Oscars: quick thoughts on the winners

Below are some of my thoughts on this year's Oscar winners. For a full list head over to the official Oscars website.

Best Director, Danny Boyle (pictured, right) – No surprises here. Boyle directed the film (Slumdog Millionaire) very precisely. Chris Nolan should have been nominated for The Dark knight.

Best Supporting Actor, Heath Ledger – Everybody knew it was going to happen and it would have been a travesty if it hadn’t. Ledger posthumously picked up a best supporting actor gong for his diabolically-charged and devilishly charismatic performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, a performance destined to set tongues wagging for decades. If Ledger had chimed in a lesser turn, you could have argued the Academy’s selection was driven by sentiment – but his performance was better than that, and it’s easily superior to Ledger’s only comparable performance as Ennis Del Mar in Brokebank Mountain, for which he was also nominated.

Best Supporting Actress, Penelope Cruz – Criminally, perhaps, I still haven’t watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona. But I will. Oh yes I will.

Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire – Yeah, I like it: the story is convincing and the performances are pinch-your-skin real, but the central Who Wants to be a Millionaire framing device left me cold. Of the nominated films (Slumdog, The Curious Case of Bejamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader) I would give it to Frost/Nixon, though I suspect many critics wouldn’t.

Best Actor, Sean Penn – Sean Penn’s impersonation of gay rights activist/politician Harvey Milk was the best thing about Gus Van Sant’s well paced but unchallenging biopic, which moved briskly between pivots in Milk’s political life but lacked the fire and heart that must have fumed inside the real man. Penn is a terrific actor but this isn’t his best film or his best performance and shame, shame, shame on the Academy for not choosing Mickey Rourke. Rourke’s blisteringly gutsy, all-in performance in The Wrestler felt truly like a once in an a lifetime affair; you could sense Rourke was putting everything he had into it. I’m legitimately shocked that he didn’t win and suspect the vote was very close. Sean Penn, however, is not the worst actor in the world to have two gold medals.

Best Adapted Screenplay, Slumdog Millionaire – I would have preferred the award to have gone to one of the two stage plays that were nominated (Doubt or Frost/Nixon). Both would have been deserving.

Best Costume Design, The Duchess – All I have to say is thank god Baz Luhrman’s Australia didn’t win it. Tt’s bad enough that the film has ‘Oscar nominated’ to its name, let alone ‘Oscar winning...’


  1. oooh I can watch vicki christina with you? It's on my to-see list. I haven't seen Milk but I agree that Rourke was amazing in the wrestler - I felt like I'd been beaten up after watching that film! What did you think of Jackman's performance? Like it better than his one in Australia??

  2. Oscar winners really deserved their awards. Especially Heath Ledger, he is honed to his acting career. He leaves a legacy to the next generation of actors and actress.