‘Slumdog Millionaire’ wins best picture Oscar Award

Posted on February 23, 2009. Filed under: Bollywood Movie | Tags: , , , , , |

By Todd Leopold

slumdog“Slumdog Millionaire,” the little film that overcame tremendous odds simply to earn an American release, won eight Oscars Sunday night at the 81st annual Academy Awards, including best picture.

“Most of all we had passion and we had belief, and our film shows if you have those two things, you have everything,” said producer Christian Colson, surrounded by many members of the film’s huge cast and crew.

It was a supremely unlikely success story. “Millionaire,” which combines elements of Bollywood melodrama and documentary grit, features no stars.

It’s set largely among the poverty-stricken districts of Mumbai, India, and one-third of the film is in Hindi. Its initially reluctant director, Danny Boyle, is better known for brash British films such as “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later.” And the film almost went straight to DVD in America, thanks to the folding of initial studio Warner Independent Pictures (like CNN, it’s a unit of Time Warner).

But the film’s orphaned, poverty-raised hero, played by Dev Patel, overcomes his challenges to earn a spot on the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” — not necessarily to win money, but to connect with his lost love. On the show, he’s told that perhaps he is a figure of destiny.

“It is written,” the show’s smarmy host tells him, somewhat mockingly, after Patel’s character aces several questions.

“Slumdog’s” filmmakers were jubilant at the wins, which also included Oscars for best director (Boyle), best adapted screenplay (Simon Beaufoy), score (A.R. Rahman), cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), song, sound mixing and film editing.

Boyle jumped up and down as he accepted his award, saying he’d told his children that if he ever won, he’d bounce like Tigger from “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Rahman was equally appreciative.

“All my life I’ve had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I’m here,” he said.

“Slumdog’s” main competition, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” won just three Oscars, all in minor categories. The film had led the pack with 13 nominations.

Complete list of Academy Award winners and nominees

Best picture
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“Frost/Nixon”
“Milk”
“The Reader”
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire”

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

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

Actress
Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Meryl Streep, “Doubt”
WINNER: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Supporting actor
Josh Brolin, “Milk”
Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”
WINNER: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”

Supporting actress
Amy Adams, “Doubt”
WINNER: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”

Animated feature
“Bolt”
“Kung Fu Panda”
WINNER: “WALL-E”

Adapted screenplay
“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
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

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

Art direction
“Changeling,” James J. Murakami; set decoration: Gary Fettis
WINNER: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
“The Dark Knight,” Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Peter Lando
“The Duchess,” Michael Carlin; set decoration: Rebecca Alleway
“Revolutionary Road,” Kristi Zea; set decoration: Debra Schutt

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

Costume design
“Australia,” Catherine Martin
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Jacqueline West
WINNER: “The Duchess,” Michael O’Connor
“Milk,” Danny Glicker
“Revolutionary Road,” Albert Wolsky

Documentary feature
“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“The Garden”
WINNER: “Man on Wire”
“Trouble the Water”

Documentary short
“The Conscience of Nhem En”
“The Final Inch”
WINNER: “Smile Pinki”
“The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306”

Film editing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“The Dark Knight,” Lee Smith
“Frost/Nixon,” Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
“Milk,” Elliot Graham
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” Chris Dickens

Foreign language film
“The Baader Meinhof Complex,” Germany
“The Class,” France
WINNER: “Departures,” Japan
“Revanche,” Austria
“Waltz with Bashir,” Israel

Makeup
WINNER: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Greg Cannom
“The Dark Knight,” John Caglione Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Original score
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Alexandre Desplat
“Defiance,” James Newton Howard
“Milk,” Danny Elfman
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman
“WALL-E,” Thomas Newman

Original song
“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E,” music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, lyrics by Peter Gabriel
WINNER: “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” music and lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

Animated short
WINNER: “La Maison en Petits Cubes”
“Lavatory — Lovestory”
“Oktapodi”
“Presto”
“This Way Up”

Live-action short
“Auf der Strecke (On the Line)”
“Manon on the Asphalt”
“New Boy”
“The Pig”
WINNER: “Spielzeugland”

Sound editing
WINNER: “The Dark Knight,” Richard King
“Iron Man,” Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers
“WALL-E,” Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
“Wanted,” Wylie Stateman

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

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

Via: cnn.com

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