Welcome to our live blog of Oscars 2009 – a real night to remember for British talent as Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire swept the boards and Kate Winslet ended her Oscar duck
Slumdog’s day … cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire with the Oscar for best film. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
11.12pm: Code amber at the 81st annual Academy Awards. Welcome, welcome one and all: to the liggers behind the cordons, the dignitaries in their limos and to the hoi-polloi like us, camped out in front of the TV set. The carpet is laid, the lamps are lit and the sharpshooters have taken up their positions on the rooftops overlooking the Kodak theatre (presumably just a cautionary measure, in case Mickey Rourke gets too lary).
A swift note to those flummoxed by the time-stamp: we’re working on Greenwich Mean Time, on account of sitting in a deserted office in London as opposed to, say, in row D, right next to Jack Nicholson. Trust this doesn’t break the illusion. Right now, for instance, it is a shade after 3pm in California. The early arrivals will be showing up any moment now.
11.28pm: Have we time for an Oscar preamble? I’m guessing that we do, seeing as the carpet is currently playing host to Fearne Cotton, an irritable-looking woman in a black dress and a few hired goons dangling security passes around their necks. Time enough for preambling, I feel.
What will win and who will lose? Evidence suggests (screams, more like) that most of the big awards are all over bar the presentation. The drumbeat for the likes of Slumdog Millionaire, Kate Winslet and Heath Ledger began with the Globes, continued through the Baftas and appeared to reach a depressing crescendo two days ago with the reputed leak of a winners’ list that installed Slumdog as best picture, Winslet as best actress and Mickey Rourke as actor. Now it must be pointed out that the Academy have sworn up and down that this list is a fiction, a hoax, a tissue of lies, and that the votes were still being counted when it was sprung on the world.
Now cynics will obviously contend that this was always going to be their response. What else are they going to say? “Oh yeah, that’s the list. Still, tune in anyway on the night of 22 February to see whether Angelina Jolie is wearing a white dress or a black one”?
Down on the red carpet Fearne Cotton is insisting time and again that “the Oscars are mad”. People don’t realise this, she asserts with the fiery, wild-eyed conviction of an angry down-and-out. The Oscars are mad! Pray God that the world will listen. If the Oscars are mad they need urgent psychiatric attention, and Fearne is but one woman; a lone voice in the wilderness.
11.39pm: Thanks for the early comments. Yes, Zoe Margolis, I have some industrial strength coffee at my elbow (perilously near my elbow) as I type. And yes, annapickard, the sole purpose of Jack being here is so he can get drunk off his arse (we tried for Helen Mirren but she was “unavailable”, they told us). So right now he’s sitting here in his tux, sober as a judge and as excited as a kitten. Come sun-up he will be rolling in a gutter, singing Moon River to a passing policeman. Coincidentally this is also Mickey Rourke’s itinerary for the evening.
11.50pm: What’s become of the red carpet? Whither the Kodak theatre? We have become lost in the backrooms and corporate corridors of some infernal LA convention centre. Fearne Cotton has slipped the leash and is running frantically back and forth, shouting “Wow!” and hugging passersby.
Whoops, and now she’s run slap-bang up against the child stars of Slumdog Millionaire. At least their air of unruly excitement seems genuine; an antidote to all the counterfeit glee that’s wafting around their ears. “Can I just say that that was so cute?” coos Fearne afterwards. She can and she does, almost killing the moment into the bargain. Almost, but thankfully not quite.
0.01am: The cast of Slumdog Millionaire seem to be dominating the first part of this Oscar night, just as the bookies are predicting they will dominate the last. Here come grinning Dev Patel and demure Freida Pinto, who appears to have shown up without her “secret husband”, which is a shame. Notebooks out, fashionistas: Pinto confesses that her dress is by John Galliano.
Still on a sartorial note, Miley Cyrus has gone out on a limb with her own outfit. Subediting Chai remarks that she looks “like a mountain of doilies”. I’m hoping that Fearne will pursue this line of inquiry. “Wow, Miley, you look both amazing and mad! Have you come as a mountain of doilies?”
0.17am: Ahead of the event, Academy president Sid Ganis was at pains to point out that this year’s Oscars “is going to be a show that takes some bold risks”. Swirling rumours from the red carpet suggest that this means that it is to feature some musical numbers. Outside the Kodak, everyone is contorted with anticipation at this prospect. Musical numbers! It only goes to prove that Fearne was right, and that the Oscars have officially gone as bazonkas as a bagful of snakes. Batten down the hatches, people. This will be razzle and there may even be dazzle. So don’t say you haven’t been warned.
