Oscar Roundup: Milk, Penelope Cruz, The Dark Knight and Slumdog win big

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Ok, so everyone probably knows at this point that Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner last night, taking home the coveted Best Picture, Best Director for Danny Boyle and six other awards. But there were several profound moments sprinkled throughout the broadcast, including a couple directed to the gay community.

The show kicked off with a number by effervescent host Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway (I didn’t know she could sing), highlighting the nominees for Best Picture. Hugh, Zack Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried from Mama Mia! and Beyonce would follow later follow up with a dazzling throwback to classic Broadway (“The Musical is back!”) which was one of the brighter parts of the show.

The Best Supporting Actor and Actress wins had some great moments too. A truly humbling one was when The Dark Knight won, as Heath Ledger was recognized posthumously. His father, mother and sister graciously accepted the award on behalf of Ledger’s three-year-old daughter. Penelope Cruz’s acceptance speech was also touching as the Spanish actress won for Woody Allen’s Vicki Cristina Barcelona, which is ripe with lesbian and bisexual themes.

For those of who loved Milk, you may have probably shed a tear or two when Dustin Lance Black won for Best Original Screenplay.  Black’s acceptance speech could easily be argued as the most inpsiring moment of the night as he spoke about his experiences directed to gay youth, telling them that they are truly beautiful creatures and promising them equal rights, which received thunderous applause. I highly encourage you to watch the clip below, as I can’t really describe in words how timely and sincere it was.

My other favorite moment was when Sean Penn won for Best Actor, which I didn’t realize until my sister had told me and I screamed. Penn’s speech was just as inspiring for gays, albeit funnier (“commie, homo-lovin’ sons of bitches!”) and he gave a shoutout to Mickey Rourke, the favorite to win.

I think it’s safe to say this year’s Oscars were gayer than last. Personally, I think Hugh did a great job and the Oscars still kept its glitter and glam, despite the woes of the economy. Like everyone else, I will also probably run to the theater and see Slumdog.

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