Thrilled, Thrilled, Thrilled – Slumdog Millionaire Wins Best Picture Oscar

Uncork the Champagne, folks.

Right now. And that is an order. 

In the ultimate insult to the know-nothing cretins of Bollywood, the hugely entertaining movie Slumdog Millionaire won the Best Picture Oscar at the 81st Annual Academy Awards this evening.

Slumdog Millionaire beat out The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader to win the great honor.

Slumdog Millionaire’s success at the Oscars is no secret to readers of the blog. As we wrote in December:

An Oscar-worthy gem and the finest movie made in India this century, Slumdog Millionaire (based on the novel Q and A by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup) is coming to India in January.

Slumdog Millionaire Director Danny Boyle and the young kids deserve all the kudos for making this an extraordinary entertainer. It’s a mighty shame that the adults, whether Anil Kapoor, Dev Patel or Freida Pinto, did not put in the same passion into the movie.

As wrote in the review of this must-see movie two months ago:

Slumdog Millionaire is not merely a magnificent movie but it’s also the most absorbing portrait of India we’ve seen on the big screen.

And that’s what raises Slumdog Millionaire to the level of a classic – its amazing portrayal of the wonder and chaos and injustice that’s India.

The filthy slums, the abject poverty, the Hindu-Muslim violence, the Bollywood craze, cricket mania, Mumbai underworld, horrific exploitation of young children, the ‘new’ India rising over the demolished slums of Mumbai, police brutality, the call centers, inexplicable goodness in some souls, the packed commuter trains et al – nay, the very essence of India is distilled and captured with unusual verve and dexterity in the moving story of Slumdog Millionaire.

Hey, director Danny Boyle seizes on, and brings to life, even the Indian fascination with Amitabh Bachchan.

This fine movie has already picked up seven other Oscars tonight – for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Editing, Best Original Score and Best Original Song and Cinematography.

Related Stories:
Yahoooo, Danny Boyle Wins Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire
Rahman Wins Second Oscar; Gulzar Makes India Proud
Jai Ho, A.R.Rahman Wins Oscar – for Best Original Score
O la la la, Slumdog Millionaire Wins Fourth Oscar – for Film Editing
Yipee, Slumdog Millionaire Wins Third Oscar – for Sound Mixing
Slumdog Millionaire Wins Second Oscar
Slumdog Millionaire Wins First Oscar
Slumdog Millionaire Review – A Non-Bollywood Indian Masterpiece
Slumdog Millionaire Rakes in the Moolah
Slumdog Millionaire Sweeps Golden Globes; Thrilled
Will Slumdog Roar at Oscars Too? Gets 10 Nominations
Slumdog Millionaire – How the Critics See it
Cidade de Deus vs Slumdog Millionaire

19 Responses to "Thrilled, Thrilled, Thrilled – Slumdog Millionaire Wins Best Picture Oscar"

  1. gnair91   February 22, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Sean Penn was not expected by me. But slumdog was a shoo-in. Not really surprised there. Responds:

    You write above: Sean Penn was not expected by me.

    We were rooting for Richard Jenkins in The Visitor.

  2. the gora   February 23, 2009 at 12:10 am

    The camera zooming in to capture the smile of Azharuddin Mohammad Ismail while Christian Colson was accepting the Best Picture award was absolutely the moment of the night. What a picture on stage: The whole cast and crew truly looked like a family, and also like a group of underdogs who are finally victorious! Responds:

    Yes, indeed.

    What an evening!

  3. joeantony   February 23, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Wow, thats really great. I watched show until rahman’s award, never believed could end up with best picture award… am goin insane…. want to kick some asses … hooraaay….. Responds:


  4. tejamainhoon   February 23, 2009 at 10:03 am

    hmmm – strange that you are so thrilled about this movie winning best picture…i can understand the excitement over ARR winning, but why do you have your panties in a bunch over this win? how is it any different from ‘No Country for Old Men’ winning last year…

    (am kinda scratching my head over this one…) Responds:

    1. You write above: hmmm – strange that you are so thrilled about this movie winning best picture…

    Thrilled, Yes.

