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The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009)

TV-14 | | News | TV Special 22 February 2009
Annual awards presentation honoring the best film achievements of 2008.
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Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hugh Jackman ... Himself - Host & Performer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Amy Adams ... Herself - Nominee
Jennifer Aniston ... Herself - Presenter
Alan Arkin ... Himself - Presenter
Amy Bailey ... Dancer - Luhrmann / Ashford
Julia Bantner Julia Bantner ... Dancer
Eric Barba Eric Barba ... Himself - Winner
Craig Barron ... Himself - Winner
Kirk Baxter ... Himself - Nominee
Simon Beaufoy ... Himself - Winner
Sally Bell ... Herself - Accepting Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Kristine Bendul Kristine Bendul ... Dancer
Halle Berry ... Herself - Presenter
Beyoncé ... Herself - Performer
Jessica Biel ... Herself - Hostess: Scientific & Technical Awards Banquet
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Storyline

Annual awards presentation honoring the best film achievements of 2008.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

News

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 81st Annual Academy Awards See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicole Kidman had at one point been set to play Kate Winslet's Oscar winning role of Hanna Schmitz in The Reader (2008), but passed on the part due to pregnancy. Also, Marion Cotillard had been briefly considered for the role of Hanna before Winslet was cast. Ironically, both Kidman and Cotillard were two of the presenters who awarded Best Actress winner Winslet her Oscar trophy. See more »

Goofs

During the presentation of the Best Supporting Actor nominees, Alan Arkin introduces Philip Seymour Hoffman as "Seymour Philip Hoffman". See more »

Quotes

James Franco: Man, Slumdog Millionaire! This is definitely the best movie of the year!
Seth Rogen: This is The Love Guru...
See more »

Connections

Featured in And the Oscar Goes To... (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Tick Tick Boom
By The Hives
See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing shocking here – solid show with mostly worthy winners and few surprises
1 March 2009 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Thanks to Sky yet again, I didn't have access to the full show this year (although they managed to provide 90 minutes of dull red carpet footage on Sky 1 before moving over to the movie channels. The highlights show the next night was what I had to work off with the exception of Hugh Jackman's opening material because apparently Sky didn't have room for that as they filled the start of the highlights with far too much of more red carpet celeb spotting. This in itself goes on for too long but is made even worse by the presentation by Fern Cotton – who we are suppose to like I guess but personally is just so bland as to be almost a pencil outline of herself.

Getting into the ceremony it is obvious they have had a bit of a rejig generally because suddenly the stage seems very low and the audience (or, well, the "important" audience) is very much part of the stage almost. I quite liked this although the downside is that in some shots the audience feels really small (like a small comedy club) and then at other times it looks like the audience has been totally divided into those "in" and those "out", which isn't a nice look no matter how true it is. Another change is that the actors awards are presented by former winners who talk about/to a different nominee each. At times I really liked this but at other times I didn't. When the lines seemed natural and not too corny then it seemed to be a great idea, however it is right on the knife's edge and the odd time it really clunks badly, either by unnatural delivery or by some terrible lines. Adrian Brody's lines to Richard Jenkins was close to disrespectful and it showed on Jenkins' face. Mostly though it is a good idea – just a bit of a dangerous one.

The ceremony was generally quite good although it is always hard to judge on the highlights show given how much is missing. There are the usual awkward comedy moments that aren't as funny as they should be and so on. The one moment that made me angry was the In Memoriam section. OK, liked the idea of having a singer but the direction was awful, all the names and faces moving around on screen all the time meant that many were hard to read, even on a good sized TV. It was an awful moment but happily one of the few as the majority seemed OK. The winners were mostly as expected and I was glad that Slumdog won so much as it deserved all the awards it got and I'm glad the balance with Benjamin Button didn't occur. BB got many technical awards as predicted and that was fine. The acting awards were good. I was surprised that The Wrestler got a shutout in the way it did but everyone who won was good and there wasn't really any of the usual "politics" to the extent there can be.

Overall these 81st awards were a reasonably good show that tried some new things to mostly positive effect. There was only one awful moment and a hatful of weak moments but it comes with the territory I guess. Jackman was a good host and did a good job for someone who was not a comedian but instead did an all-round entertainers job to good effect.


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