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The 81st Annual Academy Awards (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 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:

81-я церемония вручения премии 'Оскар' 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

Heath Ledger became the second performer to win a posthumous acting Oscar. The first was Peter Finch (in 1977, for Network (1976)). 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

Janusz Kaminski: Suck on that, Anthony Dod Mantle.
See more »

Connections

Follows The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Jai Ho
(from "Slumdog Millionaire (2008)")
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyrics by Gulzar
Performed by A.R. Rahman and Tanvi Shah
See more »

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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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