Oscars 2009: the results
Find out which films scooped the top prizes at this year's Academy Awards
Jettisoning the leftfield, political comic stylings that last year’s host Jon Stewart bought to the ceremony, Aussie actor Hugh Jackman was the master of ceremonies and offered a solid if unremarkable performance. At least his straight delivery helped make his guests appear funnier than they actually are.
Predictably, it was Danny Boyle’s giant-killing slab of Mumbai-set magical realism, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ that swept the board.
The film picked up the coveted one-two punch of Best Film – accepted by producer Christian Colson – and Best Director, which Boyle, as two weeks ago at the BAFTAs, looked pleased as punch about.
'Slumdog Millionaire' also picked up a clutch of technical awards, including Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay (for Brit Simon 'The Full Monty' Beaufoy), Best Song and Best Score (both for AR Rahman).
Many commentators had suggested that the 2009 Oscars were going to be something of a damp squib. The main worry was that the awards favourites were so far ahead of the pack that the element of surprise was zero. While shocks were few and far between, the biggest bombshell was that Sean Penn picked up the Best Actor award for his turn ‘Milk’, putting an end to a perfect run at previous awards by fellow contender Mickey Rourke.
Rourke's weather-beaten turn as a dejected fighter in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’ was certainly a triumph, but we were glad to see Gus Van Sant’s superb political biopic ‘Milk’ finally getting the recognition it so thoroughly deserves. We were also heartened to see Dustin Lance Black, the film’s writer, pick up the award for Best Original Screenplay.
Flag-wavers will be pleased that the Brits came up trumps again as Kate Winslet was awarded a Best Actress statuette in acknowledgment of her fine performance in Stephen Daldry’s ‘The Reader’. The Academy was probably rather miffed at her restrained acceptance speech, maybe hoping that another on-stage outburst of histrionic blubbing and name-dropping would have flown her up the YouTube charts as happened previously for her Golden Globes speech.
More British triumphs came in the form of the Best Documentary award, which went to Simon Chinn and James Marsh for ‘Man on Wire’, their edge-of-the-seat chronicle of French stuntman Philippe Petit's wire walk between New York City's Twin Towers in 1974.
There was also cause for patriotic cheer when Michael O’Connor picked up the Best Costume Design award for Saul Dibb’s underrated ‘The Duchess’.
There were more dead certs in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories. Heath Ledger picked up a posthumous award for his truly unnerving turn in ‘The Dark Knight’, while Penelope Cruz hit the jackpot as a fiery Catalan saucepot in Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’.
We were also pleased to see Andrew Stanton’s ‘WALL-E’ make the grade for Best Animation (was there anything within a thousand miles of beating it?). But we were slightly disappointed that Ari Folman’s bracingly original ‘Waltz with Bashir’ wasn’t recognised in the Best Foreign Film category. The winner was a Japanese film called ‘Departures’ by director Yojiro Takita which has not been released yet in the UK. We’re looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about.
The Oscar contenders of 2009 won’t be remembered as a vintage pack, especially when compared to the big films of last year ('There Will Be Blood', 'No Country for Old Men'). This year, the main awards went to 'Slumdog Millionaire', a film which, though totally harmless and enjoyable, will surely be the subject of one of those ‘What were they thinking?’ essays 20 years down the line – you know, the ones usually reserved for the likes of ‘Chicago’, ‘Out of Africa’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy’.
Author: Time Out
Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.
The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards
Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow
Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.
The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.
Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'
'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.
Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.
The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'
The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.
Read our interview with Michael Haneke
The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.
Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'
Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.
Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us
Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.
Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set
The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.
Read our interview with Tim burton
Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.
Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'
Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.
Read 'Film guilty pleasures'
What will Disney do to 'Star Wars'?
Read about the new 'Star Wars' trilogy
Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.
Read 'When teen stars turn serious'
From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.
Read '50 years of James Bond'
The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.
Read the interview
Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.
Read 'Hilarious horror films'
The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.
Read the interview
We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.
Read about this Autumn's best horror movies
Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.
Read 'On the set of Skyfall'
Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?
The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.
'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’