'Lord of the Rings' wins top movie at AFI

— The fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" won best-picture honors and two other prizes at the first American Film Institute Awards on Saturday.

Denzel Washington was named best actor for playing a flamboyantly corrupt narcotics detective in "Training Day." Sissy Spacek won lead-actress honors as a grieving, vengeful mother in "In the Bedroom."

Spacek, a five-time Academy Award nominee who won for "Coal Miner's Daughter," could emerge as a front-runner for another Oscar.

"This film is so close to my heart," Spacek said. "It was a real labor of love, I think, for all of those who worked on it."

Robert Altman was picked as best director for his satiric murder mystery "Gosford Park."

Gene Hackman of "The Royal Tenenbaums" and Jennifer Connelly of "A Beautiful Mind" earned supporting-actor honors.

Hackman won for his role as an outcast patriarch who weasels his way back into the dysfunctional family he abandoned years earlier. Connelly won as the conflicted wife of schizophrenic math genius John Nash (Russell Crowe) in "A Beautiful Mind," directed by Ron Howard.

The 12 awards in the film categories were spread among nine movies. The only multiple winners were "Lord of the Rings," which also won for digital effects and production design, and "Moulin Rouge," honored for composing and editing.

"In the Bedroom" and "Black Hawk Down" had led with five nominations each, but "Black Hawk Down" was shut out in every category.

Writer-director Christopher Nolan won the screenplay award for the convoluted, backwards-moving thriller "Memento." Roger Deakins took the cinematography honor for the Coen brothers' film-noir update "The Man Who Wasn't There."

Many nominees turned out for the awards show, but there were plenty of no-shows, including Washington, Altman, Hackman, Connelly and James Gandolfini, who won best actor on a TV series for "The Sopranos."

"Sopranos" co-star Edie Falco won the best TV series actress honor. The show also won for best drama series.

HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won for best comedy series.

Jeffrey Wright won the best actor award in a TV movie or miniseries as Martin Luther King Jr. in "Boycott." Judy Davis took the best actress honor in a TV movie or miniseries as Judy Garland in "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows."

The AFI Awards, aired live on CBS, included nominees in 12 movie and seven television categories.

The new show is the first big ceremony of Hollywood's long awards season.

The Golden Globes take place Jan. 20, actor and director guilds give out their awards in March. The Academy Awards cap things off on March 24.


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