Martin Scorsese finally wins Oscar for best director



Mark J. Terrill/associated press


Director Martin Scorsese accepts the Oscar for best director for his work on The Departed at the 79th Academy Awards.


Martin Scorsese was finally awarded the film industry’s top prize last night, taking home the best director Oscar for The Departed, which also won best picture.

Nominated five times previously for best director since his 1980 masterpiece Raging Bull, Scorsese had gone home a loser each year. But that all changed yesterday.

“Could you double check the envelope?” he joked. “I’m overwhelmed.”

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Forest Whitaker, above, wins the Oscar for best actor for his work in The Last King of Scotland

Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker won top acting honours for their portrayals of very different leaders.

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Helen Mirren accepts the best actress award for The Queen

Whitaker won for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland and Mirren as Elizabeth II in The Queen.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked the subject of the film.

“I thank her, if it wasn’t for her I most certainly wouldn’t be here,” said Mirren. “My sister told me that all kids love to get gold stars and this is the biggest and best gold star I’ve ever had in my life.”

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Jennifer Hudson accepts best supporting actress for Dreamgirls at the 79th Academy Awards last night in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Hudson won the supporting-actress Academy Award for Dreamgirls, though her co-star and fellow front-runner Eddie Murphy lost the supporting-actor prize to Alan Arkin of Little Miss Sunshine.

“More than anything, I’m deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection,” said Arkin, who plays a foul-mouthed grandpa with a taste for heroin in the road comedy.

Hudson won an Oscar for her first movie, playing a powerhouse vocalist who falls on hard times after she is booted from a 1960s girl group. The role came barely two years after she shot to celebrity as an “American Idol” finalist.

“Oh my God, I have to just take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do. I didn’t think I was going to win,” Hudson said through tears of joy. “If my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration.”

Little Miss Sunshine also won the original screenplay Oscar for first-time screenwriter Michael Arndt.

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Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, left, and Davis Guggenheim poses with the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth.

The nonfiction hit An Inconvenient Truth, a chronicle of Al Gore’s campaign to warn the world about global warming, was picked as best documentary.

oscar winners

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Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres opens the 79th Academy Awards telecast last night in Los Angeles.

Mark J. Terrill/associated press

Canadian Torill Kove accepts the Oscar for best animated short film for The Danish Poet.

The winners from the 79th annual Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at the Kodak Theatre yesterday:

  • Animated Feature Film: Happy Feet.

  • Art Direction: Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • Cinematography: Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • Makeup: Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • Live Action Short Film: West Bank Story.

  • Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls.

  • Sound Editing: Letters From Iwo Jima.

  • Costume: Marie Antoinette.

  • Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

  • Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine.

  • Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others, Germany.

  • Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls.

  • Documentary (short subject): The Blood of Yingzhou District.

  • Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth.

  • Original Score: Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla.

  • Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine.

  • Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, The Departed

  • Original Song: I Need to Wake Up from An Inconvenient Truth.

  • Film Editing: The Departed.

  • Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen.

  • Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland.

  • Directing: Martin Scorsese, The Departed.

  • Best Picture: The Departed.