The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Slumdog Millionaire wins Big at the Oscars

After watching the 81st Academy Awards last night, there are now so many movies I want to see! Usually by Oscar time, I've seen a great many of the movies up for awards, but not this year for some reason. Maybe it's a money thing, or maybe it's just about being so busy... All I know is that now I have a list of at least twelve movies I want to rent as soon as they come to DVD.

Hugh Jackman was the night's host, and he did the best job of anyone since Billy Crystal back in the day. I honestly never knew that Hugh Jackman could sing and dance, so watching that gorgeous man pull out all the stops was really fun to watch. RIght at the beginning, he did a hilarious song and dance number that outlined the major films of the year... even bringing Anne Hathaway up on stage to sing and dance with him (she played Richard Nixon in his hilarious skit)... and it turns out she can sing too! Maybe someone out there was watching thinking to put the two of them together in a musical soon! Haha!

The very first award of the evening, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, went to Penelope Cruz, and she brought tears to my eyes. She was wearing a gorgeous off-white vintage gown and gave an elegant speech to match. One thing she said that touched my heart is that, "Where I come from, this is not a very realistic dream." I hear ya sister. I know exactly what you're talking about there. But, realistic or not, she made it, and her performance in Vickie Christina Barcelona won her an Oscar.

What follows now is a list of the award, then who won, and any other thoughts I had during the awards ceremony at that time.

Original Screenplay - Dustin Lance Black for MILK. Black looked so young, like 17 young, although I am sure he's at least in his 20s. You could tell he has a passion for the subject of gay rights, and that theme seemed to echo throughout the evening. I whole-heartedly agree with him... everyone should have equal rights.

Adapted Screenplay - The first of many Oscars for the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, adapted by Simon Beaufuoy.

Best Animated Feature - Wall-E, which I really would like to see. Presenting the animation awards was Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston. She looked amazing, as usual, and not a day over 30, so it's very hard to believe she's 40! Of course, the camera people had to keep panning over to shots of Brad and Angelina in the front row, smiling up at Jen.

Best Animated Short Film - La Mason en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato, a very cute asian man who did his best to deliver his speech in English. Sometimes I do wonder why short film and such are still a part of the main event, since obviously 99% of the viewing public has never seen these films. Anyway...

The next batch of awards was given away by Sarah Jessica Parker and the guy from The Transporter (can never remember his name... isn't he James Bond also now?) She looked completely fabulous, of course.
Art Direction - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Costume Design - The Duchess Michael O'Connor
Makeup - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Hard to believe this beat out Hellboy II with it's monsters, but I guess it is a challenge to get Brad Pitt looking like an old man.)

Cinematography - Anthony Dodd Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire. - Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller presented this award and Natalie looked amazing (but extremely skinny) in a long pink gown, while Stiller played the comedian in a long fake beard and sunglasses. It was one of the best parts of the show, honestly.

Live Action Short Film - Spielzeugland (Toyland). The man who wrote and directed this film grew up in East Germany, a very long way from Hollywood. It struck me that he said he worked four years on a fourteen minute movie. Wow. And I feel behind on my writing after less than two? Puts things into perspective perhaps.

"The Musical Is Back" - Continuing his very entertaining and fabulous MC job, Hugh Jackman and dancers performed a medley of songs from popular movie musicals of the past. There to join him was Beyonce Knowles, looking gorgeous as ever in a slinky red number. Baz Lurhman put together the medley (director of Romeo + Juliet with Leo, and also Australia director, as well as Moulin Rouge)

Best Supporting Actor - One of the most anticipated awards of the evening. ALthough there were some extremely talented actors in the lot of them, I think it was impossible to win this year against Heath Ledger. His father, mother and sister accepted the award for him, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. This is, I believe, only the second Oscar awarded to an actor who has passed away.

Documentary - Man on Wire.
Documentary Short - Smile Pinki (about children with cleft palletes.)
Visual Effects -The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which beat out blockbusters Ironman and Dark Knight.
Sound Editing - The Dark Knight.
Sound Mixing - Slumdog Millionaire
Film Editing - Slumdog Millionaire

Original Score - A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Original Song - A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire - Jai Ho. Accepting these awards, Rahman said, "All my life, I had a choice between hate and love. I chose love, and I'm here." I wonder if he meant taking a job he hated but was secure, and taking a job he loved, which led him to fame and fortune? Who knows.

Foreign Film - Departures from Japan. ("I'm bery bery happy." - so cute)

Before the four top awards were given, Queen Latifah came onstage and performed the song "I'll be seeing you..." while the giant screen behind her went through all of the people in the movie business who passed away this year. Some notable ones to mention: Bernie Mac (still can't believe he's gone), Michael Crichton (who wrote Jurrassik Park), Isaac Hayes, Ricardo Montalban, Charlton Heston, Sydney Pollack, and Paul Newman. I personally didn't see that Heath Ledger was even included in this tribute, but surely I just missed him? /shrug.

Best Director - Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire - This is the same guy who directed Trainspotting, one of my all-time favorite movies.

Best Actress in a Lead Role - Nominees in this category were legends for the most part - Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo (who I don't know), Meryl Streep (with her record 15th nomination), and Angelina Jolie. The Oscar went to Kate Winslet, making me desperately want to see The Reader now. And, as a side note, seeing Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry standing there looking so thin and beautiful was insane... did these women honestly recently give birth? Crazy...

Best Actor in a Lead Role - Nominees were Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Richard Jenkins (A man whose face you definitely recognize, but whose name is lesser known), Bradd Pitt (who doesn't have that problem), and Mickey Rourke (comeback of the century. You could see his hands shaking and I almost wanted him to win just for that reason) But the winner was Sean Penn for MILK, his portrayal of slain gay activist Harvey Milk was apparently spot on, and I now I want to see that movie as well. His speech started out... "You commy, homo-loving sons of guns." haha. He also took time to speak out for equal rights for everyone, saying that those people who voted to again ban gay marriage would someday be ashamed for that choice. I won't go into it here, but I seriously don't understand why people see gay marriage as a bad thing. If two people are in love and want to make that committment, for God's sake let them!

And finally... Best Motion Picture of the year.

Nominees were: Frost/ Nixon, Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, MILK, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And the Oscar went to .... Slumdog Millionaire. The producer who accepted the award gave me chills when he said, "When we started this movie, we had no stars. No power or muscle. Not enough money to do what we wanted to do. All we had was made love and a story we passionately wanted to tell. Passion and Belief... with that anything is possible." I thought that was a beautiful note to end on.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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