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The 81st Academy Awards ceremony was held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to honor its selection of the best films of 2008 on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatremarker in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker. The ceremony was televised in the United Statesmarker on ABC. Australian performer Hugh Jackman hosted the ceremony for the first time. Oscar-nominated Laurence Mark served as the event's producer, while Oscar-winning writer and director Bill Condon served as executive producer. The Academy hoped to revitalize the ceremony through an entirely new production team sworn to secrecy, and the telecast received mixed reviews from critics.

The nominees were announced on January 22, 2009, by AMPAS president Sid Ganis and Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hillsmarker headquarters. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button led the nominations with a total of thirteen while Slumdog Millionaire received ten. The Dark Knight and Milk received eight nominations, and Doubt, The Reader, and Frost/Nixon each received five. WALL-E, the winner for Best Animated Feature, received six nominations, tying it with Beauty and the Beast for the most nominated animated film in Oscar history. In an Academy Award rarity, all five of the Best Picture nominees were also the five Best Director nominees. This has happened only four other times in Oscar history: 1957, 1964, 1981, and 2005.

Slumdog Millionaire won eight awards, the most of the evening, including Best Picture and Best Director (Danny Boyle). The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came in second with three awards, followed by both The Dark Knight and Milk with two awards. Jerry Lewis was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. For the first time since the 60th Academy Awards (1987), no Honorary Award was presented.

On February 7, 2009, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotelmarker in , the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Jessica Biel.

Winners

Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.

Major awards

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Animated Feature Best Foreign Language Film


Other awards

Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
  • Toyland (Spielzeugland)
    • On the Line (Auf der Strecke)
    • Manon On the Asphalt
    • New Boy (Ireland)
    • The Pig (Grisen)
Best Original Score Best Original Song
Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Makeup Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects


Honorary awards



Multiple nominations and awards

The following 15 films received multiple nominations.



The following four films received multiple awards.



Schedule

As of January 15, 2009
Date Event
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 Official Screen Credits forms due
Friday, December 26, 2008 Nomination ballots mailed
Monday, January 12, 2009 Nomination polls closed at 5:00 p.m. PST (01:00, 13 Jan. UTC) (8:00 p.m. EST)
Thursday, January 22, 2009 Nominations announced at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) (8:38 a.m. EST) at Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 2, 2009 Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 7, 2009 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 Final polls closed at 5:00 p.m. PST (01:00, 18 Feb. UTC) (8:00 p.m. EST)
Sunday, February 22, 2009 81st Annual Academy Awards presentation


In Memoriam

Queen Latifah performed "I'll Be Seeing You" during the annual In Memoriam tribute to honor individuals who died since the previous year's Academy Award ceremonies. Listed below are those who were honored during the tribute.





Note: Several notable individuals including Sam Bottoms, George Carlin, Don S. Davis, Mel Ferrer, Beverly Garland, Estelle Getty, Eartha Kitt, Harvey Korman, Jerry Reed, Don LaFontaine, John Phillip Law, Patrick McGoohan, Anita Page, and Robert Prosky were not included in the "In Memoriam" tribute, though they died within the last year. Heath Ledger died shortly before last year's ceremony, and a tribute to him was included then.

Presenters and performers

The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers.