0.27am: Shame. Fearne Cotton does not say that Miley Cyrus looks like the Thunder Mountain of Doilies. She says she looks “beautiful” and is wearing “a princess dress”. Down on the comment board, NeverEnoughShoes likes it too, however, so what do we know?
Oh, and here comes Josh Brolin – so good in Milk but destined, surely, to fall to the posthumous challenge of Heath Ledger in the hunt for the best supporting actor Oscar. Brolin says that his plans for the night are to sweep up some awards and then head off to the party. I’m guessing that he will fulfill at least one of those ambitions.
0.39am: The first truly bizarre moment of this year’s Oscars comes courtesy of (you guessed it) Mickey Rourke. He ambles up the red carpet wearing the white suit of a cinematic paladin, the Sir Gallahad of Beverly Hills.
But check out those accoutrements. That gold chain rattling round his pants is the choke chain that once nestled at the throat of his late dog, Loki (handy for when he got a bit too frisky or murderous). That medallion round his neck contains a picture of Loki in happier times. Just look at Loki. His ears are up and his tongue is pink and he gazes out at Fearne with a stare of sweet, soulful wisdom.
For her part, Fearne inspects the gold choke chain and declares that it is “beautiful”. Rourke seems happy enough with that verdict. With that he prepares to lead Loki on what may be his last walk, up the steps and towards an Oscar. No nature breaks on the way, please. Let’s keep it clean down there.
0.52am: One of this year’s key questions solved. Angelina Jolie is wearing a black dress, not a white one. Inevitably her arrival causes quite a stir. “The crowd behind me are literally going bonkers,” claims excitable Fearne Cotton. Watch out, Fearne! They’ll bum-rush the cordons and devour you whole; screaming, screaming all the while.
More alarmingly, this mounting mood of insanity appears to be claiming the presenters too. Back in London, Claudia Winkleman insists that she will “eat her hair and wail” if Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t win the best picture Oscar.Will she really do this? It almost makes me want Slumdog to crash and burn
1.03am: Are they all in the theatre? Hurry up, hurry up; there is only so much red carpet we can stare at, only so much Fearne we can stomach (mad and ‘mazing though she is).
1.20am: Finally, it’s the 81st annual Academy Awards. Actually I’m lying – the ceremony hasn’t quite started yet, but the carpet trundling seems to have stopped and by the time I finish writing this, we will be under way … under way … any minute now.
In the meantime, let’s recap. Slumdog Millionaire is the prohibitive favourite to win the best film gong, with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailing a distant second. Kate Winslet is likewise the hot favourite to win her first acting Oscar for her role in The Reader as the Evil Nazi Death Camp Fraulein What Can’t Read (this, it should be pointed out, is not how Winslet would describe the role herself).
The race for best actor is a tad more open. Mickey Rourke is the slight favourite here for his superb, cathartic turn in The Wrestler, although Sean Penn is in with a shout courtesy of a brilliant impersonation of Harvey Milk in the Gus van Sant biopic. Insiders are also speculating that Rourke’s high-living, high-rolling, high-profile antics since the Baftas may end up swinging late voters in Penn’s favour. It’s a curious case of affairs when the brawling, paparazzi-bashing Penn is set up as the noble good guy to Rourke’s reprobate. Maybe, once all this is over, they can team up for a remake of some odd couple buddy movie: Tango and Cash, perhaps, or Turner and Hooch.
1.29am: Thanks to Conrad Quilty-Harper who emails me with Ryan Seacrest’s astounding red carpet interview with the young cast of Slumdog, over on E!
Hate to admit it, but it’s enough to make me think well of Fearne Cotton. First up, Seacrest assembles the kids and breezily confesses that he “can’t pronounce all these names”. Then, after grilling one child who looks about nine years old, he turns to the camera and marvels that this kid “doesn’t speak English” (Seacrest’s Hindi, by contrast, is presumably beyond reproach).
I know this is the same Seacrest guy who is constantly boasting that he is “live on E!”, but that’s really no excuse.
Aha, it is the end of the beginning. Now, at long last, the ceremony is about to commence.
1.41am: So here they come: the 81st Academy Awards.
