‘Slumdog Millionaire’ set to take Oscars despite ’sliming’: expert

February 22nd, 2009 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireLondon, Feb 22 (IANS) Allegations that “Slumdog Millionaire” is selling ‘poverty porn’ may be part of a Hollywood ’sliming’ campaign that may yet prove unsuccessful at Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, a leading Hollywood consultant said in a report published Sunday.
Claims by Hollywood newspapers that the film is ‘poverty porn’ and glamourises slum life appear to have been deliberately placed to play on the “liberal guilt of Oscar voters”, the Sunday Times quoted an unnamed Hollywood veteran as saying.

“Someone has been spinning a barbed idea to a journalist over lunch,” said one.

The paper said the success of “Slumdog Millionaire” has activated “the murky world of sliming”, which was responsible for “Crash” beating favourite “Brokeback Mountain” for the Best Picture Oscar in 2006.

A long-time Hollywood consultant told the paper that “Crash” promoters had posted 100,000 DVDs of the film to people who they thought might influence Oscar judges.

But the consultant said of “Slumdog Millionaire”: “If it does not win best picture, it will be the biggest upset since ‘Crash’ knocked out ‘Brokeback Mountain’ three years ago.”

Another act of ’sliming’ ruined the chances of the 2001 Russell Crowe-starrer “A Beautiful Mind”, based on a dense book about a schizophrenic mathematician.

“One consultant ploughed through the book and discovered that on one page - and one page only - the central figure rants against Jews. That page was duly faxed to journalists looking for an angle, and the apparent antisemitism played badly in the heavily Jewish academy,” the paper said.

However, Tony Angellotti, a respected Oscar consultant whose clients this year include “Frost/Nixon” and “WALL-E”, expects “Slumdog Millionaire” to do well Sunday night.

“This is a film which has come out of nowhere, no one expected this, there are no precedents for this, and yet I expect it to win big on Sunday,” Angellotti said.

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