81st Academy Awards
81st Academy Awards

LOS ANGELES, Feb 23, 2009 / FW/ — It was almost as if the whole show was scripted, even when the winners were named. “Slumdog Milllionare” swept the Academy Awards with eight prizes, including for best picture.

Heath Ledger posthumously won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in “The Dark Knight,” and Penélope Cruz won for best supporting actress for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Kate Winslet and Sean Penn took home best actress and best actor awards for their respective performances in “The Reader” and “Milk.”

Somehow, there was no surprise in that; and though having Hugh Jackman as host was entertaining, the 81st Academy Awards has lost its glitter in more ways than one.

Perhaps it’s because the concept is old; most of us grew up watching the Academy Awards on television. The format has not changed – Hollywood patting each other in the back. We used to sit for hours in front of the television just to know who won.

But that was before the internet and before red carpet dressing became a sport. Maybe, that’s part of the delusion. The mystery and allure of red carpet dressing had been debunked. ‘Who are you wearing’ is a tired old phrase and should actually be retired.

Still, this is Hollywood’s biggest night and in honor of their achievements of their craft, here are the winners of the 81st Annual Academy Awards:

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)

Best animated feature film of the year
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

Achievement in art direction
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo

Achievement in cinematography
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

Achievement in costume design
“The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor

Achievement in directing
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Best documentary feature
“Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall in association with Red Box Films Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn

Best documentary short subject
“Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan

Achievement in film editing
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

Best foreign language film of the year
“Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan

Achievement in makeup
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar

Best motion picture of the year
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production, Christian Colson, Producer

Best animated short film
“La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato

Achievement in sound editing
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King

Achievement in sound mixing
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty

Achievement in visual effects
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron

Adapted screenplay
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Original screenplay
“Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black

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