A R Rahman has become the first Indian to win two Oscars for his scintillating music in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which swept the Academy awards winning eight with one going to sound engineer Resul Pookutty.
‘Slumdog Millionaire’, a rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai slum dweller, who goes on to win INR 20 million in a quiz show, was adjudged the best film.
It also fetched Danny Boyle the Best Director award, Simon Beaufoy best Adapted Screenplay and Anthony Dod Mantle the best Cinematography award. The film was also awarded for Best Editing.
A beaming 43-year-old Rahman said: "Before coming here I was excited and terrified. The last time I felt that way was when I was getting married.
"There is a Hindi dialogue ‘mere pass ma hai’ which means even if I have got nothing I have my mother here. I want to thank her for coming all the way to support me," Chennai- born Rahman said in his acceptance speech after bagging the Original Score Oscar.
The foot-tapping number ‘Jai ho’, with lyrics by Gulzar, was adjudged the Best Song.
Pookutty, who hails from Kerala’s Kollam district, received the award for Best Sound Mixing with co-recordists Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.
‘Slumdog Millionaire’, based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel ‘Q & A’, came to the 81st Academy Awards ceremony with 10 nominations and failed to win only in the Sound Editing category. Rahman had also received a nomination in the Best Song category for ‘O saya’ in the film.
Veteran filmmaker Satyajit Ray was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar in 1992 and prior to that Bhanu Athaiya won one for costume design in Richard Attenborough’s "Gandhi" in 1983.
There was more good news as ‘Smile Pinki’, the tale of a Uttar Pradesh girl and her fight against the social stigma of a cleft-lip, won the Oscar award for Best Documentary (Short). Directed by Emmy-award winning Megan Mylan, the film was shot in Mirzapur and Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh.
‘Slumdog Millionaire’ edged past Brad Pitt-starrer ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, which had 13 nominations. The film won three Oscars.
Kate Winslet won Best Actress Oscar for her role as a Nazi prison guard in ‘The Reader’ while Sean Penn was awarded the best Actor Oscar his portrayal of a gay-rights activist for ‘Milk’.
Heath Ledger bagged the Oscar posthumously for best Supporting Actor for his diabolic role of ‘Joker’ in ‘The Dark Knight’. Penelope Cruz picked up her first Oscar as she was named the Best Supporting Actress for the role in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’.
Rahman, wearing a black bandhgala, also performed a medley of ‘Jai ho’ and ‘O saya’ assisted by dancers and singer John Legend.
The singer, who shot into fame in Bollywood with his score in Mani Ratnam’s Roja, had earlier pocketed a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his music ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ besides a host of other awards.
It was an "unbelievable moment" for the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ team which stole the show at the red carpet with lead lady Frieda Pinto being the cynosure of all eyes in her elegant blue John Galliano gown.
She was joined by co-star and the film’s lead protagonist British-Indian Dev Patel, clad in a black tuxedo.
Also dressed for the occasion in tuxedos and beautiful frocks were the two ‘Salims’ (Mohammad Azharuddin and Ashutosh Gaajiwala) and two ‘Latikas’ (Rubina Ali Qureshi and Tanvi Lonkar) were visibly excited to be present at the greatest awards night in Hollywood.
Here is the list of the result of the much awaited OSCAR award winners, presented in order of acceptance at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
The Daily Telegraph