Nineteen rookie winners, Soderbergh beats self
- Newcomers reigned: Of the 31 individuals who took home competitive Oscars, 19 were first-time nominees.
- It was also an international evening: Nine of those awardees were not born in the U.S.
- With four wins, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” matches the four wins of “Fanny & Alexander,” the previous record-holder for foreign-language films.
- Winner of the best director award Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) was a double nominee this year (also for “Erin Brockovich”) and becomes the first person to defeat himself in the directing category.
- Benicio Del Toro, in a mostly Spanish-language role in “Traffic,” becomes the fourth actor to win for a foreign-lingo performance.
- Bob Dylan (best song, “Things Have Changed”) joins the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Bruce Springsteen in the ranks of rockers who’ve won musical Oscars.
- There were many more Asian-born winners than usual, thanks to “Crouching Tiger,” including Tan Dun, Peter Pau, Tim Yip and director-producer Ang Lee, who takes home the prize for foreign-language film.
- Rick Baker won his sixth Oscar, for “The Grinch” makeup, sharing the nod with first-time nominee Gail Ryan.
— Timothy M. Gray