As the 81st Annual Academy Awards kicks off its gala ceremony, 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' star Penelope Cruz has become the first one to receive the golden man statuette on the night.
An Oscar has gone to Penelope Cruz. On Sunday, February 22 at the gala ceremony of the 81st Annual Academy Awards, the 34-year-old actress has earned her first Academy Awards kudo as she was named the Best Supporting Actress.
Cruz received the coveted prize for her performance as the tempestuous ex-wife of Juan Antonio, Maria Elena, in Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". For the title, she beat fierce competitions, Amy Adams and Viola Davis of "Doubt", Taraji P. Henson of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and Marisa Tomei of "The Wrestler".
Other early winners at the prestigious awards event were Gus Van Sant-directed "Milk" and Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire". "Milk", the movie about the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America, has collected the golden man statuette for Dustin Lance Black in the category of Best Original Screenplay, while the rag-to-riches drama "Slumdog" nabbed the Best Adapted screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.
Produced by Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, the men behind the Oscar-winning musical "Dreamgirls", the 81st Annual Academy Awards is held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. It is aired live by ABC with Hugh Jackman serving as the show's host.