It’s the morning after the night before for the 81st Academy Awards, and by now we know that once again the ‘Brits have triumphed’ as heralded by the tabloids. Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has swept the board with 8 awards including Best Picture and Director, making it the ‘little film’ that could.

Sean Penn’s Oscar baiting turn in Milk has paid off showing that Hollywood is nothing if not PC, while Kate Winslet upped the Brit ante by doing the same for The Reader, and Penelope Cruz picked up Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, rather than the other 4 nominees who were considerably more deserving!

But what of the films that didn’t get the recognition they deserved?

Well for a start Clint Eastwood, usually the darling of the awards was ceremoniously snubbed for both the top direction of Changeling and his, rumoured to be, final acting turn in Gran Torino. Both of these being considerably better made and acted than 4 of the 5 actual Best Picture nominees.

Which brings me to Frost/Nixon, the best of all the lot, and tellingly the one which scored a big fat zero in its award tally, not as showy as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or as ‘serious’ as The Reader, it is simply the best and most entertaining of all those with nods, but entertainment alone simply doesn’t cut it with the Academy members, or so it would seem.

Which brings me finally to The Dark Knight. Not only was it THE most entertaining film of 2008, but it was also a massive achievement on many levels, with director Chris Nolan at the very least deserving recognition, yes it had 7 (largely technical) nods, but was worthy of so much more.

Justice was served however, with Heath Ledger’s Joker, flying Blockbuster flag for all in a fitting tribute, elevating comic book films above what presenter Will Smith dubbed as the ones that pay the bills in Hollywood, more of these next year please Mr. Oscar!  

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