The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has rarely gone a bundle on SF and fantasy. Sure, The Return Of The King walked off with a record-equalling 11 Golden Baldies , but normally Oscar’s love for the genre doesn’t stretch beyond a few nominations and prizes in the technical categories.
So we should probably treat this year’s haul as a success. Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor prize for his magnificent performance in The Dark Knight, making him only the second man to win an acting Oscar after his death (the first being Peter Finch in Network) and one of the least surprising winners of the night. Ledger’s parents parents and sister came to the ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre to collect the award from a quintet of previous winners: Christopher Walken, Kevin Kline, Alan Arkin, Cuba Gooding Jr and Joel Grey.
Meanwhile, in the Best Animated Feature category, Pixar’s peerless WALL-E deservedly beat Kung Fu Panda and Bolt to the Oscar. The sad thing is, WALL-E himself would probably think the golden statuette was landfill.
This year’s SF haul of fame was completed by The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button which won technical Oscars for its art direction, make-up and visual effects. Unless you count the fact that the ceremony’s host was Wolverine. Or Hugh Jackman as he was known last night – you wouldn’t normally catch Wolverine singing and dancing in front of an audience of thousands.