Out walks Oscar host Hugh Jackman, the razzle-dazzle roughneck; Clark Gable channelling the spirit of Bruce Forsyth (or should that be the other way around?).
With respect to the recession, Jackman promptly hurls himself into a no-frills musical routine, complete with the cardboard backdrops of an am-dram production and gallant support from Anne Hathaway (who can actually sing). Against all the odds, it’s pretty good: amiable, warm-hearted and unashamedly shambolic. Say what you like, you’d never have caught Jon Stewart doing something like this.
Random thought: hasn’t Jackman built a career on snagging the jobs that Russell Crowe turned down (X-Men; Australia)? This raises the enticing prospect that Crowe was offered the gig first. I’d like to have seen that. Crowe would have mumbled a poem into the mic, tussled with the bouncers when his monologue overran and then laid out a guest presenter who made a light-hearted crack about his weight. It would have been both mad and amazing.
Ah well, maybe next year.
Another random thought: does this opening routine mean that we are in for the Depression-era Oscars? If so, one wonders how far they are going to push the envelope. Will we be treated to a Soup Kitchen Spectacular, in which Robert De Niro and Miley Cyrus spoon out gruel to the hungry? Or maybe a Dustbowl Interlude, in which a wind machine blows top-soil into the eyes of the great and the good. Time will tell.
1.46am: Jackman’s celebrity roast comes out of the oven a little underdone. First he flirts with Kate Winslet (who seems to be have been seated suspiciously near the front). Then he plumps himself down in Frank Langella‘s lap, and informs the debauched melted candle otherwise known as Mickey Rourke that he “looks great”. Even dear departed Loki would have struggled to say that with a straight face (straight muzzle?).
1.59am: The first award for the night is the Academy Award for best supporting actress, presented by a quintet of former winners (including Anjelica Huston, who seems intent on lavishing Penélope Cruz with faint praise: “Even if we didn’t understand every word you said …”)
If anything, Cruz is the slight favourite for this one, although everyone will fancy their chances here.
And the Oscar goes to …. Penélope Cruz for her turn as the Latin virago in Woody Allen‘s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
“Has anyone fainted here before, because I may be the first one,” gulps Cruz, who goes on to pay tribute to Allen as well as Spanish mentors Pedro Almodóvar and Bigas Luna (who gave Cruz her first role, in 1992’s Jamon Jamon). “Art is our universal language,” she concludes, perhaps in riposte to Huston.
2.03am: Second award of the night: best original screenplay. It goes to Dustin Lance Black for Milk.
At the podium, Black provides the first tears of the night, as he recalls how the assassinated gay rights activist Harvey Milk was an inspiration for him and pushes for the repeal of Proposition Eight.
Thanks to Hazlit, who informs me that Russell Crowe actually hosted the Australian Film awards a few years back. Rather depressingly, Hazlit goes on to say that the event was eminently forgettable. Maybe we’ll stick with Jackman after all.
The award, incidentally, is presented by Tina Fey and Steve Martin who are genuinely, rousingly amusing, veering off into perfectly timed jibe at Hollywood Scientologists and waxing lyrical about “our religion, which we made up”. Hasn’t Martin hosted this shebang a few times in the past? He was good value, as I recall.
2.06am: And the award for best adapted screenplay goes to … Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. One suspects that this award is the first of many. On stage, Beaufoy offers thanks to director Danny Boyle and proucer Christian Colson – “the other two musketeers”. Chances are they will have the chance to return the favour before too long.
2.14am: Turns out we were misled by the interminable parade out on the red carpet. We are now rattling through these awards at a rate that suggests that the organisers might have double-booked the Kodak Theatre. Maybe Sunday night is Bingo night.
So the Oscar for best animated feature goes where everyone said it would – to Pixar’s terrific WALL-E, and few will have an issue with that.
Moments later the gong for best animated short is handed to Kunio Kato for La Maison en Petits Cubes. I don’t know whether Kato was the hot favourite or the wild-card outsider in this category. I’m not sure whether he did either.
2.19am: “The film now moves from the page to the stage,” announces Sarah Jessica Parker, and her co-presenter Daniel Craig flicks a nervous glance to the wings. Maybe he thinks that the film literally is moving, right this minute, and that any second it is going to fly out from behind the curtain and knock him senseless.
