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Results and Reactions to the Academy Awards

Shane Steinberg | Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Picture Winner: “Slumdog Millionaire”Which Film Should Have Won: “Slumdog Millionaire”It comes as no surprise that this year’s critical darling, “Slumdog Millionaire” took home the big prize last night. It dominated the awards circuit all year and capped off its magical run by dominating the Oscars.  Best Director Winner: Danny Boyle “Slumdog Millionaire”Who Should Have Won: Danny Boyle “Slumdog Millionaire”Best director and Best Picture are usually one and the same thing when it comes to the Oscars. That being said, the innovation that went into directing “Slumdog Millionaire” was immense and worked from top to bottom with such calculation that it would have been a downright shame to not have awarded this honor to Danny Boyle. Best Actor Winner: Sean Penn “Milk”Who Should Have Won: Mickey Rourke “The Wrestler”This was the big nail biter all through the awards circuit, and in what was definitely an incredibly close race, Sean Penn captured his second statuette. It’s Rourke performance, though, that will be remembered long from now as not only one of the great comeback stories in film history, but as one of the most iconic, true-to-life performances in screen history. Sean Penn may have acted exceptionally, but Rourke did something a whole lot more special – he lived his role. Best Actress Winner: Kate Winslet “The Reader”Who Should Have Won: Kate Winslet “The Reader”Talk about owing somebody. Having nominated her six times, the Academy was literally looking for a reason to give Kate Winslet a Best Actress Award. They skipped her performance in “Revolutionary Road,” only to bump her up from supporting actress to a lead actress for her role in “The Reader,” which was the better of her two performances. This is only the beginning of a growing collection of golden statutes for Winslet, who is quickly establishing herself as the best actress of this generation. Best Supporting Actor Winner: Heath Ledger “The Dark Knight”Who Should Have Won: Heath Ledger “The Dark Knight”In perhaps the year’s most predictable category, Heath Ledger deservingly became the second person to win a posthumous Oscar. A gifted actor, Ledger’s downright frightening presence dominated the screen and propelled “The Dark Knight” from being a great action movie to being something truly special. Best Supporting Actress Winner: Penelope Cruz “Vicky Christina Barcelona”Who Deserved To Win: Marissa Tomei “The Wrestler”Penelope Cruz had been gaining steam in the late stages of the film awards circuit and emerged as an almost clear favorite heading into the Oscars. It also helped that the Academy has been looking for a reason to award the Spanish actress after passing up on her in 2006’s “Volver.” However, it was Marissa Tomei’s stunning turn as an over-the-hill stripper in “The Wrestler” that commanded the screen like no other supporting actress nominated this year.