LondonNet News Headlines
21/03/01
Brevity is the Soul of the Oscars
- But UK viewers could miss out on this year's event

THIS WEEKEND witnesses the highlight of the Hollywood calender - the Oscars. But millions of British film fans could miss out on the event, which is only to be screened live on satellite TV.

Viewers who only have access to terrestrial channels will therefore be unable to tune into the ceremony. Many will comfort themselves with the fact that the Oscars tend to be weighed down with dull long-winded acceptance speeches where winners thank everyone and the cats mother. But this year's event will take place with a difference.

Fears that Oscar winners speeches will go well beyond the call of duty has prompted producer Gil Cates to offer a high-tech TV worth 25,000 dollars to the bearer of the briefest speech. "I've tried to be charming and humorous. I've tried persuasion and bribery. It all comes down to my belief that brevity is next to godliness," Cates told the nominees, including Britain's own Geoffrey Rush - up for Best Actor Award for Quills - who responded with a bemused look.

The aim of the ploy is to curtail winners' ramblings to their allotted 45 seconds rather than lengthy emotion-strewn acceptance speeches - the most memorable of which was Gwyneth Paltrow who famously broke down and wept on winning the Best Actress award in 1999. Instead, this year's winners will be able to express their unlimited gratitude on the official Oscars website.

The Oscars will be shown on Sky Premier this Sunday, 25 March, at 2.30am





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