The Oscars: ‘Slumdog’ Sweeps!
Slumdog Millionaire, the tale of two poor, star-crossed lovers in Mumbai, India, won eight Oscars at the 81st Annual Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture.
Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) bounced onto the stage, explaining that he had told his children many years ago that he would act like the Winnie the Pooh character Tigger if he ever won an Oscar for Best Director.
Boyle thanked the people of Mumbai, saying that their kindness even “dwarfed this guy” and indicated his Oscar statuette.
The film also won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Score and Song.
There was little surprise when Kate Winslet finally won a Best Actress Oscar for The Reader, and the deceased Heath Ledger won for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight.
Sean Penn jokingly thanked the “commie-loving homos” in the audience when he won Best Actor for Milk. And Penelope Cruz talked about fainting but didn’t when she joyfully won Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Other winners included Dustin Lance Black for his original screenplay for Milk.
The biopic of gay activist Harvey Milk, the film caused screenwriter Black to comment on what he thought Milk would say to gay children across the country if he was alive today.
“You are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours.”
David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, was shut out of almost every one of the 13 categories it was nominated in, except for wins in the Special Effects, Art Direction and Makeup categories.
Hugh Jackman proved an able host for the awards this year, opening with an amusing number about the nominated pictures (with surprise guest appearance by a kidnapped Anne Hathaway) and singing with Beyonce, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper in a tribute to the movie musical.
Here is a complete list of winners:
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Actor in a Leading Role: Sean Penn, Milk
Actress in a Leading Role: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Actress in a Supporting Role: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Animated Feature Film: WALL-E
Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan)
Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Original Song: “Jai Ho,” A.R. Rahman and Gulzar; Slumdog Millionaire
Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Costume Design: The Duchess
Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Documentary Feature: Man on Wire
Documentary Short Subject: Smile Pinki
Animated Short Film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Live Action Short Film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jerry Lewis