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