]


Name(s) Role
Kane, TomTom Kane[25] Announcer for the 78th annual Academy Awards
Kidman, NicoleNicole Kidman Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Stiller, BenBen Stiller Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects
Witherspoon, ReeseReese Witherspoon Presenter of the award for Best Animated Feature
Watts, NaomiNaomi Watts Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "Travelin' Thru"
Wilson, LukeLuke Wilson
Owen Wilson
Presenters of the award for Best Live Action Short Film
Chicken Little Chicken Little (voiced by Zach Braff)
Abby Mallard (voiced by Joan Cusack)
Presenters of the award for Best Animated Short Film
Aniston, JenniferJennifer Aniston Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Crowe, RussellRussell Crowe Presenter of the biographical films montage
Carell, SteveSteve Carell
Will Ferrell
Presenters of the award for Best Makeup
McAdams, RachelRachel McAdams Presenter of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gordon E. Sawyer Award
Freeman, MorganMorgan Freeman Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Bacall, LaurenLauren Bacall Presenter of the film noir montage
Howard, TerrenceTerrence Howard Presenter of the award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Theron, CharlizeCharlize Theron Presented the Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Lopez, JenniferJennifer Lopez Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "In the Deep"
Bullock, SandraSandra Bullock
Keanu Reeves
Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction
Jackson, Samuel L.Samuel L. Jackson Presenter of the political films montage
Ganis, SidSid Ganis (AMPAS president) Special presentation regarding activities funded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Hayek, SalmaSalma Hayek Introducer of the special instrumental solo performance to the tune of Best Original Score nominees
Presenter of the award for Best Original Score
Gyllenhaal, JakeJake Gyllenhaal Presenter of the epic films montage
Alba, JessicaJessica Alba
Eric Bana
Presenters of the award for Best Sound Mixing
Streep, MerylMeryl Streep
Lily Tomlin
Presenters of the Academy Honorary Award to Robert Altman
Ludacris, Ludacris Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"
Latifah, QueenQueen Latifah Presenter of the award for Best Original Song
Garner, JenniferJennifer Garner Presenter of the award for Best Sound Editing
Clooney, GeorgeGeorge Clooney Presenter of the In Memoriam tribute
Smith, WillWill Smith Presenter of the award for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Zhang, ZiyiZiyi Zhang Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Swank, HilaryHilary Swank Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Travolta, JohnJohn Travolta Presenter of the award for Best Cinematography
Foxx, JamieJamie Foxx Presenter of the award for Best Actress
Hoffman, DustinDustin Hoffman Presenter of the award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Thurman, UmaUma Thurman Presenter of the award for Best Original Screenplay
Hanks, TomTom Hanks Presenter of the award for Best Director
Nicholson, JackJack Nicholson Presenter of the award for Best Picture


Name(s) Role Performed
Conti, BillBill Conti Musical arranger
Parton, DollyDolly Parton Performer "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica
York, KathleenKathleen York Performer "In the Deep" from Crash
Perlman, ItzhakItzhak Perlman Performer Performed musical selections for Best Original Score nominees
Three 6 Mafia, Three 6 Mafia
Taraji P. Henson
Performers "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle and Flow

Ceremony information

Photo of Jon Stewart in 2008.
Jon Stewart hosted the 78th Academy Awards.

Despite the negative reception from the preceding year's ceremony, the Academy rehired Gilbert Cates to oversee production of the awards gala.[4] However, in an article published in The New York Times, it was stated that 2005 host Chris Rock would not return to host the show.[26] According to a statement released by his publicist, "He didn't want to do it in perpetuity, He'd like to do it again down the road."[26] Furthermore, many media outlets speculated that several AMPAS members felt uncomfortable with Rock's disparaging comments about Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Tobey Maguire.[27][28] Initially, Cates sought actor and veteran Oscar host Billy Crystal to host the ceremony again. However, Crystal declined the offer citing his commitment to his one-man comedy show 700 Sundays.[29][30]

In January 2006, Cates announced that actor, comedian, and talk show host Jon Stewart, who had previously hosted two consecutive Grammy Awards ceremonies in 2001 and 2002, was chosen as host of the 2006 telecast.[31] Cates explained the decision to hire him saying, "My wife and I watch him every night. Jon is the epitome of a perfect host — smart, engaging, irreverent and funny."[32] In a statement, Stewart expressed that he was honored to be selected to emcee the program, jokingly adding, "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."[33]

