Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were films that were superior in terms of quality and/or impact that were not nominated). This week’s entry is Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
Coming from the threat of being released directly to DVD to winning the TIFF People’s Choice Award and later receiving a slew of Oscars and box office success, the story of Slumdog Millionaire as a film nicely parallels the story it tells. It is somewhat of a shock though to think it perhaps wouldn’t have received a theatrical release if not for festival successes, given the earlier credits of its director and its feel-good, rags to riches story that wouldn’t feel at all out of place in the films of a bygone era of Hollywood. Nothing in it is particularly groundbreaking but it’s well structured and forceful and has all the emotional manipulation required for that sort of film. I would happily watch it again any time.