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Hoffman wins best actor at political Oscars

Written by: Staff

LOS ANGELES, Mar 6 (Reuters) Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar for best actor as Hollywood showed its political colors by awarding George Clooney and Rachel Weisz supporting acting honors for two message movies.

Hoffman won for ''Capote,'' in which he plays writer Truman Capote doing a deal with the devil to get an ending for his classic non-fiction novel ''In Cold Blood.'' Academy voters named South Africa's ''Tsotsi'' as best foreign film.

Clooney was named best supporting actor in a film for his portrayal of a world-weary CIA agent in oil drama ''Syriana,'' and British actress Weisz was given the best supporting actress award for playing a social activist who is murdered for her beliefs in thriller ''The Constant Gardener.

In early awards, ''Wallace&Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit'' was named best animated feature film, and box office smash, ''March of the Penguins'' won best documentary.

A range of films won other trophies. Japanese saga ''Memoirs of a Geisha'' was given two Oscars for costume design and art direction.

''The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe'' won for best makeup. ''It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp'' from ''Hustle&Flow'' was named best original song, and gay-themed ''Brokeback Mountain'' took home the Oscar for best original score.

Onstage Clooney, who was nominated for three Oscars overall, joked that it would be his only win of the night -- more or less his consolation prize for not being favored in other categories in which he is nominated.

The actor also is vying for best director and best original screenplay for drama ''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' which tells of newsman Edward R. Murrow's battle against McCarthyism in the 1950s.

The film centers on themes of free speech, and Clooney took the opportunity to talk politics onstage.

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