Beverly Hills Halle Berry, Will Smith and Denzel Washington scored a Hat Trick Feb. 12, 2002, as Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Frank Pierson and Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden announced the nominations for the 74th Annual Academy Awards.
The Academy nominated Berry for Best Performance by an actress in a leading role in "Monsters Ball," and Smith ("Ali") and Washington ("Training Day") were nominated for Best Performance by an actor in a leading role.
"Im not going to get too excited," said film critic and Blackflix.com co-publisher Laurence Washington, "because we all know the history of Hollywood towards black actors and actresses. But if these actors can win the Oscar, it will almost make up for all the years black actors outstanding performances have been ignored by the Academy, with the exception of a few."
Berry performance as downtrodden wife of a death row inmate in "Monsters Ball" was just riveting Washington said. And Smith who usually plays a wise-cracking smart-ass in films like "Men In Black," and "Bad Boys" made us believe he was Muhammad Ali?
"And I have to give kudos to Denzel Washington who took a chance and played against his nice guy persona in "Training Day." He still won audience over and gained critical praise. Its a shame they both cant win Best Actor."
Pierson and Harden announced 10 of the 24 categories at a 5:30 a.m. news conference attended by over 400 international media. Nominations in all categories were distributed simultaneously to news media in attendance and via the Internet on the official Academy Awards Web site - www.oscar.com.
Academy members selected the nominees in their respective branches, with the exception of the Animated Feature, Foreign Language Film and Makeup categories, where nominations were selected by vote of screening committees. All members select the Best Picture nominees. The secret ballots were mailed to 5,739 members in early January and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting firm, for tabulation.
Official screenings of all pictures with a nomination will begin this weekend for members at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Screenings in special categories also will be held in London, New York and San Francisco.
The following is the list of Oscar nominees:
NOMINATIONS BY CATEGORY - 74TH AWARDS -
Performance by an actor in a leading role
Denzel Washington in "Training Day"
Will Smith in "Ali"
Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind"
Sean Penn in "I Am Sam"
Tom Wilkinson in "In the Bedroom"
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Jim Broadbent in "Iris"
Ethan Hawke in "Training Day"
Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast"
Ian McKellen in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Jon Voight in "Ali" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball"
Judi Dench in "Iris"
Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge"
Sissy Spacek in "In the Bedroom"
Renee Zellweger in "Bridget Jones's Diary"
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Jennifer Connelly in "A Beautiful Mind"
Helen Mirren in "Gosford Park"
Maggie Smith in "Gosford Park"
Marisa Tomei in "In the Bedroom"
Kate Winslet in "Iris"
Best animated feature film of the year
"Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius"
Achievement in directing
"A Beautiful Mind" Ron Howard
"Black Hawk Down" Ridley Scott
"Gosford Park" Robert Altman
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" Peter Jackson
"Mulholland Drive" David Lynch
Best motion picture of the year
"A Beautiful Mind"
A Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment Production
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Producers
A Sandcastle 5 in association with Chicagofilms and Medusa Film Production
Robert Altman, Bob Balaban and David Levy, Producers
"In the Bedroom"
A Good Machine/GreeneStreet Production
Graham Leader, Ross Katz and Todd Field, Producers
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
A New Line Cinema and Wingnut Films Production
Nominees to be determined
A 20th Century Fox Production
Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron, Producers
Academy Awards(R) for outstanding film achievements of 2001 will be presented on Sunday, March 24, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland(R) and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST. A half-hour arrival segment will precede the presentation ceremony at 5 p.m.
The complete list of nominations for the 74th Annual Academy Awards is below, and also can be accessed at www.oscar.com.