1997 Oscars 69th Academy Awards

1997 Oscars 69th Academy Awards

  • Winners Announced: March 24, 1997
  • Held at: Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
  • Host: Billy Crystal
  • Eligibility Year: 1996


  • Striking Gold: The English Patient dominated the night, taking home nine Oscars including Best Picture.
  • Double Whammy: Geoffrey Rush won Best Actor for Shine and became the first Australian actor to win an Academy Award.
  • Host with the Most: Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars for the fifth time, bringing his iconic humor and memorable opening monologues.
  • Queen of the Screen: Frances McDormand won Best Actress for her role in Fargo, making it her first win for this quirky, cult-favorite film.
  • Family Affair: Joel and Ethan Coen, the brothers behind Fargo, won for Best Original Screenplay, solidifying their place as unique storytellers in Hollywood.
  • Best Foreign Flair: Kolya, a Czech film, won Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Docu-Domination: The documentary When We Were Kings, about Muhammad Ali’s historic “Rumble in the Jungle” fight, won Best Documentary Feature.
  • Musical Notes: The Best Original Song Oscar went to You Must Love Me from Evita, performed by Madonna and written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
  • “What a thrill. You know you’ve entered new territory when you realize that your outfit cost more than your film.”
    – Jessica Yu, Best Short Subject Documentary for Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien

