Reactions to the 2009 Academy Award Winners

The results are in! My predictions weren’t quite as spot-on as I had hoped they would be (I got 6 out of 10 right), but I did say it would be a big night for “Slumdog Millionaire,” which ended up winning 8 of its 10 nominations. Then again, you didn’t need a crystal ball to foresee that one. The academy definitely went with the heavyweights this year, doling out top acting prizes to Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger, and Penelope Cruz (all of whom had previously been nominated). The less established actors were completely left in the dust. Otherwise, it was a pretty dull ceremony celebrating a pretty dull year in cinema. Let’s just hope 2009 is better.

Who Got Robbed:

Mickey Rourke (”The Wrestler) for “Best Actor” - stolen by Sean Penn (”Milk”)

Andrew Stanton (”WALL-E”) for “Best Original Screenplay” - stolen by Dustin Lance Black (”Milk”)

Am I the only one who thought that Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” was sentimentalist drivel? It certainly shouldn’t be rewarded for transforming the compelling life of a courageous man into a banal film. There was nothing original about the screenplay and Sean Penn just spoiled one of the greatest comebacks in acting history. If I were Mickey Rourke, I’d piledrive him.

Biggest Surprise:

“Okuribito” for “Best Foreign Film”

This little-known Japanese film came out of left field to take the award away from the contenders - Israel’s “Waltz with Bashir” and France’s “The Class.” I hadn’t heard of it before today, but I can’t say I’m not curious now that it won the top international prize.