‘Slumdog…’ becomes India’s star-spangled Oscar dream (Intro Roundup)

January 23rd, 2009 - 1:35 am ICT by IANS  

Brad PittLos Angeles, Jan 22 (IANS) British filmmaker Danny Boyle’s rags-to-riches Bollywood style musical “Slumdog Millionaire” has finally brought the elusive and coveted Oscar dream within grabbing distance of India - with music maestro A.R. Rahman nominated for three Oscars in the main category.The film has got 10 nominations, of which three are for the film’s music - one for best original score and two for the best original songs - “Jai ho” and “O saya”, for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. The lyrics of ‘Jai ho’ have been penned by noted lyricist Gulzar.

Other nominations include for best motion picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best film editing, best sound editing, best sound mixing and best cinematography. The winners will be announced Feb 22 at Kodak Theatre here.

“The nominations have given me a great feeling. My inspiration to compose the music was the movie, its thought and the message in the film,” said an ecstatic Rahman after receiving news of the nominations in Chennai. He had won the Golden Globe for the best original score for the movie.

“Slumdog Millionaire”, which is based on diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel “Q & A”, is a moving tale of a slum boy’s win at a TV reality show. Apart from Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Freida Pinto, the film stars British-Indian debutant Dev Patel.

Releasing Friday in India, the movie has already raked in $43 million at the US box office and jumped itself back to the US Top 10.

The movie ends in the trademark Bollywood musical style with a joyous song called “Jai ho”, which has won much applause from Western critics.

Renowned film critic Ty Burr from The Boston Globe raved about the end sequence.

“The Bollywood dance scene that explodes under the closing credits feels both incongruous and earned: Young India kicking up its heels. You may even feel like dancing in the aisles yourself,” he said.

Rahman’s composition has appealed to other international critics as well.

Lauding ‘Slumdog…”’s music, Mal Vincnet from The Virginian-Post had said: “A festive musical score by A.R. Rahman, complete with a best-song candidate in the lively ‘Jai Ho’ Bollywood finale, and you have a film that is as engaging to listen to as it is to watch.”

Michael Sragow from The Baltimore Sun said: “Boyle brings down the curtain with a musical number that registers as a gift from movie heaven. He breaks your heart, then heels it - and sends you out with a song.”

The movie triumphed at various awards across the globe. Screen Actors Guild Awards, London Critics Circle Award, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Satellite Awards, Toronto Film Festival, British Independent Film Award - to name a few.

The major win was at the Golden Globes, considered to be a precursor to the Oscars.

“We were not expecting so much at all. We were hoping…but 10 nominations is so unreal! And A.R. Rahman has made a wonderful track record. He totally deserves the three nominations and has made the country proud. Without his music, ‘Slumdog…’ wouldn’t have been the same,” Freida told IANS.

In the Oscar run, Brad Pitt starrer reverse-ageing drama “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” leads the race with 13 nominations.

The runners-up are “Batman Begins” sequel “The Dark Knight” and Elliot Graham’s biopic on San Francisco gay activist Harvey Milk “Milk” - receiving eight nominations each.

While Sean Penn got nominated as best actor in a leading role category, Josh Brolin has received the best actor nomination in a supporting role for “Milk”.

Late Australian actor Heath Ledger received the highly anticipated posthumous nomination for the best supporting actor for his performance as the iconic villain The Joker in “The Dark Knight”.

Veteran actress Meryl Streep received her 15th nomination at the Oscars for “Doubt”, alongside British actress Kate Winslet for best actress in Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader”.

“The Reader” and “Doubt” in all have received five nominations each.

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