Were you one of the millions who watched the 81st Academy Awards Sunday night? Well the producers of the awards telecast hope that you were. They’re actually hoping for anyone, as they look to improve over last years ratings which were the lowest ever for an Academy Awards show. But nonetheless, Hollywood’s best gather together to find out who would received the world’s most prestigious awards in film. They weren’t as worried about who watch, but instead who won?
There were some surprises and a few predictions come true. But as many people thought, the independent movie Slumdog Millionaire made sure everyone knew that, Slumdog was no underdog. The film took home the most Oscars of the evening with eight, including one for Best Film and one for Best Director. But in other awards, one that surprised many was actor Sean Penn winning his second Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Milk. In the buzz, speculation and hoopla heading into the night The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke was a favorite among many. Also a favorite in the leading role category was Kate Winslet, who essentially completed a sweep of receptions this awards season.
Other awards were handed out to Penelope Cruz for a Best Supporting Actress and Heath Ledger indeed posthumously won for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight. Wall-E won for Best Animated Feature and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took one for Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects. All the other sub-major categories seemed to go to the big winner of the night Slumdog Millionaire.
So after it was all said and done, did this year’s show fulfill expectations? Well early estimates are putting it up six percent higher than last year’s numbers, but still rather low in comparison. But the show brought us things that were obvious attempts in putting on a good production. Host Hugh Jackman showed off musical skills in an opening skit with Anne Hathaway and again with Beyonce. Also in a bold move, this year’s show had special presentations for the four biggest awards. They brought out past winners of each category to give a special tribute to each nominee. Not sure if that did it for the show, but it definitely helped.
Not for nothin’, but is it really that important to care how high the ratings get for the Academy Awards? It’s not a Super Bowl afterall. As much as the Super Bowl and other sporting events are competition we enjoy, the Oscars, while its a type of competition, seems to be more of a grandstand, or a “let’s show everyone how good we are.” A type of show that’s usually highly unnecessary, but somehow always fun to watch.