Music & Entertainment

12 November 2009 

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Oscar winners Kate Winslet, Sean Penn and Penelope Cruz backstage ( Photo courtesy A.M.P.A.S.

Hollywood honored its best on Sunday, February 22, when the 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony were held in Los Angeles, California.

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which distributes the Oscars each year, are among the most talented and skilled artists and craftsmen in the film industry. Members mail in their ballots in 24 categories to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers firm, which maintains the utmost secrecy of winners until the moment they are announced.

The Academy gave out its first Oscar statuettes on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  That year there were 250 attendees and the ceremony only lasted five minutes.  1953 marked the first televised ceremony. This year's ceremony was hosted by Australian actor Hugh Jackman, and televised on the ABC network.

In this series of reports, VOA's reporters take a closer look at this year's nominated films and actors.

Hollywood's Big Night
Nominated Films

Featured Images
A.R. Rahman holds Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Original Score for 'Slumdog Millionaire'(Photo courtesy A.M.P.A.S.
Click here to see slideshow

And The Winners Are...

Best Motion Picture
 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount,Warner Bros.)
Frost/Nixon (Universal)
Milk (Focus Features
The Reader (The Weinstein Company)
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)
Foreign Language
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)
Actor, Lead Role
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Actress, Lead Role
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader
Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Official Oscar web site