‘Slumdog Millionaire’ led the way at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, winning eight awards including best director for Danny Boyle.
But it was also a big night for Kate Winslet who won the Oscar for Best Actress after five unsuccessful Oscar attempts.
Boyle leapt up and down in delight as he collected his award. Other winning categories for the movie included Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Score.
The film is the rags-to-riches story of an orphan from the Mumbai slums who wins the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?’.
Kate Winslet kept her composure - just. She had raised eyebrows for her gushing acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last month. This time she was breathless but managed to stave off the tears as she accepted the gong.
Winslet, 33, told the audience that she had actually first prepared an acceptance speech when she was just eight years old.
"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't made a version of this speech. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into a mirror," she said.
With her director husband, Sam Mendes, looking on, she went on to offer a stream of breathy tributes including ones to her children and Stephen Daldry, the director of the film ‘The Reader’ for which she had been nominated.
Heath Ledger became only the second performer to be awarded an Oscar posthumously.
He won the Best Supporting Actor award for his part in Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight’.
Penelope Cruz was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’.
Sean Penn's best actor award for his portrayal of gay rights activist Harvey Milk was probably the surprise of the night, and he was clearly taken aback.
"You commie, homo-loving sons of guns," Penn said as he received the prize. "I did not expect this and I want it to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often."
Competition was stiff in the category, with Penn up against Mickey Rourke for ‘The Wrestler‘, Frank Langella in ‘Frost/Nixon‘, Brad Pitt for ‘Benjamin Button’ and Richard Jenkins for ‘The Visitor’.