81st academy awards tonight

The 81st Annual Academy Awards, Hollywood's biggest night, is tonight. Like everyone else, I am predicting a really big evening for Slumdog Millionaire. It won't be an Oscar sweep -- I don't think it'll win for the song and sound categories. But who knows? In honor of Slumdog, here's a video clip composer A.R. Rahman performing a few nights ago on The Tonight Show.

I'm also rooting for Steven Okazaki's The Conscience of Nhem En, nominated for Best Documentary Short. He has previously been nominated three times, and won for Days of Waiting in 1991. Here's a funny NPR feature I heard the other day by Peggy Orenstein, who is married to Okazaki and attending the ceremony tonight: Who Are You Wearing To The Oscars? Who Cares?

UPDATE: And Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Picture. Okay, I was totally wrong about the Best Song and Sound Mixing -- Slumdog took both categories. No win for Steven Okazaki's The Conscience of Nhem En though.

Suprise win for Kunio Kato's La Maison en Petits Cubes, which won Best Animated Short. I thought for sure it would go to the Pixar short. He accepted the award with many many "thank yous" and "domo airgato, Mr. Roboto."

And another big surprise win for Yojiro Takita's Departures (a film I had never even heard of before they announced the nominations), which won for Best Foreign Language Film -- quite an upset over the highly favored Waltz with Bashir: Japan's 'Departures' wins Oscar in upset. I'm going to have to check it out now.

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