Two big dreams were fulfilled last night when Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson won Oscars at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Whitaker took home Best Actor for his exceptional work in The Last King of Scotland and Hudson was honored as Best Supporting Actress for her breakout performance in Dreamgirls. Both actors had swept up numerous pre-Oscar awards???including top prizes from the Golden Globes and British Academy of Film and Television Arts???yet Whitaker and Hudson seemed genuinely shocked last night at their Oscar wins. ???I thought if it would happen that I would be a little overwhelmed, and I am,??? said Whitaker, as he fumbled for his acceptance speech. Hudson, who seemed overcome with emotion as she walked onstage, said, ???I didn’t think I was going to win but, wow, if my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration for everything, because she was a singer and she had the passion for it, but she never had the chance. And that was the thing that pushed me forward to continue.??? She went on to sincerely thank God, family, cast members???and Jennifer Holliday, the original actress who portrayed Effie White.
There were some upsets: Eddie Murphy???s comeback joy ride came to a halt when he lost the Best Supporting Actor award to Little Miss Sunshine???s Alan Arkin. And in the Best Original Song category, three (!) Dreamgirls songs were overlooked for Melissa Etheridge???s winning ???I Need to Wake Up,??? from An Inconvenient Truth. Still, the night ended on a high note. With Whitaker’s and Hudson???s wins, children from East Texas to Chi Town now know that if you just believe, Oscar dreams really can come true.