There are many different ways to celebrate when you win an Oscar and Tinseltown seemed to see them all on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.
British filmmaker Danny Boyle had eight good reasons to jump for joy as he took to the stage at the 81st Academy Awards. That is how many prizes his rags-to-riches story “Slumdog Millionaire” scooped. Shot in Mumbai’s shantytowns, its haul included Best Picture and Best Director. An Oscar winner at the sixth attempt, Britain’s Kate Winslet was named Best Actress for playing a German woman with a secret Nazi past in “The Reader.” Accepting her prize, Winslet thanks friends and family, urging her father to whistle to her so that she would know where he was in the auditorium. An emotional Penelope Cruz became the first Spanish actress to claim an Oscar, for her supporting role in Woody Allen’s romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” “I always felt that this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world, because art in any form has been, and will always be, our universal language,” she said. Sean Penn, named Best Actor for portraying slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk, used the occasion to condemn the passage of California’s recent ballot measure banning gay marriage. “I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We have got to have equal rights for everyone.” Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor prize for playing The Joker in “The Dark Knight.”