Chicago's poster boasts that it is "The one movie that has it all."

Apparently not.

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Chicago does not have the year's best actor (Adrian Brody, The Pianist), best director (Roman Polanski, The Pianist), best actress (Nicole Kidman, The Hours), best supporting actor (Chris Cooper, Adaptation), or best adapted screenplay (Ronald Harwood, The Pianist.) Even though it's a musical, it also did not have the best score (Elliot Goldenthal, Frida) or the best song ("Lose Yourself", by Eminem, 8Mile).

However, the movie was still named the best picture of 2002 over strong competition from The Pianist, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gangs of New York, and The Hours. Chicago is the first film in 62 year to win best picture without having the best director, actor, actress, or screenplay. (The previous winner under such conditions was Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca.) Chicago's Catherine Zeta-Jones did receive the Oscar for best supporting actress.

The Pianist's victories on Oscar night were a thrilling surprise. In fact, The Pianist became the first film since 1932 to win best director, best actor, and best screenplay (adapted) and then lose the Best Picture award. (The last film to do this was John Ford's The Informer.)

Nevertheless, the triumphs of The Pianist do not come without controversy. In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape in the U.S. and fled to France, where he has been making movies ever since. He would be arrested if he entered the U.S.

Not able to attend the ceremony, Polanksi responded with a statement from Paris. The L.A. Times reported that he said he was "deeply moved to be rewarded for the work which relates to the events so close to my own life, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.