LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- British director Dan Boyle's rags-to-riches love story "Slumdog Millionaire" won big at the 81st Academy Awards Sunday night, grabbing eight Oscars including best picture and best director.
The film tells about a story of two brothers growing up in the slums of Mumbai, India, with one finding love and the other finding a life of crime.
"Slumdog Millionaire," which struggled to find a distributor and almost went direct to home video, had already won a Golden Globe, a Producers Guild award, a Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble cast, a best director honor from the Directors Guild of America and a best adapted screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America.
Many of the film's young stars were flown to Hollywood to attend the Oscar ceremony, and they all walked onto the Kodak Theater stage as the film's producer Christian Colson accepted the statuette.
"As you pull back the spine (of the story) is another spine, is the love story," said director Danny Boyle, who won the Academy Award for Best Director. "It's a chance to get yourself lost in romance."
Slumdog went into the ceremony with 10 nominations and walked away with eight. It only lost in one category -- sound editing. It had two nominations in the original song category.
Top nominee "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" had 13 nods, but won only three, for art direction, makeup and visual effects.
Meanwhile, Sean Penn won his second best-actor Oscar for his role in "Milk" and Kate Winslet took home her first Oscar statuette for best actress for her role in "The Reader."
The 33-year-old Winslet is the youngest actress to earn six Oscar nominations. The record was previously held by actress Bette Davis, who was 34 when she received her sixth nomination in 1942.
To win the Oscar, Winslet beat out Meryl Streep, who earned her record 15th nomination for her role as a strict nun in "Doubt." Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson are tied for second with 12 nomination each.
"WALL-E" won the Oscar for animated feature film, while Japanese film "Departures" was named the best foreign language film.