Name(s) Role Activity
Gina Tuttle Announcer Co-Announcer for the 81st Annual Academy Awards
Whoopi GoldbergGoldie HawnAnjelica HustonEva Marie SaintTilda Swinton Presenters Best Supporting Actress
Tina FeySteve Martin Presenters Best Original ScreenplayBest Adapted Screenplay
Jennifer AnistonJack Black Presenters Animation 2008 Montage Best Animated Short FilmBest Animated Feature
Daniel CraigSarah Jessica Parker Presenters Best Art DirectionBest Costume DesignBest Makeup
Robert PattinsonAmanda Seyfried Presenters Romance 2008 Montage
Natalie PortmanBen Stiller Presenters Best Cinematography
Alan ArkinCuba Gooding, Jr.Joel GreyKevin KlineChristopher Walken Presenters Best Supporting Actor
Bill Maher Presenter Best Documentary FeatureBest Documentary Short Subject
Jessica Biel Host of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Presenter Academy Awards for Technical Achievement (awarded on February 7, 2009)Gordon E. Sawyer Award
James FrancoSeth RogenJanusz Kamiński Presenters Best Live Action Short Film
Will Smith Presenter Best Sound EditingBest Sound MixingBest Film EditingBest Visual Effects
Eddie Murphy Presenter Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Alicia KeysZac Efron Presenters Best Original ScoreBest Original SongIntroduced A.R. Rahman, John Legend, and Mahalaxmi Iyer performing the Best Original Song nominees
Freida PintoLiam Neeson Presenters Best Foreign Language Film
Queen Latifah Presenter and Performer In Memoriam tribute
Reese Witherspoon Presenter Best Director
Halle BerryMarion CotillardNicole KidmanSophia LorenShirley MacLaine Presenters Best Actress
Adrien BrodyMichael DouglasRobert De NiroAnthony HopkinsBen Kingsley Presenters Best Actor
Steven Spielberg Presenter Best Picture SegmentBest Picture


Name(s) Role Performed
Michael Giacchino Musical Arranger Orchestral
James Marvel Last-minute addition Violinist Orchestral
Hugh JackmanAnne Hathaway Performers Opening Number
Hugh JackmanBeyoncé KnowlesZac EfronVanessa HudgensAmanda SeyfriedDominic CooperSpirit of Troy Performed a medley created by Baz Luhrmann of songs from movie musicals "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" from Top Hat"Singin' in the Rain" from Singin' in the Rain"Big Spender" from Sweet Charity"Maria" from West Side Story"You're The One That I Want" from Grease"Maria" from The Sound of Music"All That Jazz" from Chicago"Lady Marmalade" from Moulin Rouge!"One Night Only" from Dreamgirls"You Can't Stop The Beat" from Hairspray"I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar"At Last" from Orchestra Wives"Last Chance" from High School Musical 3: Senior Year"Mamma Mia" from Mamma Mia!"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from Evita"Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz"Somewhere" from West Side Story

A. R. Rahman Performer "O Saya" from Slumdog Millionaire
John LegendSoweto Gospel Choir Performers "Down to Earth" from WALL-E
A. R. RahmanMahalaxmi Iyer Performers "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire
Queen Latifah Presenter and Performer "I'll Be Seeing You" during the annual "In Memoriam" tribute


Advertisements

ABC aired a number of themed commercial advertisements which were shown during the ceremony. The Academy's ban that had previously disallowed film commercials to be aired during the telecast was lifted in mid-2007, thus allowing film companies to promote their upcoming films for the first time during the broadcast. Thirty-second commercials cost between $1.4 million and $1.7 million, compared to up to $1.8 million during last year's show. The decrease was due to the recent global economic crisis.

Voting trends and summary

Continuing a trend in recent years, the field of major nominees did not include a bona fide blockbuster at the U.S. box office, with all but one of the nominees for Best Picture performing even more poorly than those of the previous year. In fact, The Dark Knight earned more money than all the Best Picture nominees combined in its first four days of release. However, the top money earner in this year's field of Best Picture nominees performed slightly better in box office receipts compared to last year's highest grossing Best Film nominee, Juno. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $104.4 million in domestic box office receipts (compared to Juno which grossed $87 million prior to its nomination). The film was followed by Slumdog Millionaire which earned $44.7 million, Milk with $20.7 million, and Frost/Nixon with $8.8 million. The Reader rounded out the Best Picture nominees with $8.3 million.

Among the rest of the top 50 releases of 2008 in U.S. box office before the nominations, 32 nominations went to eight films on the list. Only The Dark Knight (1st), Kung Fu Panda (3rd), WALL-E (9th), Bolt (19th), Tropic Thunder (20th), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (21st) received nominations for best picture, directing, acting, or screenwriting. The other top-50 box office hits that earned nominations were Iron Man (2nd), and Wanted (16th). The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, WALL-E, and Wanted each received more than two nominations.

