Not even Harvey Weinstein could stop Slumdog Millionaire from dominating the Oscars Sunday night.
Despite the Studio head/producers heavy campaign for The Reader, Slumdog, the odds-on favorite, nabbed eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle.
‘You’ve been so generous to us this evening and I wanted to thank you for that,’ Boyle said. ‘ And also for an extraordinary, what a beautiful show you’ve done.’
On the flip side, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which led the pack with 13 nominations, went home with only three.
As expected, Button collected its gold in technical categories where it was already considered to be a shoe-in. The film’s technical wizardry earned awards in visual effects, makeup and art direction.
The Academy decided to award favorites in categories where it sometimes likes to drop surprises and snubs.
After having to watch fellow nominees take home the gold on five separate occasions over the years, Kate Winslet can finally call herself an Academy Award winner – grabbing the Best Actress award for her performance in The Reader.
Odds-on favorite Penelope Cruz redeemed her loss last year in the Best Actress race by winning Best Supporting Actress for her work in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Those who thought Mickey Rourke’s comeback would come full circle Sunday night saw there hopes cut short. Despite the Academy’s affinity for a good comeback story, they opted for Sean Penn’s staggeringly transformational performance in Milk.
Much like the character he portrayed, Penn took the opportunity to stand on his soapbox to support gay marriage. ‘We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone,’ Penn said.
Perhaps one of the most emotional points of the night’ came when Heath Ledger’s family ascended to the podium to accept the Best Supporting Actor award for his work in The Dark Knight.’
‘Heath was such a compassionate and generous soul who added so much excitement and inspiration to our lives,’ Ledger’s mother Sally Bell said. ‘We have been truly overwhelmed by the honor and respect being bestowed upon him with this award. Tonight, we are choosing to celebrate and be happy for what he has achieved.’
The night wrapped up with the cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire gathered on stage accepting the Best Picture award.
‘We had passion and we had belief,’ producer Christian Colson said. ‘And our film shows that if you have those two things, truly anything is possible.’