    Surprised, No.

    This is what we wrote in December when we reviewed Slumdog Millionaire:

    An Oscar-worthy gem and the finest movie made in India this century, Slumdog Millionaire….is not merely a magnificent movie but it’s also the most absorbing portrait of India we’ve seen on the big screen.

    And that’s what raises Slumdog Millionaire to the level of a classic – its amazing portrayal of the wonder and chaos and injustice that’s India.

    2. You write above: how is it any different from ‘No Country for Old Men’ winning last year…

    No Country for Old Men is a lovely movie and we enjoyed it.

    Kiddo, regarding Slumdog Millionaire don’t you see the delicious irony here.

    An outsider like Danny Boyle comes to Mumbai, the movie capital of India, makes an amazingly entertaining movie like Slumdog Millionaire set in the slums of Mumbai on a budget of just $15 million, with a cast of ’slumdogs’ and walks away with all the glory.

    Eight Oscars, no less.

    Today, the Bollywood buffoons stand exposed for what they are – mostly, a bunch of thieving, mediocre shits.

  5. IAmAnIdiot   February 23, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Cool …Please Cool down Kid. I Have a Question boy:

    How many in the Jury really understood the Song Jai Ho? Don’t give me crap that Music doesn’t have Language. It’s really crazy to award something no one in the Jury can understand at all. Even your Five Year Old Kid will tell you that there are so many better songs in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu than Jai Ho! So if you jump for this Oscar, then do you mean the Music created by SD Burman, Illayaraja, MSV are crap? Common boys! An below average Hindi Song featured in a British Made semi-bollywood movie liked by Oscar Jury, so …what? How many in this Jury can differentiate from a good Hindi song to bad Hindi song. Rahman deserve any award in the world for but this song. Rahman already delivered more than 100 better songs than Jai HO!

    I have lots of good India Music CDs, I can deliver at your office (M.C) at Oak Tree!!! Responds:

    1. You write above: How many in the Jury really understood the Song Jai Ho? Don’t give me crap that Music doesn’t have Language.

    Interesting question. The answer is complicated.

    As to how many of the Academy’s members really understood the songs, we have no way of knowing.

    But art, be it music, dance, painting et al to some extent do transcend language.

    For instance, do you really need to be born in Ireland to appreciate the magic of River Dance .

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes in Spanish but so fine are the stories (particularly Love in the Time of Cholera) that they don’t lose their magic even in translation.

    2. You write: do you mean the Music created by SD Burman, Illayaraja, MSV are crap

    Of course not. Getting awards is a matter of talent, timing and luck.

    It’s just that SD Burman, Ilayaraja and MSV may not have had the right timing or the luck to work with a director like Danny Boyle.

    3. You write: Rahman already delivered more than 100 better songs than Jai HO!

    Most likely, yes. But those 100 better songs were not competing last night.

  6. Amy G. Dala   February 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Were Commie, homo-loving Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black the only Americans to win a major Oscar Puraskar this year?

    Have you watched Smile Pinki?

    Our own Jessica Biel won the WORST dressed category by a mile.. in fact it has to be one of the all time WORST.. what was she thinking! Responds:

    1. You write above: Have you watched Smile Pinki?


    Just checked. Netflix doesn’t have it.

    2. Offtopic – Would the talented A.R.Rahman have won the Oscars but for the opportunity and forum provided by Danny Boyle?

  7. Amy G. Dala   February 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    oh well, Danny Boyle himself is lucky that
    1) slumdog didn’t go straight to DVD and
    2) he chose to direct it after almost rejecting it.
    3) the voters overlooked like the zombie-like performances of the adults including Irrfan Khan — kudos to Boyle for making the kids do an awesome job.