But no, he’s all right. It’s just the preamble to the award for art direction and it goes to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. David Fincher‘s yarn led the field coming into the night with a whopping 13 nominations. For all that, it is currently running in the shadow of Slumdog.
2.26am: Union flags at the ready. Rule Britannia etc, etc, etc. Michael O’Connor scoops the costume design award for his work on The Duchess, which goes down as another British success. Over at the next bank of desks, my colleague Jason Solomons is delighted. He tipped O’Connor for this award some six months ago, when The Duchess first came out.
No thanks for Jason from the podium, however. Typical. You trumpet these people for all you’re worth. You build them up and make them what they are. And where’s the thanks? There is no thanks. Instead, they walk away without a backward glance – all the way to the Oscar then on to the party, perhaps to dance with a showgirl and jump in a swimming pool. “Jason who?” he’s thinking now. “Jason who?”
2.29am: Whoops, fell behind and missed out on the makeup award. What am I thinking? The Oscar goes to … The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is now two for 13. Congratulations to the powder crowd.
2.37am: Accompanied by Natalie Portman, Ben Stiller shuffles out on stage in the guise of Joaquin Phoenix. He is sporting a Unabomber beard and a zonked-out thousand-yard stare. “This is ridiculous,” says Portman. “You’re chewing gum at the Oscars.” Stiller simply wanders off and inspects his shoes.
And the Oscar for cinematography goes to the great Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire. Seems a good choice to me. Mantle is one of the world’s great cinematographers and, with Slumdog, he conjured up a brilliant, vibrant, vital and grimy vision of Mumbai. Not sure, but I think that Slumdog and Button are now locked in a dead heat on two awards apiece. The night is still young, however.
2.43am: Oh, and we should point out at this point that no, the Academy were not lying when they poured scorn on the notorious Leaked List of Winners. This list, remember, said that Amy Adams would win the best supporting actress Oscar, and that In Bruges would be named best original screenplay. In the event, the winners were Penélope Cruz and Milk. All at once these Oscars seem almost dramatic again.
2.50am: Another five minutes, another award. This one is for live-action short and it goes to Spielzeugland, which means “Toyland”. Toyland sounds more enticing, and is altogether more easy to type.
Incidentally, I’m wary of saying this, but these Oscars are really rather funny. What’s not to like about James Franco and Seth Rogen’s Beavis and Butthead routine, slobbed on the couch in front of this year’s contenders. Their giggling and guffawing at The Reader is somehow more damning (and more exposing of the film’s overweening pomposity) than a thousand bad reviews.
3.02am: OK, so here is one of those “bold risks” that Sid Ganis was promising. And as predicted it is musical in nature. Here is a grand slice of Depression-era escapism. It features Hugh Jackman in a top hat and Beyoncé in a red dress (and a top hat), and they are singing show-tunes and Abba medleys at each other. On and on it goes, boldly going to riskiness and back, and afterwards the crowd applauds indulgently. I think my ears are bleeding. Someone fetch me a tissue.
The “man who created that number” is Baz Luhrmann, apparently. He sits in his seat looking suitably sheepish as the applause peters out around him. And with that we cut to a commercial break. One of these commercials is for razor blades. Considering what we have just been subjected to, this strikes me as somewhat irresponsible.
3.12am: We have now reached the Oscar for best supporting actor; the nearest thing to a foregone conclusion. It goes – posthumously – to Heath Ledger for his splendidly scary, slippery performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight and is collected by his family.
Of course, this award probably should have gone to him a few years back for Brokeback Mountain. But few would begrudge this. Ledger was a devastatingly good actor, whose death at the age of 28 caught us all by surprise. He now joins Peter Finch as the only thespians to ever win a posthumous acting Oscar. The final chapter has been written and if it’s not a happy ending, exactly, it is at least a satisfying one.
3.17am: My, the documentary category is strong this year. In the event the Oscar goes, not to the legendary Werner Herzog, nor to the makers of the camcorder Katrina masterpiece, Trouble the Water.
It goes, instead, to James Marsh’s marvellous Man On Wire, about the French high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit.
“This is the shortest speech in Oscar history – Yes!” says Petit. “But I also want to say, because I always break my own rules, that’s what I do, I also want to say …” And with that he’s off on a delightful ramble. Thank heavens he was more surefooted when he walked that tightrope all those years ago.
