Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Is Best Oscar Picture 2008/2009

Thanks, Yahoo.

Slumdog Millionaire is the Academy Awards champion, wrapping up its ghetto-to-glory story by winning best picture and seven other Oscars, including the directing honour for Danny Boyle.

A story of hope amid squalor in Bombay (or Mumbai), India, Slumdog Millionaire also had wins in adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and both music Oscars, score and song.

Director Boyle offered warm gratitude to the people of Mumbai, saying they "dwarf even this guy".

The other top winners: Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust-themed drama The Reader; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of Milk; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for The Dark Knight; and Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Penn said in his acceptance speech: "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns."

A five-time loser at the Oscars previously, Winslet triumphed for her role as a former concentration camp guard in an affair with a teenager.

For his demented reinvention of Batman villain the Joker, Ledger became 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.

His Oscar was accepted by his parents and sister on behalf of his 3-year-old daughter Matilda.

"I have to say this is ever so humbling, just being amongst such wonderful people in such a wonderful industry," said his father Kim Ledger.

"We'd like to thank the academy for recognising our son's amazing work, Warner Bros., and Christopher Nolan in particular for allowing Heath the creative license to develop and explore this crazy Joker character."

Since his death, the 28-year-old Ledger has gained a mythic aura akin to James Dean, another rising star who died well before his time.

The previous posthumous Oscar recipient was Peter Finch, who won best actor for 1976's Network two months after his death.

Slumdog composer A. R. Rahman said the movie was about "optimism and the power of hope."

"All my life, I've had a choice of hate and love. I chose love, and I'm here," Rahman said.

Milk writer Dustin Lance Black offered an impassioned tribute to Milk, the pioneering gay-rights politician who was slain 30 years ago.

"If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours," Black said.

The producers picked as the awards' host actor and song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman, who has been host of Broadway's Tony Awards.

Coincidentally, Jackman has an adopted Aboriginal Australian son named Oscar.