The little indie that could has now won the biggest prize that the movie industry has to offer.

'Slumdog' Snags Eight Oscars

on February 22, 2009 by Phil Contrino

As expected, Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner at the Oscars. The Fox Searchlight release snagged a total of eight wins, including Best Picture and Best Director.

In the much debated Best Actor race, Sean Penn was able to edge past Mickey Rourke. The two actors took turns winning major awards this year, and now the final vote has been cast.

In one of the night's only genuine surprises, Departures topped the heavily favored Waltz with Bashir in the Best Foreign Film category. Other than that, the favorites won in categories such as Best Actress (Kate Winslet, The Reader ) and Best Documentary ( Man on Wire ).

In the night's most touching moment, Heath Ledger's father and two sisters accepted the Best Supporting Actor Oscar on his behalf.

The complete list of winners:

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Best Foreign Film: Departures
Best Animated Film: WALL-E
Best Animated Short: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Costume Design: The Duchess
Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Live Action Short: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Documentary Short: Smile Pinki
Best Special Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Best Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song: “Jai Ho!” from Slumdog Millionaire

Read our live blog updates from the show here:

Best Picture goes to Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog 's total haul stands at eight. This may not have been my favorite movie of the year, but it did manage to bring a very unconventional story to mainstream audiences and for that reason it should be commended.

* * *

Sean Penn has topped Mickey Rourke in the Best Actor category. What an incredibly close race that was. In the end, the coin landed on Penn.

I like how when Robert De Niro mentioned Spicoli during his Sean Penn tribute it received the most applause. I smell a spinoffl!! In the film, a middle-aged Spicoli will realize that he is taking himself too seriously and he'll return to his surfer ways.

* * *

Best Actress goes to Kate Winslet. What a shock! I'm definitely not the biggest fan of The Reader, so I wish she received recognition for a better film. Winslet headed into Meryl Streep territory as far as nominations are concerned, which means this won't be her last time at the podium.

* * *

Another win for Danny Boyle. This guy is officially the most gracious person working in Hollywood. Check out our interview with Boyle here .

* * *

A typically moving tribute. So many legends left us this year. Personally, I'll miss the work of Paul Newman and Sydney Pollack the most. No actor working today is even remotely as cool as Newman was.

Luckily, both of these guys managed to do excellent work in the autumn of their lives. Newman's performance in Road to Perdition is perfection, and Pollack totally stole the show in Michael Clayton.

* * *

Best Foreign Language Film goes to Departures. Finally, an upset! It seems like the favorite in this category loses quite often. Anybody remember The Lives of Others beating Pan's Labyrinth a couple of years ago?

* * *

With wins for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, Slumdog has now won six awards. It should have eight by the end of the night.

John Legend singing the song from WALL-E turned out to be a half decent choice. Still, the song performances definitely lost some of their power this year due to the shorter segment. I now officially have "Jai Ho!" stuck in my head again. I guess I'll just have to listen to some Bruce Springsteen to get it out...

* * *

A heartfelt speech by Mr. Lewis. Simple and to the point. Although, they could have picked a better person to present the Humanitarian Award than Eddie Murphy.

* * *

Slumdog takes Best Editing, which brings its total to four Oscars. This was definitely a tough category. The Dark Knight is just as deserving.

* * *

Best Visual Effects goes to The Curious Case of Benjamin. Totally deserved. This may be Benjamin Button 's last win. It has brought in three Oscars so far.

The Dark Knight has won Best Sound Editing. That makes two wins for Knight. Sound Mixing goes to Slumdog, which means that the little indie that could has won three awards so far.

* * *

Another win for Man on Wire. Check out our interview with director James Marsh here .

Best Documentary Short goes to Smile Pinki.

* * *

Kevin Kline's speech about Heath Ledger was dead on. No matter how much of a lock it may have been, this is still a touching moment. Not a dry eye in the house.

* * *

Spielzeugland (Toyland) has won Best Live Action Short. Personally, I would have picked New Boy. Either way, a deserving filmmaker has received some recognition.

* * *

Judd Apatow's comedy montage was very well done. Although, it felt more like something you'd see at the MTV Movie Awards.

* * *

Ben Stiller takes a jab at Joaquin Phoenix. Nicely done. Hoax or no hoax, Phoenix is wasting his talent. Best Cinematography goes to ... Slumdog Millionaire ! That's two wins for Slumdog.

* * *

The Curious Case of Benjamin takes Art Direction ... and now Best Makeup. Despite boasting 13 nominations, Button will have to settle for tech awards.

Costume Design goes to The Duchess. No surprise here. Period pieces always win the costume award.

* * *

Nice Pixar vs. DreamWorks joke by Jack Black! The montage highlighted how many mediocre animated films were released this year (see Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Space Chimps... or don't)

WAAAALLLLLL-E Wins!!! It's already a classic, so this is just icing on the cake.

La Maison en Petits Cubes takes Best Animated Short. Wow, I thought Presto would have rode in on WALL-E 's coattails in this category (it played before WALL-E in theatres).

* * *

Tina Fey & Steve Martin presenting the writing awards. Very nice touch! The winner is ... Dustin Lance Black for Milk. Totally deserving.

Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. This obviously won't be the film's last win of the night.

* * *

Great idea to have the past winners present the new winner. Still, the personal approach may make this show run longer. Weren't they trying to trim the the length this year?

Supporting Actress winner coming soon ... Penélope Cruz! Not a surprise at all, and I was expecting an upset in this category.

* * *

The stage looks great. It was smart to get the first Australia joke out of the way early. As for the song/opening monologue ... well, let's just say I miss Billy Crystal.

* * *

For the record, here are my predictions . This is always the period when I second guess my picks. Is it going to be Mickey Rourke or Sean Penn? I'm still debating...

By the way, watching Hugh Jackman give Barbara Walters a lap dance during her interview special was kind of unsettling.

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