Several other people and companies participated in the production of the ceremony. Bill Conti served as musical supervisor for the telecast.[34] Media firm The Ant Farm produced a thirty-second trailer promoting the broadcast featuring clips highlighting past Oscar winners to the tune of the song "Our Lives" by The Calling.[35] Previous Oscar hosts such as Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin, and actors Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Halle Berry appeared in an opening comedic sketch.[36] Actor Tom Hanks participated in a pre-taped comedic sketch lampooning Oscar speeches.[37] Stephen Colbert narrated two different mock attack ads lampooning both the intense campaigning and lobbying during Oscar season put forth by film studios and political advertising during elections.[38] Violinist Itzhak Perlman performed excerpts from the five nominees for Best Original Score.[39]

Box office performance of nominated films

When the nominations were announced on January 31, the field of major nominees favored independent, low-budget films over blockbusters.[40][41] The combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees when the Oscars were announced was $186 million with an average gross of $37.3 million per film.[42] Crash was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $53.4 million in domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Brokeback Mountain ($51.7 million), Munich ($40.8 million), Good Night and Good Luck ($25.2 million), and finally Capote ($15.4 million).[42]

Of the top 50 grossing movies of the year, 35 nominations went to 13 films on the list. Only Walk the Line (19th), Cinderella Man (41st), Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (45th), and Crash (48th) were nominated for Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, or any of the directing, acting, or screenwriting.[43] The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (1st), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2nd), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (3rd), War of the Worlds (4th), King Kong (5th), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (7th), Batman Begins (8th), March of the Penguins, (26th), and Memoirs of a Geisha (47th).[43]

Critical reviews

Some media outlets received the broadcast positively St. Louis Post-Dispatch television critic Gail Pennington praised Stewart's performance as host writing that he "did the Oscars proud Sunday night, turning in a four-star hosting performance that unfortunately made the rest of the show seem sluggish by comparison."[44] Film critic Roger Ebert said that Stewart was "on target, topical and funny," and added, "He was as relaxed, amusing and at home as Johnny Carson."[45] Columnist Ray Richmond of The Hollywood Reporter commented, "He seemed at times nervous and self-conscious, but on the whole, Stewart delivered with just the right balance of reverence and smugness."[46]

Others media publications were more critical of the show. Television critic Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that Stewart was more "amusing than funny". He added, "Many of his jokes fell flat with the stars in the Kodak Theatre, and his tendency to bow down before celebrities quickly grew tiresome."[47] Tom Shales from The Washington Post commented, "It's hard to believe that professional entertainers could have put together a show less entertaining than this year's Oscars, hosted with a smug humorlessness by comic Jon Stewart, a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by." Moreover, he derided the "piles and piles and miles and miles of clips from films present and past" writing that it "squandered the visual luster" of the ceremony.[48] Associated Press television critic Frazier Moore remarked, "Stewart, usually a very funny guy, displayed a lack of beginner's luck as first-time host...His usually impeccable blend of puckishness and self-effacement fell flat in the service of Oscar." He also criticized the decision to play music over the winner's acceptance speeches calling it "distracting and obnoxious."[49]

Ratings and reception

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 38.94 million people over its length, which was a 8% decrease from the previous year's ceremony.[50] Additionally, the show earned lower Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 23.0% of households watching over a 35 share.[51] Furthermore, it garnered a lower 18–49 demo rating with a 13.9 rating among viewers in that demographic.[51]

In July 2006, the ceremony presentation received nine nominations at the 58th Primetime Emmys.[52] The following month, the ceremony won four of those nominations for Outstanding Art Direction (Roy Christopher and Jeff Richman), Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program (Louis J. Horvitz), Outstanding Main Title Design (Renato Grgic, Alen Petkovic, Kristijan Petrovic, and Jon Teschner), and Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety, Music, or Animation Series or Special (Patrick Baltzell, Robert Douglass, Edward J. Greene, Jamie Santos, and Tom Vicari).[53]

In Memoriam

The annual In Memoriam tribute was presented by actor George Clooney. The montage featured an excerpt of the theme from Now, Voyager composed by Max Steiner.[54]

See also


a^ : Walt Disney has the most Oscar nominations for any individual with 64.[18]
b^ : Best Foreign Language Film nominee Paradise Now was initially nominated as a submission from Palestine.[55] However, following protests from pro-Israeli groups in the United States, the Academy decided to designate it as a submission from the Palestinian Authority, a move that was decried by the film's director Hany Abu-Assad.[56][57] During the awards ceremony, the film was eventually announced by presenter Will Smith as a submission from the Palestinian territories.[58]


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External links

News resources
  • 2005 Academy Awards Winners and History Filmsite
  • Academy Awards, USA: 2006 Internet Movie Database
Other resources
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