Monday, February 23, 2009


For the record, going into the awards night, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire had 10 nominations spread over 9 categories (it had 2 of its songs going up for Best Original Song), and by the time Wolverine brought the show to a close, it had 8 to its name.

Slumdog Millionaire
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Achievement in Directing (Danny Boyle)
Adapted Screenplay (Simon Beaufoy)
Achievement in Cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle)
Achievement in Film Editing (Chris Dickens)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures [Original Score] (A.R. Rahman)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures [Original Song] (“Jai Ho,” Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar)
Achievement in Sound Mixing (Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty)

And in the one foregone conclusion of the night, Heath Ledger was awarded a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his hypnotic work in The Dark Knight.

In some of the other performance categories, Kate Winslet took home the Best Actress award for Stephen Daldry’s The Reader (it should be noted that Daldry also directed Nicole Kidman to her Oscar for The Hours), while Sean Penn was honoured with Best Actor for his work on Gus Van Sant’s Milk (Van Sant also steered Robin Williams to an Oscar as well).*
Dustin Lance Black’s Original Screenplay award for Milk should also be noted at this point.

On the awards night itself, it certainly had a different feel to it, with its own fair share of priceless Oscar Moments (Boyle’s Tigger bit; Kate Winslet’s da’s whistle).
So, congratulations, not just to everyone involved with Slumdog Millionaire, but also to Hugh Jackman (The Reader bit in the opening musical number was hilarious), Bill Condon, and Michael Giacchino. Good on all of you! (And to Winslet, for giving Peter Jackson that shout-out in her speech.)

* I recommend both Milk and The Reader, making a point to see the latter also doubling as a very nice cinematic way of bidding adieu to Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella.
Additionally, reviews of Slumdog Millionaire and The Dark Knight can be found in the Archive.

Parting shot: Though I’m an avowed David Fincher fan (who’s still greatly miffed about the past Oscar shut-out of Zodiac), I’ve still to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, thus, my non-mention of its specific wins above. (How do I know if I’m happy about the wins if I haven’t seen the movie yet?)

Parting shot 2: It was neat seeing Janusz Kaminski (and his Oscars) in the Pineapple Express comedy short, even if the short itself was pretty uneven.

Parting shot 3: I just have to wonder why the “live” broadcast over ABS-CBN 2 was edited, leaving out (among other things) all 3 shorts categories and the end credits…

(Images courtesy of AMPAS and [Oscar statue, photo by Albert Watson], [Slumdog Millionaire OS], [the Joker image from The Dark Knight], and [Oscar night images].)

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