For the first time since 2004, two films received more than eight nominations: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button received thirteen and Slumdog Millionaire received ten.

For the fourth consecutive year, four of the Best Picture nominees were rated R (under 17 requires an accompanying adult). Of the 86 nominations awarded to non-documentary feature films (apart from the Foreign Film category), a majority of 46 went to R-rated films (down from 50 one year earlier), 35 to films rated PG-13 (up from 29 the previous year), two to PG-rated films (down from 4 the year before) and eight to a G-rated film (up from five from last year). Duplicating the rating-related division among the nominations for the past three years, R-rated films captured 27 of the 40 nominations for Best Picture, directing, screenwriting and acting; while non-R-rated films received 25 of the 43 nominations in the remaining categories, primarily those in "below the line" areas.

Winners

For the tenth consecutive year, at least one lead acting award went to an actor playing a real-life person (Sean Penn for his portrayal of Harvey Milk). Penn's win was viewed as something of a surprise, Mickey Rourke having been the favourite to win. Penn received a standing ovation for his win. This is also the eleventh year in a row that any of the acting awards went to the portrayal of a real person. For the second year running, the Best Actor trophy has been awarded to a previous Best Actor recipient. Also for second year running, a Spaniard (Penélope Cruz) has won in a supporting category (previously Javier Bardem), and for the fourth year a British actress (Kate Winslet) has won an award (previously Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, and Rachel Weisz consecutively). This year also marks the second time Stephen Daldry has directed an actress into a Best Actress win (the other was Nicole Kidman, who also was a presenter), and the third time an actress he directed was nominated (Julie Walters). It was also the fourth time Woody Allen directed an actress into a Best Supporting Actress win (the others were Dianne Wiest, twice, and Mira Sorvino). This is also the first time the Award for Best Supporting Actor has been awarded posthumously, to Heath Ledger, and only the second posthumous acting award in Academy history. (The first was to Peter Finch for Best Actor in Network in 1976.)

Controversies

Like the previous year's awards, this year's Oscars has also faced multiple controversies.

Disputes over Ledger's statuette

Because Best Supporting Actor winner Heath Ledger died in January 2008 making his nomination one of posthumous recognition, the Academy had disputes over who should accept the award and who should gain ownership of it should Ledger win it. Following talks with Ledger's family in Australia, the Academy ruled that his previous domestic partner Michelle Williams could not accept the award as the two were not married. They then decided that Ledger and Williams' three-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger, would own the award. However, due to Matilda's age, she will not gain full ownership of the statuette until her eighteenth birthday in 2023. Until that time, Michelle Williams will hold the statuette in trust for Matilda. Ledger's family attended the ceremony and his parents accepted the award on stage on his behalf.

Faked winners leak

Shortly after the voting polls were closed for the awards, a purported list of winners was posted online. The list, which bore a purported signature from Academy president Sid Ganis, stated that Mickey Rourke won for Best Actor, Kate Winslet won for Best Actress, Amy Adams won for Best Supporting Actress, Heath Ledger won for Best Supporting Actor, and Slumdog Millionaire won for Best Picture. It was later confirmed as a fake list. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokeswoman Leslie Unger later revealed that the list was "a complete fraud", and that PricewaterhouseCoopersmarker had just begun to count the ballots. The list was proved false as the first award of the night, Best Supporting Actress, was awarded to Penélope Cruz, not Amy Adams, the purported winner in the falsified list. (The last time names of award winners were leaked prior to the ceremony was at the 12th Academy Awards for 1939, before the Academy adopted the use of sealed envelopes for voting results.)

Other controversies

Prior to the nominations announcement, it was suggested that the 2008-09 Screen Actors Guild labor dispute could affect the awards by discouraging actors' attendance at the ceremony, However, as talks to end the dispute between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) were ongoing, the expected strike did not affect the awards ceremony, although a resolution between SAG and AMPTP has not yet been reached.

