March 26, 1999

Brazilian Actress Fernada Montenegro Critical Acout Academy Awards


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Actress Fernanda Montenegro made a veiled attack on Hollywood favoritism after she failed to win an award for her role in ``Central Station,'' which was also nominated for an Oscar.

Montenegro, the first Latin American actress to be shortlisted for an Oscar, lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow.

In a televised interview Tuesday, the 69-year-old actress called Paltrow ``this romantic figure, thin, pure, virginal.''

``They don't have much of this type of actress in American cinema. It's an investment (for them),'' she said.

The film Montenegro received her nomination for ``Central Station'' was beaten by Roberto Benigni's ``Life is Beautiful'' in the best foreign film category.

``It didn't deserve to win,'' said Montenegro. ``I think even Benigni recognized this. As a film it was weak. I thought it was just him that won, not the film itself.''

Brazil's media also went on the attack Tuesday over the Academy Awards ceremony. The Folha De Sao Paulo daily described it as ``The Money Oscars'' and, in an editorial, said ``mere mortals (were) prohibited'' from knowing how winners were picked.

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