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Milk Picks Up Two Big Oscars as Slumdog Dominates Academy Awards

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Slumdog Millionaire took the Best Picture last night at the Academy Awards (along with 7 other trophies), but it was the speeches from Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black, who took home Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, respectively, for Milk, that many will remember. Both cited the inequalities faced by gays and lesbians in America today, and were greeted with boisterous rounds of applause.

It was a satisfying upset win for Penn over Mickey Rourke, who was largely expected to walk to the podium after taking award after award all season long for his role in The Wrestler. The three other acting awards went to Kate Winslet for The Reader, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Lanceblack Said Black:

"Oh my God. This was, um. This was not an easy film to make. First off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And, um, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, and our entire cast, my producers, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus, for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story. When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk"

Penn Said Penn:

"You Commie homo-loving sons of guns! I did not expect this, but I — and I want to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me. Often. But I — I am touched by the appreciation and I hoped for it enough that I scribbled down — so I have the names in case you were Commie homo-loving suns of guns. And so I, I wanted you to thank my best friend Sato Masuzawa. My circle of longtime support, Mara, Brian, Barry and Bob. The great Cleve Jones. Our wonderful writer, Lance Black. Producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. And particularly, as all us actors know, our director either has the patience, talent and restraint to grant us a voice, or they don’t, and it goes from the beginning of the meeting to through the cutting room, and there is no finer hands to be in than Gus Van Sant. Finally, for those — two last finallys — For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and, 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’ve got to have equal rights for everyone. And there are these last two things. I’m very, very proud to live in a country that’s willing to elect an elegant man President. And a country, who for all its toughness, creates courageous artists, and this is in great due respect to all the nominees. But courageous artists who, despite a sensitivity, that sometimes has brought enormous challenge. Mickey Rourke rises again, and he’s my brother. Thank you all very much."

A crowd watching at San Francisco's Castro Theatre "roared with foot-stomping standing ovations" at Penn's and Black's wins.

(transcripts via glaad)

Speech clips, and full list of winners, AFTER THE JUMP...

LIST OF WINNERS

BEST PICTURE
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Milk"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire" (Winner)

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader" (Winner)

BEST ACTOR
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk" (Winner)
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (Winner)
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" (Winner)
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire" (Winner)
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Dustin Lance Black, "Milk" (Winner)
Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"
Andrew Stanton, and Jim Reardon; original story by Stanton and Pete Docter"WALL-E"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire" (Winner)
David Hare, "The Reader"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"
Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"The Baader-Meinhof Complex" (Germany)
"The Class" (France)
"Departures" (Japan) (Winner)
"Revanche" (Austria)
"Waltz with Bashir" (Israel)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"Bolt"
"Kung Fu Panda"
"WALL-E" (Winner)

BEST ART DIRECTION
"Changeling"
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" (Winner)
"The Dark Knight"
"The Duchess"
"Revolutionary Road"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
"Changeling" Tom Stern
"Slumdog Millionaire," Anthony Dod Mantle (Winner)
"The Reader," Chris Menges
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Claudio Miranda
"The Dark Knight," Wally Pfister

BEST FILM EDITING
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall
"The Dark Knight," Lee Smith
"Frost/Nixon," Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
"Milk," Elliot Graham
"Slumdog Millionaire," Chris Dickens (Winner)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
"Australia," Catherine Martin
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Jacqueline West
"The Duchess," Michael O'Conner (Winner)
"Milk", Danny Glicker
"Revolutionary Road," Albert Wolsky

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"
"Encounters at the End of the World"
"The Garden"
"Man on Wire" (Winner)
"Trouble the Water"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Slumdog Millionaire," "Jai Ho" (Winner)

"Slumdog Millionaire," "O Saya"
"WALL-E," "Down To Earth"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance," James Newton Howard
"Milk," Danny Elfman
"Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman (Winner)
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman

BEST MAKEUP
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,"(Winner)
"The Dark Knight,"
"Hellboy II: The Golden Army,"

BEST SOUND EDITING
"The Dark Knight"(Winner)
"Iron Man"
"Slumdog Millionaire"
"WALL-E"
"Wanted"

BEST SOUND MIXING
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Dark Knight"
"Slumdog Millionaire" (Winner)
"WALL-E"
"Wanted"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Winner)
"The Dark Knight"
"Iron Man"

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
"Auf der Strecke (On the Line)"
"Manon on the Asphalt"
"New Boy"
"The Pig"
"Spielzeugland (Toyland)" (Winner)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
"La Maison en Petits Cubes" (Winner)
"Lavatory - Lovestory"
"Oktapodi"
"Presto"
"This Way Up"

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
"The Conscience of Nhem En"
"The Final Inch"
"Smile Pinki" (Winner)
"The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306"

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Comments

  1. I was upset too, SOULBROTHA. The only thing I could think of was that the Oscar show is always honors films from the preceeding year (2008). The great lady died this year, didn't she? Perhaps they will mention her in the tribute in the 2010 show.

    Sophia Loren is AMAZING...seventy-four years old! Must be the African in her.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Feb 23, 2009 2:45:21 PM


  2. Nope, Eatha Kitt died on Christmas 2008. Glaring omission. Otherwise, this was most certainly the best Oscars I've ever seen, despite Hugh Jackman's vacuous hosting.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 23, 2009 2:59:44 PM


  3. I'm wrong, Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day 2008. Yes, it was a glaring mistake by the folks who put the tribute together. Even if one is mainly a stage, nightclub performer--any substantial work in American films should be enough to be included.

    Yeah, that was a major omission.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Feb 23, 2009 3:11:06 PM


  4. Oh, crap, I knew someone was missing from the tribute -- how dare they omit the incredible Eartha Kitt?!

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 23, 2009 3:57:04 PM


  5. Yes, Kitty's shocking death is still so new that even I missed the error after having written an homage to her in the "Washington Blade":

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2009/1-9/view/columns/13904.cfm

    While there were minor others, including her voicing Yzma in multiple "Emperor's New Groove" projects, and countless films that used the audio of "Santa Baby," her main big screen roles occured in the 50s:

    "St. Louis Woman" - the black all star story of WC Handy
    "Anna Lucasta" with Sammy Davis, Jr.
    "Mark of the Hawk" [she told me Sidney Poitier was a little too "rough"]
    and the film production of the stage musical that first made her a star:
    "New Faces."

    It seems so common now for films to use the sound of a woman/women singing vocalise with a spinetingling vibrato, such as "Gladiator's" use of Yvonne S. Moriarty [?], but everytime I think, "Have these people never heard Eartha? These sounds are in her bones!"

    http://www.imeem.com/people/fvqKoXM/music/edOgm6Pp/eartha_kitt_rumania_rumania/

    Rest in peace, my black angel.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 23, 2009 5:52:31 PM


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