Peter Gabriel, who was originally scheduled to perform his nominated song "Down to Earth" from WALL-E during the live broadcast, declined to perform after learning that he would be allowed to sing only 65 seconds of the song during the ceremony's Best Original Song nominee performances. Gabriel still attended the ceremony. John Legend performed the song in place of Gabriel, backed by the Soweto Gospel Choir.

News and recap

Due to the declining viewership of the recent Academy Awards ceremonies, the Academy had contracted an entirely new production team in an attempt to revive the award ceremony and revamp its general script and theming. Marketing for the ceremony had even gone so far as to advertise it as "The Biggest Movie Event of the Year". Producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark announced their plans to rewrite the script, and they made attempts to keep the entire premise of the ceremony a secret, even from the presenters and performers. Film director Judd Apatow aired a new short film during the ceremony which starred Seth Rogen and James Franco reprising their roles from Apatow's Pineapple Express. Previously, Apatow directed a short film aired during the 74th Academy Awards which starred Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. Chris Harrison hosted "Road to the Oscars", a weekly behind-the-scenes video blog on the Academy's website, oscar.com. David Rockwell designed a new set and stage design for the ceremony. The red carpet was directed by Robert Osborne. Host Jackman expressed his anticipation of the awards in the few days preceding, and had commented that he was thrilled with preparations for the ceremony. The recent global economic crisis caused a decrease in spending on the telecast from last year's awards, as well as a decrease in the cost to air advertisements during commercial breaks. The recession was mentioned by Jackman who said The presentation of the four acting awards was styled differently than in previous years (see Notable events section). among other changes, some celebrities presented multiple awards rather than only one or two as in previous years, and 2008 film genre segments replaced usual clip collections.The telecast received a 6 second tape delay in some areas on the east coast during a section in which Host Jackman thanked Academy president Sid Ganis, and introduced Reese Witherspoon, who would present the Oscar for Directing. This was due to ABC, who panned out from the screen during the delay to present powerball numbers. This delay also occurred at the beginning of the The Oscars Red Carpet 2009. There was also a 30-second delay at the start of the telecast, though not a tape delay, but a direct delay which affected the ceremony. Errors also occurred directly following Jackman's opening monologue. After he introduced the Best Supporting Actress category, USA Today reported that a stage hand could be heard yelling to director Roger Goodman for "cutting him off!". Next, Goodman could be heard yelling at the stage hands to open the curtain which covered a projection screen in the theater. The curtain had not been opened when a montage of past Supporting Actress winners began, but was opened 2–3 seconds following.The telecast received a mixed reception from media personalities and critics, yet a more positive response from viewers at home.

