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The Academy Awards: The 81st Annual Academy Awards

Hugh Jackman hosts the 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony, live from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. The top nominated movie this year is "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with 13 nominations, including Best Picture along with "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "The Reader" and "Slumdog Millionaire."


Episode Info


Episode number: 57x1
Airdate: Sunday February 22nd, 2009
Special Airtime: 08:30 pm

Director: Roger Goodman


  • Currently 3.9/10
3.9/10 (9 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Sean PennSean Penn
As Winner: Best Actor (for 'Milk')
Recurring
Kate WinsletKate Winslet
As Winner: Best Actress (for 'The Reader')
Recurring
Heath LedgerHeath Ledger
As Winner: Best Supporting Actor (for 'The Dark Knight')
Recurring
Penélope CruzPenélope Cruz
As Winner: Best Supporting Actress (for 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona')
Recurring
Jerry LewisJerry Lewis
As Winner: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Recurring
Christian ColsonChristian Colson
As Winner: Best Picture (for 'Slumdog Millionaire')
Danny BoyleDanny Boyle
As Winner: Best Director (for 'Slumdog Millionaire')
Dustin Lance BlackDustin Lance Black
As Winner: Best Original Screenplay (for 'Milk')
Simon BeaufoySimon Beaufoy
As Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay (for 'Slumdog Millionaire')
A.R. RahmanA.R. Rahman
As Winner: Best Original Score / Best Original Song (for 'Slumdog Millionaire')

Musical Guests
Queen LatifahQueen Latifah
As Herself ("I'll Be Seeing You")
Recurring
John LegendJohn Legend
As Himself ("Down to Earth")

Featuring
Adrien BrodyAdrien Brody
As Presenter
Recurring
Alan ArkinAlan Arkin
As Presenter
Recurring
Anjelica HustonAnjelica Huston
As Presenter
Recurring
Anthony HopkinsAnthony Hopkins
As Presenter
Recurring
Ben KingsleyBen Kingsley
As Presenter
Recurring
Christopher WalkenChristopher Walken
As Presenter
Recurring
Cuba Gooding, Jr.Cuba Gooding, Jr.
As Presenter
Recurring
Eddie MurphyEddie Murphy
As Presenter
Recurring
Eva Marie SaintEva Marie Saint
As Presenter
Recurring
Goldie HawnGoldie Hawn
As Presenter
Recurring
Halle BerryHalle Berry
As Presenter
Recurring
Jessica BielJessica Biel
As Presenter
Recurring
Joel GreyJoel Grey
As Presenter
Recurring
Kevin KlineKevin Kline
As Presenter
Recurring
Marion CotillardMarion Cotillard
As Presenter
Recurring
Michael DouglasMichael Douglas
As Presenter
Recurring
Nicole KidmanNicole Kidman
As Presenter
Recurring
Reese WitherspoonReese Witherspoon
As Presenter
Recurring
Robert De NiroRobert De Niro
As Presenter
Recurring
Shirley MacLaineShirley MacLaine
As Presenter
Recurring
Sophia LorenSophia Loren
As Presenter
Recurring
Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg
As Presenter
Recurring
Tilda SwintonTilda Swinton
As Presenter
Recurring
Whoopi GoldbergWhoopi Goldberg
As Presenter
Recurring
Main Cast
Hugh JackmanHugh Jackman
As Himself
Episode Notes
This year's Oscars telecast drew about 36.3 million viewers, up about 13 percent from last year.

Heath Ledger's Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the film, The Dark Knight, was only the second posthumous Oscar ever to be given. Ledger's family was there to accept the award on his behalf.

Doubt was the first film to receive four Acting nominations since Chicago in 2002.

Meryl Streep (Doubt) got an Oscar nomination for a record breaking fifteen times.



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
A.R. RahmanO Saya 
A.R. RahmanJai Ho 
Peter GabrielDown to EarthCovered by John Legend


Episode Quotes
Kim Ledger: This award tonight would've humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here, his peers, within an industry he so loved. Thank you.

Sean Penn: Thank you. Thank you. You commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns. I did not expect this, but I, and I want it to be very clear, that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often.

Sean Penn: And finally, for those, two last finallies, for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, 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.

(After receiving an Oscar and then bouncing up and down a couple of times)
Danny Boyle: My kids are too old to remember this now, but when they were much younger, I swore to them that if this miracle ever happened that I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from "Winnie-the-Pooh" and that's what that was. You've been so generous to us this evening and I wanted to thank you for that and also for an extraordinary, what a beautiful show you've done. I don't know what it looks like on television, everybody, but in the room, it's bloody wonderful, really. So, well done, everyone.

Christian Colson: Thank you so much to the Academy. As you can see, our film was a collaboration between hundreds of people. I'm so happy that so many of them could be with us here tonight to share this moment. Together, we've been on an extraordinary, an extraordinary journey. 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. We had a genius for a director. We had a cast and a crew who were unwavering in their commitment and whose talents are up on the screen for all of you to see. We had partners in Film4, in Celador, in Pathé and Fox Searchlight, who had the courage to support us. And we had a shared love for the extraordinary city of Mumbai, where we made the movie. 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. I want to thank, on a personal note, my mum and my dad for all their love and support over the years. I want to thank my girl, Saskia Mulder, who is my partner in crime and the light in my life. And I want to thank all of you very much indeed. Thank you.

Phillippe Petit: The shortest speech in Oscar history: "Yes!" But I always the break the rule, I break my own rules very quickly and of course this film would have not been made without my Kathy. And also, Werner, I always carry the coin you gave me. And you were right. We won. So now it's time to thank the Academy for believing in magic.
(Petit starts to balance the oscar upside-down on his chin.)



Warning: The Academy Awards season 57 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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