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article imageSlumdog is now the top dog

By Tamara Baluja     Feb 23, 2009 in Entertainment
It was the night of the Slumdog, which swept away with eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director. Kate Winslet got her much overdue victory, and Heath Ledger has become the second actor to win posthumously.
"Slumdog Millionaire" has cruised to eight Academy Awards wins including best director for Danny Boyle.
Not deviating much from the Golden Globes, "Slumdog Millionaire" steamrolled its way toward the big prize, best picture. The other Oscars for "Slumdog Millionaire" include adapted screenplay, cinematography and both music awards, for score and song.
For his demented reinvention of Batman villain the Joker, Heath Ledger becomes only the second actor ever to win posthumously, his triumph coming 13 months after his death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs on Oscar nominations day last year. Ledger's family accepted the award on behalf of his daughter, Matilda.
A visibly excited Kate Winslet took her well-deserved Oscar for best actress in the Reader. This was the British actress' sixth nomination. "I would be lying if I said I didn't have this speech prepared since I was 8, and back then, it was a shampoo bottle in my hand....but this (pointing to the Oscar statuette) is no shampoo bottle", said Winslet.
Sean Penn won the best actor Oscar on Sunday for his portrayal of slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in the movie "Milk." This is the second Oscar of his career, the first being his 2004 win for his lead role as a grieving father in "Mystic River."
Penelope Cruz became the first Spanish-born actress to win an Oscar by taking the best supporting actress award on Sunday for her role as tempestuous artist Maria Elena in Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
The Awards were full of surprises this year: Instead of the usual video montages, a previous winner of the same category introduced each nominee in the respective acting category. Plus, the speeched were actually short and there were no teary breakdowns onstage!
Hugh Jackman  host of Oscars 2009
Hugh Jackman, known for his role of Wolverine in the X-Men movies, will host the 2009 Academy Awards
Courtesy Academy of Motion Pictures
And how did host Hugh Jackman do? "The Musical is Back" was the main message of Jackman's hosting! The reviews on Digital's live blog was mixed with some loving the Broadway style entertainment while others sorely missed the more traditional jokes. Either way, this writer was disappointed that there was no singing by Jackman as he wore his Wolverine claws.
For a recap of the 81st Oscar night winners:
Best picture
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Reader"
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire"
WINNER: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
WINNER: Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
WINNER: Kate Winslet, "The Reader"
Supporting actor
Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
WINNER: Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"
Supporting actress
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
WINNER: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
Animated feature
"Kung Fu Panda"
Adapted screenplay
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," screenplay by Eric Roth, screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
"Doubt," written by John Patrick Shanley
"Frost/Nixon," screenplay by Peter Morgan
"The Reader," screenplay by David Hare
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
Original screenplay
"Frozen River," written by Courtney Hunt
"Happy-Go-Lucky," written by Mike Leigh
"In Bruges," written by Martin McDonagh
WINNER: "Milk," written by Dustin Lance Black
"WALL-E," screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon; original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
Art direction
"Changeling," James J. Murakami; set decoration: Gary Fettis
WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
"The Dark Knight," Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Peter Lando
"The Duchess," Michael Carlin; set decoration: Rebecca Alleway
"Revolutionary Road," Kristi Zea; set decoration: Debra Schutt
"Changeling," Tom Stern
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Claudio Miranda
"The Dark Knight," Wally Pfister
"The Reader," Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Anthony Dod Mantle
Costume design
"Australia," Catherine Martin
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Jacqueline West
WINNER: "The Duchess," Michael O'Connor
"Milk," Danny Glicker
"Revolutionary Road," Albert Wolsky
Documentary feature
"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"
"Encounters at the End of the World"
"The Garden"
WINNER: "Man on Wire"
"Trouble the Water"
Documentary short
"The Conscience of Nhem En"
"The Final Inch"
WINNER: "Smile Pinki"
"The Witness -- From the Balcony of Room 306"
Film editing
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
"The Dark Knight," Lee Smith
"Frost/Nixon," Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
"Milk," Elliot Graham
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Chris Dickens
Foreign language film
"The Baader Meinhof Complex," Germany
"The Class," France
WINNER: "Departures," Japan
"Revanche," Austria
"Waltz with Bashir," Israel
WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Greg Cannom
"The Dark Knight," John Caglione Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan
"Hellboy II: The Golden Army," Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz
Original score
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance," James Newton Howard
"Milk," Danny Elfman
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman
Original song
"Down to Earth" from "WALL-E," music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, lyrics by Peter Gabriel
WINNER: "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire," music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar
"O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire," music and lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam
Animated short
WINNER: "La Maison en Petits Cubes"
"Lavatory -- Lovestory"
"This Way Up"
Live-action short
"Auf der Strecke (On the Line)"
"Manon on the Asphalt"
"New Boy"
"The Pig"
WINNER: "Spielzeugland"
Sound editing
WINNER: "The Dark Knight," Richard King
"Iron Man," Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
"Slumdog Millionaire," Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers
"WALL-E," Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
"Wanted," Wylie Stateman
Sound mixing
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
"The Dark Knight," Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
"WALL-E," Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
"Wanted," Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt
Visual effects
WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
"The Dark Knight," Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
"Iron Man," John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan.
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