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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 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Annual awards presentation honoring the best film achievements of 2008.

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News

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated five films for Best Picture. Months after the ceremony, the Board of Governors amended the rules to expand the list to a maximum of ten. The last time AMPAS nominated more than five films was in 1943. See more »

Goofs

Just before the presentation of "Best Supporting Actress" the curtain that was supposed to open to reveal the presentation screens don't open. You can then hear a stagehand from backstage yell, "We're doing it. Steve open it!" (his voice was probably picked up through Hugh Jackman's lapel mic.) See more »

Quotes

Kate Winslet - Winner: Best Actress in a Leading Role: Okay, that fainting thing, Penélope. I'd be lying if I haven't made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this
[holding up her statuette]
Kate Winslet - Winner: Best Actress in a Leading Role: would've been a shampoo bottle. Well, it's not a shampoo bottle now! I feel very fortunate to have made it all the way from there to here and I'd like to thank some of the people along the way who had faith in me. My friends and my family, especially my mum and dad, who are in this room ...
[...]
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Connections

Follows The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Tick Tick Boom
By The Hives
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User Reviews

Changed Eye
3 March 2009 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I'm interested in these awards, not because of who wins or why. Sure we all have our favorites, but the more we celebrate when someone we value is recognized, the more we endorse this notion of a competition. A competition in the arts?

No, I'm interested because I study introspection in film, and there is no more obvious and consistent event than this show about shows, this story about storymaking and the people involved. The entrance of the players has become a sort of performance in itself, only the actual awards seem to have escaped as we must suffer through each recipient's list of people they are obligated to mention. Its a puzzling phenomenon why this occurs: the persons judged by the world as the most able to convey stories that matter — and we end up with such dreary speeches, mostly.

But its the show, right? Well, this show really was something unusual. As Jackman said is more "Show" than "Business." I'm sure he was parroting a decision made by the Academy based on their plummeting ratings. Regardless of the reason, the retread was welcome by me.

There were three notable elements, four if you count the pretty wonderful Busby Berkeley inspired production number that Jackman led. Two of them had to do with the stage, the physical stage itself. Since spending time in the Globe and discovering the magic of stage geometry all over again, I appreciated these and am a bit in wonder at the sophistication of the designer, who I understand is Joe Celli.

He designed a massive halo curtain of glittering crystals. I have no idea what something like this costs and what happens to the crystals. It must have been really impressive in the physical space because of the multispectral quality of refracted light. Elsewhere, I've written of the quality of snow and early theater screens. They have this presentation of scintillating colors that appears white but has an inner life, an inner texture. I would have traveled to LA just to experience this, which probably was better without the celebrities.

The other thing they did spatially was to design a stage that repurposes the performance geometry on which the Globe theater was based, the "Globe" of religious performance that Michelangelo created in Saint Peter's Square (where the Pope does his celebrity performance — in fact this is also the origin of the red carpet).

There's a yet to be appreciated pentagonal quasicrystral structure there, something that is tied deeply to notions of presence and being. I'm certain that they did not integrate this design into other elements of the show except as mentioned below. But its a pretty extraordinary statement.

Where they did integrate this five-fold symmetry was in the most extraordinary design change in the actual award presentations. For each of the five nominees for important statues, they presented five previous winners, each of whom "presented" the nominee. They were placed on this floor-stage design in ALMOST a significant way. I think perhaps the designer had them where it mattered. But they were relocated so that the five large screens behind them could be captured better in the focal frame of the three sailing cameras. Something of shame. But the intent is amazingly, wonderfully, intelligently clear.

Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Australians! What else is there?

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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