Slumdog Millionaire wins nearly everything it touches at the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Posted by: Paul Little  //  February 23, 2009 @ 4:28am

Okay, I'll admit it -- I didn't watch this year's Academy Awards. Not yet, anyway. I do plan to watch them later this week, courtesy of my PVR, as I've watched every Oscars telecast for as long as I can remember. But when you're down in warm(ish) Los Angeles covering the Awards, but don't have access to the actual ceremony, the last thing you want to do is sit in a hotel room and watch television -- especially when you know the temperature is30 below back home!

But while I didn't watch the show live, I still know who won -- and it was mostly Slumdog Millionaire. The "underdog" film (which wasn't really much of an underdog heading into Sunday's show as it won almost every major award leading up to the Oscars) took home a grand total of 8 statuettes, including Best Picture and Best Director (Danny Boyle). The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which lead the nominees this year with 13 nods, took home 3 technical Oscars, while The Dark Knight and Milk nabbed a pair of wins each.

Kate Winslet shed her massive drought (0 for 5) by finally winning the Best Actress Academy Award for her role in The Reader. Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar --the first since Peter Finch's win for 1976's Network -- as The Joker in The Dark Knight, while Sean Penn upset his good friend (and pre-show favourite) Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. Rounding out the acting categories was Penelope Cruz' win for her role in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

All in all, the Academy mostly got things right this year, and while there weren't many shocking or unexpected wins (everyone knew WALL•E would win the Best Animated Feature Oscar and most predicted a huge haul forSlumdog), that's not always a bad thing. Winslet finally won her statuette, Ledger received a fitting tribute for his stirring second-to-last performance, and the little movie that could from Mumbai (by way of London) cleaned up. A pretty good night, I'd say.

Complete List of Winners

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director: Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actress: Kate Winslet – The Reader

Best Actor: Sean Penn – Milk

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black – Milk

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire

Best Animated Feature: WALL•E

Best Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan)

Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire (A.R. Rahman)

Best Original Song: "Jai Ho" – Slumdog Millionaire (A.R. Rahman, Gulzar)

Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire

Best Documentary Short: Smile Pinki

Best Animated Short: La Maison en Petits Cubes

Best Live-Action Short: Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Costume Design: The Duchess

Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

Best Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Tags: Academy Awards, Oscars, awards shows, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Penelope Cruz, Heath Ledger, WALL•E

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Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)

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