Notable events



Memorable quotes

  • "Fifteen career Oscar nominations. That's a record. I hate to say it but when someone puts up numbers like that, it's just hard not to think steroids." – Host Hugh Jackman to Meryl Streep (during his opening monologue).
  • "It's not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one." – Penélope Cruz, accepting the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • "I wish to say something in Tamil, which is 'Ella Pugazhum Iraivanukke', God is Great" - A. R. Rahman on Receiving the award for Best Original Music Score, Slumdog Millionaire.
  • "All my life I had choices of 'love' and 'hate', I chose LOVE and I'm here" - A. R. Rahman on Receiving the award for Best Song "Jai Ho!" Slumdog Millionaire.
  • "You know, it's serious, we have a 30 second delay but if you win, we switch to a twenty minute delay." - Host Hugh Jackman to Mickey Rourke during Jackman's opening monologue.
  • "When I was 13 years old my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antoniomarker, Texasmarker, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk and it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life." – Dustin Lance Black, accepting the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Milk.
  • "There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me, it's the moon, the South Polemarker, the Miss World podium and here."Simon Beaufoy after winning the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.
  • "Who do you think is a better actor? Ronald Reagan, or Barack Obama?" - Saul Silver (James Franco) to Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) during the Comedy 2008 montage.
  • "This award tonight would have humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here – his peers within an industry he so loved." – Kim Ledger, accepting the Best Supporting Actor Oscar on behalf of his son Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight.
  • "I'd be lying if I said I haven't made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably 8 years old and staring into the bathroom mirror, and this would have been a shampoo bottle. Well, it's not a shampoo bottle now." – Kate Winslet, upon winning Best Actress for The Reader.
  • "Each year I do one DreamWorks project, then I take all the money to the Oscars and bet it on Pixar." - Jack Black explaining his animation movie career plan to Jennifer Aniston prior to them presenting the nominees for best animation movies.
  • "You commie homo-loving sons of guns! I did not expect this, but I — I want to make it clear I know how hard I make it to appreciate me." – Sean Penn, upon accepting his Oscar for Best Actor in Milk.
  • "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, and there are, these last two things. I'm very, very proud to live in a country that is willing to elect an elegant man president and a country who, for all its toughness, creates courageous artists." - Sean Penn in his acceptance speech, commenting on Californiamarker's vote for Proposition 8.
  • "When we started out, we had no stars, we had no power or muscle, we didn't have enough money really to do what we wanted to do. But what we had was a script that inspired mad love in everyone who read it. ... Most of all, we had passion and we had belief and our film shows that if you have those two things, truly anything is possible." – Producer Christian Colson accepting the Best Picture award for Slumdog Millionaire.
  • "Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto." - Kunio Katō, Japanese director of La Maison en Petits Cubes, accepting the award for Best Animated Short.
  • "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." – Jerry Lewis, quoting Mohandas Gandhi, upon Lewis accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
  • "How come comic-book movies never get nominated? How can a billion dollars be unsophisticated?" - Host Hugh Jackman, on the controversy surrounding the lack of a Best Film nomination for The Dark Knight.
  • "These are the Oscars and this is my dream! / I am a Slumdog, I am a Wrestler, I am The Reader, I’m Wolverine!" - Hugh Jackman, finishing his opening routine.


Special segments

The telecast featured multiple yearbook style montages of film genres seen in 2008. They were made up of the animation, romance, comedy, documentary and action film categories.

Animation

The animation segment began in a scene from WALL-E were the title character cuts open a damaged refrigerator revealing a VHS tape and an Oscar stauette. Wall-E plays the VHS tape on a tape recorder, which features the actual segment. At the end of the segment, multiple animated characters from the clips are revealed to be watching the tape with Wall-E.Listed below are the films featured in the segment.



Romance

Listed below are the films featured in the segment.

Comedy

The segment begins in a set from Pineapple Express. Dale Denton brings Saul Silver every film that was not nominated for an Oscar to watch (though many were). After viewing the movies, Saul wonders why Janusz Kaminski is with a film crew in his apartment. They invite Kaminski to watch the remaining movies with them.

Listed below are the films featured in the segment.

Documentary

The segment featured the directors and co-directors of each of the five nominated Best Documentary Feature films discussing their thoughts on the art of documentaries.

Action

Listed below are the films featured in the segment.

Critical reviews

The show received a mixed reception from media publications. Some media outlets received the broadcast more positively. Perez Hilton called the performance "wonderful"; E! Online said that "Jackman nailed it"; the Associated Press stated that "the key word was charm" and that Hugh Jackman "gave his all"; and Salon.com said "Hurray for the Recession Oscars, the sincerest, sweetest, most heartfelt Oscars ever!" Roger Ebert said of Jackman: "I had a feeling Hugh Jackman would be a charmer as host, and he was." Of the show itself, Ebert added, "It was the best Oscar show I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty." The Toronto Star, Japan Today, and The Sydney Morning Herald also gave positive reviews, and many in the British media were particularly favourable of Hugh Jackman's hosting performance.

