‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Dominates 81st Academy Awards

2009-02-22 - Slumdog MillionaireWhile most of the nation sits in a recession, Hollywood wasn’t showing any of that economic trouble when they set foot on the red carpet at Sunday night’s 81st annual Academy Awards (aka the Oscars) in Hollywood. There was toned down jewelry, sure. But, the glitz and glam was all there.

As Queen Latifah told the Chicago Sun-Times on the red carpet “everybody loves a fantasy break.” “We’re all aware people are hurting in America and around the world, but I think everyone loves to have a fantasy break. Going to the movies achieves that — and so does the Oscars,” the rapper-turned-actor said.

The big winner of the evening was for the slow-rising film “Slumdog Millionaire, which nabbed eight Oscars including Best Picture and Director.

According to the Associated Press, the rags-to-riches tale also brought in an extra $54 million since its nomination last month, doubling its gross since its November premiere to $98 million to date. Just this weekend, the film earned just over $8 million in ticket sales.

The Oscars boost was more than all of the four other best-picture nominees combined — which included “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Reader”, “Milk”, and “Frost/Nixon”.

Sean Penn won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in the movie “Milk” beating out the likes of Brad Pitt for his role in “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” and comeback kid Mickey Rourke for “The Wrestler”; while Kate Winslet won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her role as a former concentration-camp guard in “The Reader.”

Penelope Cruz also took home her first Oscar trophy, winning Best Supporting Actress for her funny role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” It made her the Spanish woman to win an acting Oscar. She was so overwhelmed to win, she said she almost fainted.

The late Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor honor for his exceptional portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” His sister Kate, along with his mother and father, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Heath, we both knew what you had created in the Joker was extraordinarily special and had even talked about being here on this very day,” his sister said. “We really wish you were, but we proudly accept this award on behalf of your beautiful [daughter] Matilda.”

A full list of Oscar winners are as follows:

Best Motion Picture
— “Slumdog Millionaire”

Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
— Sean Penn in “Milk”

Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role
— Kate Winslet in “The Reader”

Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role
— Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”

Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role
— PenΓ©lope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Achievement In Directing
— Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire”

Adapted Screenplay
— “Slumdog Millionaire,” by Simon Beaufoy

Original Screenplay
— “Milk,” by Dustin Lance Black

Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song)
— “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar

Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)
— “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman

Achievement In Cinematography
— “Slumdog Millionaire”

Achievement In Film Editing
— “Slumdog Millionaire,” Chris Dickens

Achievement In Costume Design
— “The Duchess”

Achievement In Art Direction
— “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Best Animated Feature Film
— “WALL-E”

Best Animated Short Film
— “La Maison en Petits Cubes”

Best Live Action Short Film
— “Spielzeugland (Toyland)”

Best Documentary Feature
— “Man on Wire”

Best Documentary Short Subject
— “Smile Pinki”

Best Foreign Language Film
— “Departures” – Japan

Achievement In Visual Effects
— “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Achievement In Makeup
— “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Greg Cannom

Achievement In Sound Editing
— “The Dark Knight”

Achievement In Sound Mixing
— “Slumdog Millionaire”

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