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2009 Academy Award Oscar Winners

Oscar.jpgSo the 2009 Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, have finished. While I slept soundly the awards were walked through and the winners checked off. However there were some surprises this year both good and bad. Best Film and Best Actor may not have been what you expected, and while other awards mirror awards ceremonies before and bandwagons are leapt upon, there are a few surprises.

You can see the full list and some of my comments in the main article. Have a look and speak your mind too.

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader

Best film of the year? Now while I think Slumdog Millionaire was a good film the second half was pretty weak for the brother relationship and the Bollywood influence is thrown on the end during the credits. While people are getting mad for all the wrong reasons about this film and what they think westerners are thinking of India afterwards, I think the most shocking thing is how the Bollywood number is just thrown on at the end and it feels like a token gesture.

No, not the best film, and it seems stunning that one of the others weren't picked.

Best Actor: Sean Penn in Milk
Richard Jenkins in The Visitor
Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

Finally, some deserved recognition for the part that Sean Penn played in Milk. That was a great film and a superb performance, although I'm not sure how they are going to justify that with the trend of Mickey Rourke awards.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet in The Reader
Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie in Changeling
Melissa Leo in Frozen River
Meryl Streep in Doubt

Surprised? I don't think so. The competition was tough for everyone but signs from the beginning were that Winslet was going to walk away with it, and it's happened.

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

Best Director not co-Director. I'm struggling with this one again, the quality that it was up against was superb, and for the way that the brothers relationship was handled in the second half of the film I really can't justify him being the best out of all of these nominees. Daldry, Fincher and Howard?

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Amy Adams in Doubt
Viola Davis in Doubt
Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler

Well that's the popular opinion. I thought that the film was pretty poor and Cruz's performance was the one that really stood out, but up against Tomei and Adams I'm really not that sure.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
Josh Brolin in Milk
Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road

Check box ticked. Forget all the other actors that died this year, this one deserved an honorary award for his second last film – that, by the way, is sarcasm.

Best Original Screenplay: Milk written by Dustin Lance Black
Frozen River written by Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky written by Mike Leigh
In Bruges written by Martin McDonagh
WALL-E screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon. Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Fantastic. I totally agree with this choice, superb script and film.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
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

Now I don't agree with this. Considering the story and the complex themes, I would think that Benjamin Button turned out the best, or Frost/Nixon which also presented similar difficulties.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E
Kung Fu Panda


Best Animated Short Film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory - Lovestory
This Way Up

Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
Changeling – Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
The Dark Knight – Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
The Duchess – Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road – Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

If there could have been joint winners then Benjamin Button and The Reader should surely have taken this home together.

Best Costume Design: Michael O'Connor for The Duchess
Catherine Martin for Australia
Jacqueline West for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Danny Glicker for Milk
Albert Wolsky for Revolutionary Road

Costume drama done a thousands times, done again. Tick.

Best Make-up: Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan for The Dark Knight
Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz for Hellboy II: The Golden Army

That's interesting. How much was make-up and how much was CGI?

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire
Tom Stern for Changeling
Claudio Miranda for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Wally Pfister for The Dark Knight
Chris Menges and Roger Deakins for The Reader

Wow, another one I don't agree with. It should have gone to The Dark Knight without a doubt.

Best Live Action Short Film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig

Best Documentary: Man on Wire
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Trouble the Water

Best Documentary Short Film: Smile Pinki
The Conscience of Nhem
The Final Inch
The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

Best Visual Effects: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin for The Dark Knight
John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan for Iron Man

Absolutely, you cannot argue with that, the effects in Benjamin Button are superb. The ageing head of Brad Pitt placed on other people's bodies are amazing and without flaw.

Best Sound Editing: Richard King for The Dark Knight
Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes for Iron Man
Tom Sayers for Slumdog Millionaire
Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood for WALL-E
Wylie Stateman for Wanted

Aha! Well deserved, and this is one of the four factors that makes The Dark Knight so strong, and indeed Heath Ledger's performance.

Best Sound Mixing: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick for The Dark Knight
Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt for WALL-E
Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt for Wanted

Best Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Lee Smith for The Dark Knight
Mike Hill and Dan Hanley for Frost/Nixon
Elliot Graham for Milk

Really? I find that one hard to pick to be honest. What about you?

Best Music: A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire
Alexandre Desplat for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
James Winner: Newton Howard for Defiance
Danny Elfman for Milk
Thomas Newman for WALL-E

Now I agree with this one for Slumdog, it does have a superb soundtrack, if a bit overpowering.

Best Song: Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire - Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyrics by Gulzar
Down to Earth from WALL-E - Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman; Lyrics by Peter Gabriel
O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire - Music and Lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

Best Forgeign Film: Departures
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Waltz with Bashir

Now that surprised me too, I would have thought it was going to be The Class, The Bashir or Complex, and in that order.

So what do you think of the awards this year? Have they done something to move away from the standard fare that you might have thought would have won? Anything that you totally disagree with?



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