Rags to riches British film Slumdog Millionaire scooped eight Oscar awards including best motion picture at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.
Danny Boyle won best director for Slumdog, an often dark but ultimately hopeful tale about a poor Indian boy who competes for love and money on a TV game show. Among the Oscars it earned were, best adapted screenplay, best cinematography, sound mixing, film editing and orginal score. British actress Kate Winslet won her first Oscar, for best actress in The Reader, finally clinching the award on her sixth nomination for her role as a German woman with a teenage lover and a secret Nazi past. The Titanic star who is 33, has been nominated for an Oscar five times in the past 13 years years but had always returned home empty-handed. Her best actress Oscar joins two Golden Globes, a Screen Actors Guild award, a British BAFTA and a handful of U.S. critics’ awards that Winslet has won this season. The biggest surprise of the night was Sean Penn, winning the Oscar for his portrayal of slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in the movie “Milk”. He used his win to defend the right of same-sex couples to wed. Forty-eight-year-old Penn, previously achieved the best actor accolade in 2003 for his role in the Clint Eastwood film Mystic River.