The Oscars 10 Years Ago: ‘Crash,’ Reese Witherspoon, Philip Seymour Hoffman Won Big in 2006

Crash
The cast of 'Crash' attend the premier of Crash in Los Angeles, California. J.Sciulli/WireImage

A lot can transpire in 10 years, and Hollywood’s fast-paced realm of trends is no different. Take a look back with Us at what the Oscars looked like in 2006 — a time before Twitter, Facebook news feeds and the current conversation about #OscarsSoWhite.

1. Crash took home the Oscar for Best Picture

Many people still consider this to be one of the biggest upsets in Academy Awards history. The Paul Haggis-helmed film about race issues in Los Angeles won the top prize over critical favorite Brokeback Mountain, as well as other hard-hitters such as Good Night, and Good Luck, Capote and Munich.

Even Haggis was surprised by his win, telling HitFix in 2015 that he didn’t think his was the best film of the year. “For some reason [Crash was] the film that touched people the most that year,” he said. “So I guess that’s what they voted for, something that really touched them.”

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2. Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman, wins the award for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for ‘Capote.’ M. Caulfield/WireImage

The Hollywood icon, who died from an accidental drug overdose in his New York apartment in February 2014, played the idiosyncratic writer in the much-acclaimed film. The win marked his fist Academy Award; he would go on to be nominated for his role in three films: Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt and The Master.

“Wow, I’m in a category with some great, great, great actors,” he said during his acceptance speech. “And I’m overwhelmed. I’m really overwhelmed.” Hoffman also memorably thanked his mother for raising four kids on her own, and asked members of the audience to congratulate her if they saw her that night.

3. Heath Ledger was also nominated in the Best Actor category

Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams
Heath Ledger, nominee for Best Actor in a Leading Role for ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and Michelle Williams, nominee for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Dan MacMedan/WireImage

Though he didn’t take home the top prize, Ledger was showered with critical praise for his turn as a somber cowboy coming to terms with his sexuality in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. The actor, who died two years later, won a posthumous award for his turn as the diabolical Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2009.

Ang Lee
Ang Lee wins the award for Achievement in Directing for ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ M. Caulfield/WireImage

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4. Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for Walk the Line

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon wins an award for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for ‘Walk the Line.’ M. Caulfield/WireImage

The Legally Blonde sweetheart made her transition from bubbly blonde Elle Woods to a more serious, solemn June Carter to Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash in the musical tribute to the country legend’s early life. This has been her only Oscar win so far, though she did get nominated for Wild in 2015 (she lost out to Julianne Moore in Still Alice). Her win marked her dive into more serious Hollywood roles.

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5. Hustle & Flow took home the win for Best Original Song

One of the biggest snubs of the 2016 Oscars is Straight Outta Compton (the film is, however, nominated for Best Writing, Original Screenplay). Ten years ago, Hustle & Flow’s song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” took home the award for Best Original Song, giving audiences the impression that the awards were progressing toward more diversity. But this year’s repeat #OscarsSoWhite campaign proves there might be room for improvement yet.

The 88th annual Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, February 28, at 8:30 EST.

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