Oscars – 81st Annual Academy Awards (20 photos)

Slumdog Millionaire capped its rags-to-rupees story Sunday night when it earned eight shining statuettes at Hollywood’s 81st Annual Academy Awards gala. The film earned the Oscar for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, cinematography, original score, sound mixing, film editing and original song. Above, the kids from Slumdog Millionaire.

Cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire accepting an award.

Host Hugh Jackman opened the 81st Oscar show with a cabaret number about the five films nominated for best picture that saw him step into the audience and carry best-actress nominee Anne Hathaway on stage for a duet. The song-and-dance routine earned him the first standing ovation of the night.

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway

Sean Penn, 48, won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of a the first openly gay politician in the US in the movie Milk. It’s the second Oscar for the 48-year-old actor. Kate Winslet won the Oscar for Best Actress. It was a first win for the British actress, 32, after five unsuccessful nominations. Winslet won for her portrayal of an illiterate former Nazi prison guard in the movie The Reader. Earlier, the first prize of the evening went to Penelope Cruz for best-supporting actress in Woody Allen’s movie Vicky Christina Barcelona. “I always felt that this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world,” said the Spanish star, 34, “because art in any form has been, will be and will always be our universal language.”

Australian actor Heath Ledger won the Oscar for best-supporting actor Sunday, more than a year after he died from an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28. Ledger was honored for his widely acclaimed portrayal of the manic criminal the Joker in the Batman movie The Dark Knight. His award was accepted by his family, who received a standing ovation as they made their way to the stage. “We’d like to thank the Academy for recognizing or son’s amazing work,” said his father, Kim Ledger. “This award tonight would have humbly validated Heath’s quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here.”

The Oscar for best documentary went to “Man on Wire”.

Living legends of Hollywood.

Will Smith presenting an award.

Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller doing his best Joaqun Phoenix impersonation.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Danny Boyle

Dev Patel and Madhur Mittal

Freida Pinto

Cast of Slumdog Millionaire.

Mickey Rourke

Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Shirley McLane, Halle Berry congratulate Kate Winslet. courtesy of etoday.

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