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2009 Academy Awards Winners
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Oscars

Well, ladies and gentlemen, tonight was the big night — the 81st Academy Awards ceremony and below we have the full list of winners for you.

This was notable because it seemed a large effort was being put forward to change things up a bit and make the show a lot more entertaining in an attempt to bring in more viewers. They went off the track and hired Hugh Jackman to host the show instead of the normal comedian, they shook things up by using different methods of presenters, such as five previous winners instead of just last year’s winner. They tried a new thing called the “yearbook” where various clips from various genres from the year were shown; this was a chance to show movies like Hancock, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Death Race to try and appeal to younger crowds. They even changed up the In Memoriam section, having Queen Latifah sing live while our dearly departed were shown one last time on screens in the background.

Now I’m not sure if it’s just me, or what the overall consensus will be, but personally, I thought it was a massive failure. The show was severely boring and hard to watch at times. After promises of Hugh Jackman not doing “Hugh Jackman” things like singing and dancing, he surely did plenty of singing and dancing, including a real high point where it turned into a duet with Beyonce, which turned into a double duet with Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical, and then a duet menage a trois with who I think were Mamma Mia people. Really, just… hard to watch. I in fact muted it.

The yearbook clips were all right and well put together, but I missed seeing clips of the actors performances and seeing clips from the various Best Picture nominees. Even the In Memoriam didn’t sit right with me, seeing as how the focus was on Queen Latifah and not those who passed away. Hell, you couldn’t even see who some people were because the camera was constantly moving. It was like the Cloverfield version of In Memoriam.

To be honest, I never really disliked much about the Oscars. Having a comedian as a host worked for many laughs and some priceless bits, including Billy Crystal’s classic openings. It seems to me that they changed all of the things that didn’t need changing.

On the brighter side of things, it was pretty cool to see five previous winners of a category out there to announce the nominees and winners. Other high notes included an incredibly funny Steve Martin, and a great Pineapple Express short movie from Judd Apatow.

Simply enough, stop trying to make everyone happy, stick with what’s always been good and funny, and build off that!

Looking past the horrible show part of it, the awards part was much, much better handled. On top of the great five presenters idea, most who should have won did win and that was refreshing.

Instead of babbling about every single win, I’ll stick to the main six.

Best Supporting Actress was first up, and the award went to Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This crossed me as a bit surprising, as Marisa Tomei seemed to be the favorite, but all of the nominees were strong and any choice would have been fair. The most important award of the evening of course was the Best Supporting Actor award. I can’t even explain the nerves I had leading into it, being as how it seemed to be destiny, but when it comes to Oscars, you just never ever know. Thankfully, the award did indeed go to Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. It was a very sad yet happy Oscar moment, that closed off what seemed to be a decade-long discussion.

For Best Actress, as expected, Kate Winslet took the award for The Reader for her role as a Nazi camp worker who struggled with illiteracy. It’s always tough to beat Meryl Streep, so props to Kate Winslet.

On the other hand, Best Actor wasn’t so refreshing. In fact, it may just have been the lowest point of the evening. Instead of giving the award to the highly expected Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, or Frank Langella for his attention demanding performance as Richard Nixon, they gave the award to Sean Penn, for his performance as Harvey Milk. Now, nothing against Milk as a movie or Sean Penn as an actor, but from my perspective, this performance was pretty much identical to his performance in I Am Sam, without the mental disability. This one is poorly chosen.

For Best Director, Danny Boyle was given the award for Slumdog Millionaire. Just in general Danny Boyle is an amazing director, but not one you see at this level as often as he should be. Seeing him be recognized with this award was really a special moment.

Last, and certainly not least — Best Picture went to Slumdog Millionaire. This was another amazing moment because Slumdog felt like that great little movie that found its way to a nomination but wouldn’t make it past that honor. In a year when movies like The Dark Knight, The Wrestler, and Wall-E didn’t receive nominations even though they were superior to movies like The Reader and Milk, it was wonderful to see the little movie that could pull off the biggest prize of them all.

Winners

Here’s the list of nominees; winners are in bold.

BEST PICTURE:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
The Reader
Frost/Nixon

BEST DIRECTOR:

– Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
– Gus Van Sant, Milk
– Stephen Daldry, The Reader
– Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
– David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

BEST ACTOR:

– Sean Penn, Milk
– Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
– Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
– Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
– Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS:

– Kate Winslet, The Reader
– Melissa Leo, Frozen River
– Angelina Jolie, Changeling
– Meryl Streep, Doubt
– Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

– Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
– Josh Brolin, Milk
– Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
– Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
– Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

– Viola Davis, Doubt
– Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
– Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
– Amy Adams, Doubt
– Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Happy-Go-Lucky
Frozen River
Wall-E
Milk
In Bruges

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Doubt

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

– Peter Gabriel/Thomas Newman — Down to Earth, Wall-E
– A.R. Rahman/Maya Arulpragasam — O Saya, Slumdog Millionaire
– A.R. Rahman/Gulzar — Jai Ho, Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

– James Newton Howard, Defiance
– Alexandre Duplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
– Thomas Newman, Wall-E
– A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
– Danny Elfman, Milk

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

Bolt
Wall-E
Kung Fu Panda

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Departures
The Class
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Waltz With Bashir
Revanche

BEST ART DIRECTION:

The Duchess
The Dark Knight
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Changeling
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road
Milk
The Duchess

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY:

Encounters at the End of the World
Man on a Wire
The Betrayal
Trouble the Water
The Garden

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY:

The Final Inch
The Conscience of Nhem En
Smile Pinki
The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306

BEST EDITING:

Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST MAKEUP:

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

Oktapodi
Presto
La Maison en Petits Cubes
This Way Up
Lavatory — Lovestory

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

Manon on the Asphalt
The Pig
New Boy
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
Wanted
Wall-E
The Dark Knight

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Wall-E
Slumdog Millionaire
Wanted
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

The Dark Knight
Iron Man
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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