A.R. Rahman named Best Composer as ‘Slumdog’ sweeps Critics’ Choice awards (Lead)

January 9th, 2009 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 9 (IANS) Noted Indian music director A.R. Rahman won the Best Composer award as Mumbai-set hit film “Slumdog Millionaire” swept the 14th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards winning five top prizes including Best Picture of 2008.The film also won Best Director for British Director Danny Boyle, Best Writer for Simon Beaufoy, and Best Young Actor/Actress for British Indian actor Dev Patel.

Patel plays the protagonist in the film telling the heart warming story of an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who goes on to win a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” game show.

The awards were given out in Los Angeles Thursday night by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which represents 200 of the top film critics across the United States.

The Critics’ Choice Awards have been a strong indicator of the Oscar front-runners with 70 percent of its award winners also going on to win at the Academy Awards. Last year, “No Country for Old Men” from Joel and Ethan Coen won Best Picture and Best Director from the BFCA and went on to win those same awards at the Oscars.

Starring Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Dev Patel, and Freida Pinto, the film is also nominated for four Golden Globe Awards which will be given out Sunday including Best Picture - Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Score.

Earlier Thursday Directors Guild of America (DGA) named Danny Boyle among its five nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for the year 2008.

DGA’s announcement of its pick of the winner Jan 31 will be closely watched as the DGA winner usually goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Director as well.

In fact, in its 60-year history the DGA’s pick also won the Oscar a stunning 54 times. Last year, Joel and Ethan Coen won the DGA award as well as the Oscar for directing “No Country For Old Men”.

“Slumdog Millionaire” has now won nominations for the top award by all five of the US film industry’s major artistic guilds - Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, and American Society of Cinematographers.

Members of these groups represent a substantial block of the 5,810 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which will award the Oscars Feb 22.

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