Alternative History
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The 81st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was held on February 22, 2009 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. The ceremony honored films released in Los Angeles during the calendar year of 2008. The Best Picture winning film, The Dark Knight, became the first film based on a comic book to win the top prize at the Oscars (A History of Violence and The Prestige, both based on graphic novels, had been previously nominated). WALL-E also became the third (and to date last) animated film to be nominated for the top prize. The Governor's Awards gave out prizes to Actress Catherine Denueve, Director and Producer George Lucas, and posthumously to special effects artist Stan Winston. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was also given to Jerry Lewis.

Jon Stewart returned to host the Oscars for the third time, and the 2nd in a row.

Winners and Nominees

Best Picture: The Dark Knight

  • Doubt
  • Milk
  • WALL-E
  • The Wrestler

Best Director: Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight

  • Darren Aronofsky- The Wrestler
  • Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
  • Martin McDonagh- In Bruges
  • Gus Van Sant- Milk

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke- The Wrestler

  • Clint Eastwood- Gran Torino
  • Colin Farrell- In Bruges
  • Michael Fassbender- Hunger
  • Sean Penn- Milk

Best Actress: Kate Winslet- Revolutionary Road

  • Anne Hathaway- Rachel Getting Married
  • Sally Hawkins- Happy-Go-Lucky
  • Meryl Streep- Doubt
  • Kristin Scott Thomas- I've Loved You So Long

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight

  • Josh Brolin- Milk
  • Emile Hirsch- Milk
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman- Doubt
  • Brad Pitt- Burn After Reading

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz- Vicky Cristina Barcelona

  • Amy Adams- Doubt
  • Viola Davis- Doubt
  • Rosemarie DeWitt- Rachel Getting Married
  • Marisa Tomei- The Wrestler

Best Original Screenplay: WALL-E

  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • In Bruges
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Dark Knight

  • Doubt
  • Frost/Nixon
  • The Reader
  • Revolutionary Road

Best Foreign Language Film: Matteo Garrone (Italy)- Gomorrah

  • Uli Edel (Germany)- The Baader Meinhof Complex
  • Ari Folman (Israel)- Waltz with Bashir
  • Aigars Grauba (Latvia)- Defenders of Riga
  • Jan Troell (Sweden)- Everlasting Moments

Best Animated Feature Film: WALL-E

  • Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • The Tale of Desperaux
  • Waltz with Bashir

Best Cinematography: The Dark Knight

  • Australia
  • Milk
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Film Editing: The Dark Knight

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • WALL-E
  • The Wrestler

Best Art Direction: The Duchess

  • Doubt
  • In Bruges
  • Milk
  • Revolutionary Road

Best Costume Design: The Fall

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Duchess
  • Milk
  • The Reader

Best Original Score: The Dark Knight

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • WALL-E

Best Original Song: "The Wrestler" from The Wrestler

  • "Once in a Lifetime" from Cadillac Records
  • "Gran Torino" from Gran Torino
  • "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire
  • "Down to Earth" from WALL-E

Best Sound Design: Iron Man

  • The Dark Knight
  • In Bruges
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • WALL-E

Best Sound Editing: Iron Man

  • The Dark Knight
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • WALL-E

Best Makeup: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Doubt
  • The Reader
  • Tropic Thunder

Best Visual Effects: Iron Man

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Hancock

Governors Awards

  • Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jerry Lewis
  • Actress Catherine Denueve
  • Director/Producer George Lucas
  • Effects Artist Stan Winston
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