3.28am: Huge Action (as aTeaButNoE dubs him) is back on stage, sans the top hat, to usher in the postproduction awards. Now these are traditionally regarded as the – how shall we put this? – less glamorous section of the Oscar telecast. Except that Huge is having none of this. “This is the cool stuff,” he barks. “Take a look.” And with that we are treated to a angry, hectoring montage of stunt scenes – as opposed to, say, an elderly sound editor bent low over an AVID.
And the Oscar for best visual effects goes to … The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. David Fincher’s epic fable has now nosed into the lead, with three gongs so far.
3.38am: Award No 2 for The Dark Knight, which wins for sound editing. Claiming the award is sound editor Richard King. He bears a spooky resemblance to Richard Jenkins, the best actor nominee for The Visitor. Has anyone seen these two people together at the same time? Has Jenkins reasoned that the best chance he stands of winning an Oscar this year is to pass himself off as some sound editor no one knows anyway. Cunning move, Jenkins.
Seconds later comes the award for sound mixing, which on no account is ever to be confused with sound editing; perish that thought. As if to drive the point home, the Academy gives this Oscar to a very different film – Slumdog Millionaire, bringing it level with Benjamin Button on three awards.
Scratch that, Slumdog now has four. It’s just won the editing Oscar too. Chris Dickens takes the award and says that he loved working on the film and “didn’t want it to end”. Isn’t this a handicap for an editor? “I love this film so much that I don’t want it to end. Here’s a final cut that runs 867 minutes.”
3.50am: He has been a screeching clown, a gurning sidekick, a sour chatshow host in The King of Comedy and a charity powerhouse. And now, it transpires, Jerry Lewis is an Oscar-winner as well. The original Nutty Professor accepts a lifetime achievement gong from his successor Eddie Murphy in recognition for his humanitarian efforts over the past 50-odd years.
At the podium, Lewis seems subdued, possibly ailing, and it is only at the end that he cracks his trademark goofy grin, brandishing his statue at someone in the crowd. For all the talk of Jerry’s achievement, however, there is no mention of The Day the Clown Cried, his notorious 1970s tale of a loveable entertainer who cheers up the kids in the concentration camps. The film was yanked from circulation and has never been knowingly screened. Nearly four decades on, however, and here comes Kate Winslet as the runaway favourite to win an Oscar for playing an Evil Nazi Death Camp Guard What Can’t Read. Once upon a time it could have been Jerry.
3.57am: You want the Oscar for original score? You got it.
Well actually, you haven’t got it. AR Rahman has got it. He wrote the score for Slumdog Millionaire, so he probably deserves it more than we do in any case. And with that, Danny Boyle’s Mumbai picaresque puts further distance between itself and that film about the buttons. It now has five Oscars to Benjamin’s three.
4.06am: It’s a bumper musical-medley-mash-up, live on stage and as bold and as risk-taking as Philippe Petit walking blindfolded on a bit of dental floss. Having just necked a bottle of scotch.
After that, the Oscar (for best original song) comes as something as an afterthought. It goes, again, to AR Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire (its sixth of the night).
“All my life I have had a choice between hate and love,” he tells us. “I chose love, and that is why I am here tonight.”
Damn it. I knew I should have chosen love. Why did I have to go and choose hate? It just looked, I dunno, more cool somehow. Ah well, too late now. Should have gone for love.
4.15am: Now here comes Liam Neeson and Freida Pinto to present the award for best foreign language film. Why is Neeson presenting this award, specifically? Surely it can’t be in any way connected to his recent role in Taken, which seems to feature him strangling, chinning, shooting and decapitating anyone and everyone who speaks in a foreign language. Note to whoever wins this thing: give Neeson the widest possible berth. Only accept the Oscar if Pinto hands it to you! Avoid the death-dealing fists of Neeson!
Now this category seemed a toss-up between the Israeli animation Waltz With Bashir and the French drama The Class. But this has always been a weird and unpredictable prize, and true to form it goes to a rank outsider – Departures, from Japan.
Kudos to Kristopher Tapley, a writer over at Incontention.com, who seems to be one of the only people who predicted this one. Departures, he wrote this week, “is the sort of safe, solid work that tends to take out the frontrunner in this category time and time again”. I have yet to see Departures, and maybe it’s great. Even so, right now, I can’t help feeling that both Bashir and The Class have been robbed.
