British cinema collected eleven Oscars at last night’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

The 81st Academy Awards, held at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, mirrored nearly everything about our own BAFTA’s a few weeks ago, with Slumdog Millionaire adding eight awards to the seven it received in London earlier this month.

Amongst the eight Oscars – the best by a British film since The English Patient took nine in 1997 – Slumdog walked away with the biggest prizes of Best picture and director.

As he collected his award, Slumdog director Danny Boyle was jumping up and down like an over-excited child. He explained: “My kids are too old to remember now, but I said to them when they were young ‘if this miracle ever happened I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh’ so that’s what that was.”

Slumdog Millionaire was the Bury-born Boyle’s eleventh feature film of note he’s directed and so nearly went straight to DVD.

The 52-year-old director feels his film, a rags-to-riches story set in the slums of Mumbai, has been so successful because it’s an international film as much as a British film.

Nevertheless, awards including; Best adapted screenplay, original score, original song, cinematography, film editing, and sound mixing will all be proudly received in Boyle’s home in Greater Manchester.

They will be as delighted and have smiles as wide as the children from Mumbai, invited to Hollywood, who got a taste of the red carpet treatment.

Other Brits winning included, at last she may gasp, Kate Winslet, who won Best actress for her portrayal of Hanna Schmitz in The Reader. It was Winslet’s sixth nomination at the Oscars, but she can now add ‘winner’ to her name having beaten joint favourite Meryl Streep to this year’s award.

British documentary Man On Wire, about Philippe Petit who wire-walked New York’s twin towers in 1974, also added an Oscar award to its BAFTA one.

The biggest surprise of the evening, however, was Sean Penn winning Best actor as Mickey Rourke’s comeback to the big time in The Wrestler was hotly tipped to land him an Oscar to go alongside his BAFTA.

Penn was bestowed with his accolade for his performance of gay rights activist Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s Milk and few can really argue against Penn getting the award as he never puts in a poor performance in any films he appears in. Great actor.

As he did at the BAFTA’s, the late Heath Ledger was given Best supporting actor for his work as The Joker in The Dark Knight. Tragically he’ll never know about his achievement as the Australian actor died early last year even before the film was complete. He became only the second person to win a posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch’s win for Network in 1977.

Despite generating the most box office success – taking $242m (£169m) world-wide to date – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, only won three Oscars after being nominated for 13.


Full list of Oscars 2009 winners and nominees:


Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader


Best director: Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant – Milk


Best actor: Sean Penn – Milk
Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler


Best actress: Kate Winslet – The Reader
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Melissa Leo – Frozen River
Meryl Streep – Doubt


Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Amy Adams – Doubt
Viola Davis – Doubt
Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler


Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Josh Brolin – Milk
Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road


Best foreign language film: Departures – Japan
Revanche – Austria
The Class – France
The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany
Waltz With Bashir – Israel


Best animated feature film: Wall-E
Kung Fu Panda


Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader


Best original screenplay: Milk
In Bruges
Frozen River


Best original score: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Best original song: Jai Ho – Slumdog Millionaire
Down To Earth – Wall-E
O Saya – Slumdog Millionaire


Art direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road


Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight
The Reader


Costume design: The Duchess
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road


Best documentary feature: Man on Wire
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Trouble The Water


Best documentary short subject: Smile Pinki
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306


Film editing: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight


Make-up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army


Best live action short film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Auf der Strecke (On The Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig


Best animated short film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory – Lovestory


This Way Up


Sound editing: The Dark Knight

Iron Man


Slumdog Millionaire



Sound mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight


Visual effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man