The Oscars this year was like no other. In order to stave off the terrible ratings of previous years, the producers changed around the format, hoping to keep audiences tuned in for more. While the jury is still out on their success, Hugh Jackman certainly did entertain us. His song and dance numbers livened up our Oscar experience, paying homage to the ceremony's heyday of the past.
While there was no Queer Desi winner tonight, both gays and brown folk have much to celebrate. Here are the artists who, by winning, made us feel as if we won too....
Dustin Lance Black
Best Original Screenplay -- Milk
Black gave a heartwarming speech on his journey to Milk as a gay man. He also spoke directly to LGBT youth,
"who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours."
Best Documentary Short Film
Mylan's short film's protagonist, Pinki, is a hard-willed girl from a humble household in Mirzapur. Pinki suffers from a cleft lip, something she never knew a simple surgery could fix. Smile Pinki is a "real-world fairy tale that follows a young girl's journey to a dream smile from isolation and shame."
Best Original Score -- Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song -- "Jai Ho"
AR Rahman is finally getting the global recognition he has deserved for decades. His ability to fuse unique beats with nontraditional rhythms has already earned him the title of a musical deity in the Subcontinent. During the presentations of Best Song, the Oscars suddenly transformed into the Filmfares; the performances were gripping with Rahman's two wins as the icing on the cake. And, like every good boy, he thanked his mom.
Best Actor in Leading Role -- Milk
In what was most likely the biggest surprise of the night, Sean Penn beat out front-runner, Mickey Rourke, for his endearing portrayal of Harvey Milk, gay activist and politician. He like Black, used the podium to address the need to continue Milk's work.
"I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way"
Best Picture & 7 other awards!
Slumdog was, by far, the runaway hit at this years' Oscars. With the entire cast on stage receiving the more coveted award of the night, the energy was palpable from even my living room. The underdog story was a case of life imitating art; three months ago no one could even anticipate the success that Slumdog Millionaire and its cast and crew have reaped. And of course, who could forget the adorable young actors who were flown into LA just for the occasion.