4.26am: And the Oscar for best director goes to … Danny Boyle, for Slumdog Millionaire. Fulfilling a promise to his children, he accepts the award “in the spirit of Tigger” – the irrepressible cat from Hundred-Acre Wood. Boyle goes on to thank “everyone who helped us make the film and everyone who didn’t”, which I guess includes us.
Is this a good result? I think it is. Boyle is a shrewd, brilliant, energetic director and made Slumdog Millionaire a far better film that it otherwise might have been. He has paid his dues and been around for years. Chances are he will be around for plenty more. Long may he bounce, Tigger-like, from one production to the next.
4.38am: Gather round people, it is the Kate Winslet Oscar Moment. By God it’s been a while in coming and now here it is. It will not be denied; its hour has come at last. Five former Oscar-winners (Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren et al) take to the stage to anoint their successor. Loren sports an orange tan that suggests her last vacation was on Three Mile Island. She’s glowing, but not necessarily in a good way.
And the award itself? It might have been Jolie, it might have been Streep. But it’s not. It’s Winslet for The Reader, completing a treble that began at the Globes and continued through the Baftas and ends a run of five nominations without a win. Needless to say, she is rather emotional.
“I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was an eight-year-old, looking in the bathroom mirror, and this [the Oscar] was a bottle of shampoo,” she says. “It’s not a shampoo bottle now.”
And after that, the waterworks. Mention of the film’s late producers – Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack – chokes her up and she pauses for breath. Ploughing on she heaps hasty praise on her fellow nominees – “goddesses”, every one – and then comes reeling off the stage. It’s sixth time lucky for Kate Winslet, and her own personal psychodrama, her own epic quest, has now had its final act.
4.47am: Exit Winslet, enter five former best actor Oscar-winners (Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Adrien Brody, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley). Brody is going for the Rasputin look and looks a little scary. Oh, and PS: that’s Sir Ben Kingsley to you.
What follows next is the closest thing we have seen to an upset. Sean Penn takes the prize for his splendid turn as the assassinated gay activist Harvey Milk in the Gus van Sant biopic. Rourke, the slight favourite for the award, is floored. Did his much reported extracurricular activities scupper his chances?
“You commie, homo-loving sons of guns,” grins Penn, whose speech overruns wildly. He goes on to call for equal rights for everyone, gay or straight, and pays tribute to his fallen foe. “Mickey Rourke rises again,” he says. “And he is my brother.”
“That was the Penn-ultimate award,” quips stupidshallow, and they are absolutely right. There is just the big one left to go.
4.57am: We have now reached the end of the show, the top of the hour. We have had jokes and songs and Depression-era dance routines. We have seen Benjamin Button flounder, and seen Sean Penn upset Mickey Rourke and Kate Winslet make it sixth time lucky. And now here comes Steven Spielberg to announce the winner of the Academy Award for best picture.
And the winner is …. Slumdog Millionaire. It is its eighth award of the night, a bumper haul that puts it well ahead of its rivals. But this one is the crown; the one that really matters.
Now ostensibly the winner of this particular gong is producer Christian Colson. Except that Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t work that way. The film is a collaboration, an ensemble piece. Fittingly, the stage is promptly mobbed by cast and crew, young and old. It is an Oscar for all of them, and they all look purely overjoyed to receive it.
5.08am: Roll carpet, roll credits. The 81st Academy Awards have come to an end and Slumdog has had its day. So too did Kate Winslet and Sean Penn. Penélope Cruz snared the Oscar for best supporting actress – ooh, about three weeks ago, it feels like – while Heath Ledger received a posthumous award as best supporting actor. It was also, it should be noted, a vintage year for British talent.
And OK, this was by and large a pretty predictable affair. The main awards went where they were meant to, with the possible exception of Penn’s upset victory over Mickey Rourke. For all that, it’s hard to begrudge most of these results. Slumdog was the film that came out of nowhere (last summer there was even talk of releasing it straight on to DVD). It is arguably the world’s first truly globalised blockbuster; a tale of the Mumbai slums, shot by a Brit and partly cast with Hindi-speaking players, that broke out to take the world by storm.
Right, that’s it, the cleaners are running a vacuum cleaner around my feet and the parties are about to begin. Thanks a bunch for sticking with me, and for all your comments. Sorry for the typos, the rambling, the inexplicable breaks in transmission. Oh, and the rambling as well. Sleep well, one and all. Choose love, not hate.