1997 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
The English Patient – Saul Zaentz, producer (WINNER)
Fargo – Ethan Coen, producer
Jerry Maguire – James L. Brooks, Cameron Crowe, Laurence Mark and Richard Sakai, producers
Secrets & Lies – Simon Channing Williams, producer
Shine – Jane Scott, producer
Best Director:
Anthony Minghella – The English Patient (WINNER)
Joel Coen – Fargo
Miloš Forman – The People vs. Larry Flynt
Mike Leigh – Secrets & Lies
Scott Hicks – Shine
Best Actor:
Geoffrey Rush – Shine as David Helfgott (WINNER)
Tom Cruise – Jerry Maguire as Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes – The English Patient as László Almásy
Woody Harrelson – The People vs. Larry Flynt as Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton – Sling Blade as Karl Childers
Best Actress:
Frances McDormand – Fargo as Marge Gunderson (WINNER)
Brenda Blethyn – Secrets & Lies as Cynthia Rose Purley
Diane Keaton – Marvin’s Room as Bessie
Kristin Scott Thomas – The English Patient as Katharine Clifton
Emily Watson – Breaking the Waves as Bess McNeill
Best Supporting Actor:
Cuba Gooding Jr. – Jerry Maguire as Rod Tidwell (WINNER)
William H. Macy – Fargo as Jerry Lundegaard
Armin Mueller-Stahl – Shine as Peter Helfgott
Edward Norton – Primal Fear as Aaron Stampler
James Woods – Ghosts of Mississippi as Byron De La Beckwith
Best Supporting Actress:
Juliette Binoche – The English Patient as Hana (WINNER)
Joan Allen – The Crucible as Elizabeth Proctor
Lauren Bacall – The Mirror Has Two Faces as Hannah Morgan
Barbara Hershey – The Portrait of a Lady as Madame Serena Merle
Marianne Jean-Baptiste – Secrets & Lies as Hortense Cumberbatch
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Fargo – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (WINNER)
Jerry Maguire – Cameron Crowe
Lone Star – John Sayles
Secrets & Lies – Mike Leigh
Shine – Jan Sardi and Scott Hicks
Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:
Sling Blade – Billy Bob Thornton based on his short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (WINNER)
The Crucible – Arthur Miller based on his play
The English Patient – Anthony Minghella based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje
Hamlet – Kenneth Branagh based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Trainspotting – John Hodge based on the novel by Irvine Welsh
Best Foreign Language Film:
Kolya (Czech Republic) in Czech – Jan Sverák, director (WINNER)
A Chef in Love (Georgia) in French, Georgian, Russian – Nana Jorjadze, director
The Other Side of Sunday (Norway) in Norwegian – Berit Nesheim, director
Prisoner of the Mountains (Russia) in Russian – Sergei Bodrov, director
Ridicule (France) in French – Patrice Leconte, director
Best Documentary Feature:
When We Were Kings – Leon Gast and David Sonenberg (WINNER)
The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story – Susan W. Dryfoos
Mandela – Jo Menell and Angus Gibson
Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse – Anne Belle and Deborah Dickson
Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press – Rick Goldsmith
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien – Jessica Yu (WINNER)
Cosmic Voyage – Jeffrey Marvin and Bayley Silleck
An Essay on Matisse – Perry Wolff
Special Effects: Anything Can Happen – Susanne Simpson and Ben Burtt
The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage – Paul Seydor and Nick Redman
Best Live Action Short Film:
Dear Diary – David Frankel and Barry Jossen (WINNER)
De tripas, corazón – Antonio Urrutia
Ernst & lyset – Kim Magnusson and Anders Thomas Jensen
Esposados – Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Senza parole – Bernadette Carranza and Antonello De Leo
Best Animated Short Film:
Quest – Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach (WINNER)
Canhead – Timothy Hittle
La Salla – National Film Board of Canada – Richard Condie
Wat’s Pig – Peter Lord
Best Original Dramatic Score:
The English Patient – Gabriel Yared (WINNER)
Hamlet – Patrick Doyle
Michael Collins – Elliot Goldenthal
Shine – David Hirschfelder
Sleepers – John Williams
Best Original Musical or Comedy Score:
Emma – Rachel Portman (WINNER)
The First Wives Club – Marc Shaiman
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
James and the Giant Peach – Randy Newman
The Preacher’s Wife – Hans Zimmer
Best Original Song:
“You Must Love Me” from Evita – Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Tim Rice (WINNER)
“I Finally Found Someone” from The Mirror Has Two Faces – Music and Lyrics by Barbra Streisand, Marvin Hamlisch, Bryan Adams and Robert John “Mutt” Lange
“For the First Time” from One Fine Day – Music and Lyrics by James Newton Howard, Jud J. Friedman and Allan Dennis Rich
“That Thing You Do!” from That Thing You Do! – Music and Lyrics by Adam Schlesinger
“Because You Loved Me” from Up Close and Personal – Music and Lyrics by Diane Warren
Best Sound Effects Editing:
The Ghost and the Darkness – Bruce Stambler (WINNER)
Daylight – Richard L. Anderson and David A. Whittaker
Eraser – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Best Sound:
The English Patient – Walter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker and Chris Newman (WINNER)
Evita – Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ken Weston
Independence Day – Chris Carpenter, Bill W. Benton, Bob Beemer and Jeff Wexler
The Rock – Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Keith A. Wester
Twister – Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, Kevin O’Connell and Geoffrey Patterson
Best Art Direction:
The English Patient – Art Direction: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan (WINNER)
The Birdcage – Art Direction: Bo Welch; Set Decoration: Cheryl Carasik
Evita – Art Direction: Brian Morris; Set Decoration: Philippe Turlure
Hamlet – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Tim Harvey
Romeo + Juliet – Art Direction: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Brigitte Broch
Best Cinematography:
The English Patient – John Seale (WINNER)
Evita – Darius Khondji
Fargo – Roger Deakins
Fly Away Home – Caleb Deschanel
Michael Collins – Chris Menges
Best Makeup:
The Nutty Professor – Rick Baker and David LeRoy Anderson (WINNER)
Ghosts of Mississippi – Matthew W. Mungle and Deborah La Mia Denaver
Star Trek: First Contact – Michael Westmore, Scott Wheeler and Jake Garber
Best Costume Design:
The English Patient – Ann Roth (WINNER)
Angels & Insects – Paul Brown
Emma – Ruth Myers
Hamlet – Alexandra Byrne
The Portrait of a Lady – Janet Patterson
Best Film Editing:
The English Patient – Walter Murch (WINNER)
Evita – Gerry Hambling
Fargo – Roderick Jaynes
Jerry Maguire – Joe Hutshing
Shine – Pip Karmel
Best Visual Effects:
Independence Day – Volker Engel, Douglas Smith, Clay Pinney and Joe Viskocil (WINNER)
Dragonheart – Scott Squires, Phil Tippett, James Straus and Kit West
Twister – Stefen Fangmeier, John Frazier, Habib Zargarpour and Henry La Bounta
Academy Honorary Award:
Michael Kidd
Irving G. Thalberg Award:
Saul Zaentz