Picks and Pans Review: And the Oscar Also Should Go To...

updated 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Best Director: Sam Mendes, American Beauty Not since Mike Nichols directed 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf has a stage director made such a dazzling debut film.

Best Original Screenplay: American Beauty, by Alan Ball This caustic script demonstrates that you don't have to write nice to write well.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Election, by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor A high school comedy aimed at adults earns its place on the honor roll.

Best Foreign Language Film: All About My Mother Spain's Pedro Almodóvar directed a rich, broad-minded film about mother love.

Best Documentary Feature: Buena Vista Social Club Old Cuban musicians reminisce and play? Havana, here we come.

Best Original Song: Toy Story 2's "When She Loved Me," music and lyrics by Randy Newman Because it made even this resolutely cynical adult tear up.

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