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Slumdog vies for Oscar nod

Razia Iqbal | 10:48 UK time, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

British director Danny Boyle, speaks with a verve and exuberance that echoes the feel-good factor of his latest film, Slumdog Millionaire.

The movie - which tells the story of a Mumbai teenager's attempt to win Who Wants To Be a Millionaire - has been getting rave reviews in the US, despite almost failing to get distribution there.

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The independent division of Warner Brothers, which was going to release the film, was closed down, and at one stage it looked as though the project would go straight to DVD.

When I asked Boyle if making the film had changed him, he recounted this moment, and said that in the past he may have looked to blame someone. But filming in Mumbai, he said, had changed his view of the world.

boyle226.jpgHe knew he could either fight or go with the flow; he chose the latter and said the city paid him back with great rewards. So he remained calm and things worked out. I was worried he was going to get all mystical on me. Clearly the city and the film made a huge impact on him, and it continues to do so.

Talk in the US and here suggests that the film is a shoe-in for the Oscars. Boyle was sweetly self- deprecating about his chances: "I think we might be in the room, but we'll be waving from the back."

I have always thought that the film award season - which has already begun in earnest - was frothy nonsense, feeding into our obsession with celebrity culture, with the actual art of film taking a back seat.

However, if awards result in more people seeing this film, then roll out the red carpet.


  • Comment number 1.

    I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire yet but if it's a patch on some of Boyle's other movies then it should hit Oscar pay-dirt - and it's about time.

    There are few directors on the go today who can switch genre so effortlessly as Boyle can and yet still hit the dizzy heights of classic moviedom.

    I watched 28 Days Later in a very quiet cinema theatre (there were two of us in the entire auditorium) and I have never been more creeped out in my life.

    Sunshine was another brilliant film (with a stunning score to boot), and one of my favourite films of last year; and then, of course, who can forget the seminal Trainspotting.

    As genre-hopping directors go, Boyle is probably the only one on the go today who even comes close to matching the magnificent Rob Reiner at his height.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm a huge Danny Boyle fan and saw Slumdog Millionaire a few weeks ago. It was hands down one of the best films I've seen in a really long time. Considering so much of the crap that Hollywood puts out, it's refreshing to see that great films are being made. It's tragic though that so many aren't able to find distribution - like this one almost did. If Slumdog isn't nominated for some kind of aware then I will have really lost faith in those who vote.

  • Comment number 3.

    I watched Slumdog Millionaire a few weeks. I ve always been uncomfortable seeing a westerner trying to make an asian movie for it lacks the touch of reality. Rave reviews of SD made me believe that this movie is different and worth watching. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the first part (the first chasing scene was abosolutely fantastic), the film couldn't hold on to its potential till the end. It came out be more of a "masala" movie. The story lacked the punch and the grown up actors looked unoriginal. May be this film ll be appreciated by people outside of indian subcontinent but for a native speaker it ll be another bollywood film with english speaking actors.

  • Comment number 4.

    Overall movies from the Bollywood industry I tend to avoid. The fantasy,sensationalism,all-in-one genre emotions and musicals really get on my nerves and get cheesy. Only a few movies are memorable (usually what they call 'Art' movies there) and don't follow the same boy meets girl love story schema or movie scripts borrowed from Hollywood.

    Unfortunately I seem to end up in heated arguments with fans who can't take my dislike of the industry and preference for Hollywood!

    But yes there are some GREAT movies. The gangster movies were a nice change in the mid-90's, and it started with 'Satya' (whose director and writer, Ram Gopal Varma, I absolutely respect, and unearthed acting jems like Manoj Bajpai) but since then its been stereotypical.

    I guess it has to do with audience demand...the people don't want to see something realistic to their lives...they want escapism from the stresses of their lives (though a trend towards darker movies like terrorism are making it to the front). That's why when Bollywood admirers ask me who my favourite actor is (I have many but I usually tell them Nana Patekar), they have a puzzled look, and tell me they meant best big,spectacular or good looking actor.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm in the UK and was really excited to see that the book Q and A by Vikas Swarup has been made into this film because the book was excellent. Looking forward to seeing it in January.

  • Comment number 6.

    I saw SD twice in last 3 weeks. On both occaisions I sat 2 rows from the screen (very difficult position to watch a movie in a theatre) and audience clapped at the end of the movie. I liked the movie very much, thats why I went in second time. Oscar recognition looks doubtful, maybe it has a chance in "Adapted Screenplay" and "Direction" categories.


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