Others media outlets were more critical of the show. The Los Angeles Times says the show "fell flat" and from "Jackman's strangely self-conscious, low-rent opening musical number to Ben Stiller's obscure spoof of Joaquin Phoenix's recent appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, the awards had a tone problem — they tried to be something for everyone, coming off like a movie script that had its edginess and guts airbrushed out by too many studio notes." The Los Angeles Times' awards insider page The Envelope says host Hugh Jackman surely "obliterated all memory of the Uma-Oprah thing", in reference to the negative reception David Letterman received when hosting the 1995 Academy Awards ceremony. The Boston Globe states the show "aimed for flash...but ultimately, fizzle prevailed." The Baltimore Sun says "the Oscars show itself took a different direction this year: It went Tony with a vengeance. It was like a concept musical with a flaccid concept, badly in need of a Parisian riot or an exploding chandelier." The Chicago Tribune states the "New format, host are unable to rescue a plodding telecast." The New York Times says of the ceremony as "it was fun for a while, but then it just started to seem long."

Reception

Results from online polls conducted by Newsday and Entertainment Weekly showed a mostly positive response from viewers.

The 81st Academy Awards was watched by 36.94 million people, which was a 13% increase in viewership compared to last year's telecast. The telecast also attained higher Nielsen ratings with 21.68% households watching over a 32.44 share. However, the ceremony was the third least watched ceremony since individual viewership figures began being compiled in 1974 and the third lowest rated since Nielsen ratings for the Oscars have been recorded since 1967, ahead only of the previous year's 31.76 million with an 18.66 Nieslen rating and the 33.04 million with a 20.58 rating for the 2003 ceremony.

At July 16, 2009, the ceremony presentation received 10 Emmy nominations at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominations are:
  • Outstanding Art Direction For Variety, Music Or Nonfiction Programming, David Rockwell, Joe Celli, David Edwards
  • Outstanding Choreography, Rob Ashford
  • Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special, Roger Goodman
  • Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) For Variety, Music Or Comedy Programming, Robert A. Dickinson, Robert Barnhart, Andy O'Reilly.
  • Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, Hugh Jackman Opening Number: William Ross, John Kimbrough, Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab
  • Outstanding Short Form Picture Editing, Best Motion Picture Moontage: Kyle Cooper, Hal Honigsberg
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Or Music Series Or Special, Sound Mixing Team
  • Outstanding Special Class Program
  • Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special, Technical Director & Camera teams
  • Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special, Writer team


The result will be announce at September 20, 2009, during the Primetime Emmy Award ceremony and Creative Arts Emmy Awards at September 12, 2009.

Criticism

Baz Luhrmann, who has been dismissed in the past by the Australian media as a postmodern for his adaption William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, put together a performance for Jackman hailing the comeback of musical. This divided the critics, with one Australian journalist saying it was "perhaps overstated" and others applauding the (apparent) focus upon a younger audience.

Many critics expressed surprise and/or disdain at some of the nominee lists, such as the omission of WALL-E and The Dark Knight from the Best Picture category, Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (for which Hawkins had won a Golden Globe), and the omission of Clint Eastwood's performance in Gran Torino from the Best Actor category. The Academy also surprised critics when it only put forward three nominations for the Best Song category, excluding Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" and the theme from Gran Torino. The shortened list led Rolling Stone to accuse the Academy of snubbing Springsteen.

Some critics also showed disgust at the telecast due to the Academy's decision to not present their Honorary Oscar.

Film previews

Due to the Academy's action of lifting their ban on film previews being aired during commercial breaks, commercials for upcoming films were seen for the first time during the telecast. Though some websites, such as Yahoo!, had expected commercials for summer blockbusters to be aired, most commercials were for films due for release in the spring season. Film commercials aired included Knowing, The Soloist and The Proposal.

During the end credits of the telecast, instead of clips from the preceding ceremony being aired, there were instead various clips of films to be released in 2009. Listed below are the films that were previewed during this segment, in the order in which they were shown.





International broadcasters

Some of the broadcasters outside the United States (telecasted on ABC) showing the event live:





See also



References

External links

Official websites


News resources


Analysis


Other resources



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