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.
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
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game show Pants on Fire. (@comedygeek)