    ARR wasn’t exactly discovered by Danny… Credit would go to Webber (for the western exposure) and Shekar Kapoor via Manirathinam .. Who knows without the mad success of Roja’s soundtrack, ARR could still be doing ads!.. being the shy guy that he is.. He was approached by Mani, not the other way round. We may never have seen the emergence of other popular music directors like Pritam etc. — who were all clearly inspired by the ARR style of music. That probably can be called the “Dasavatharam” err.. butterfly effect.

    ARR’s songs “Khalbali” and “Lukka Chuppi” from Rang De Basanti made it to the long list of the Best Original Song category for the Oscars in the 79th Annual Academy Awards. So he has been in the Oscar radar before. SDM just proved lucky to everybody involved. Good for all of them and us. Responds:

    Luck or talent, Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire will now go down in the history books.

  8. the gora   February 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Luck nothing! There is the famous quote, whoever said it first I have no idea but I read it last in the autobiography of former ABC president Roone Arledge. When people kept claiming he got lucky for every promotion he received, saying he just happened to be in the right place at the right time, he would respond, “That’s funny. The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Responds:

    Lovely quote.

  9. guruji   February 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    It is a disgrace that SDM won the best movie / director award. I can see why it won in the other categories, but these two are totally undeserved. Good marketing by the makers. Benjamin Button deserved those two. Responds:

    You write above: Good marketing by the makers.

    We don’t agree. It was more, word of mouth that helped Slumdog Millionaire achieve its deserved success.

    ‘Good marketing’ is what the people behind that stolen shit Ghajini did.

  10. joeantony   February 24, 2009 at 1:47 am

    True, that Jai Ho would sound ordinary before ARR’s master piece like ‘Oooh La lalla’, ‘Chaya Chayya’, ‘Pudhu Vellai Malai'(Roja) and many more…

    But mere Jai Ho was enough to beat others in Oscars.. Truly this guy is amazing… and first time I am hearing a hindi song being enjoyed by people in chennai widely, today I was amused to hear the song beating in a small tea shop, then in a petrol bunk, and in my gym… in a day this sounds like national anthem to people, I could see few people humming it on the way…

    Rahman speaking in Tamil in oscars is being flashed in tamil tv channels every 5 mins 🙂 … they all are just going mad here….

  11. Amy G. Dala   February 24, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I was joking (and half-hoping) to my Marathi friends, with whom I was watching, that Rahman is going to speak in Tamil after Penélope Cruz spoke in Spanish..

    Stunning win..
    rest all of the winners are either Americans (mostly) or have strong American ties.

  12. sanewar   February 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    the real good thing about winning an oscar is getting known by the moviemakers around the world and an international popularity. There are too many danny boyles,sean penns,a r rahmans in india waiting to be recognised. This win will give them a massive boost and i hope they come out firing.

    I consider cannes and sundance are the ultimate pinnacle in movie, i ll be more happy if an indian movie wins these events.

  13. aditya_k   February 25, 2009 at 12:00 am

    $15 million? so that turns out to be around 60+ crores…..thats quite a huge budget in bollywood….for instance,SRK’s ‘big budget film’ om shanti om was made in 35 crores (marketing budget not included),while ‘a wednesday’ was made in just 6 crores (source: wikipedia)… that way slumdog is quite expensive……I wonder if ARR had charged more than his usual amount for this film……. Responds:

    1. Your framework of analysis is not appropriate.

    You’ve got to look at the potential audience (and to some extent the geographical setting of the movie as well). If you do that, Slumdog Millionaire’s $15 million budget will appear smaller than for a Bollywood movie featuring stars like SRK or Akshay Kumar.

    Keep in mind that a movie like Slumdog Millionaire is targeting a global audience while Bollywood movies have a limited audience – Mostly the Hindi-speaking Indians in India and the North Indian diaspora.

    2. By Hollywood standards, the budget for Slumdog Millionaire is chickenshit. It’s hard to conceive of a Hollywood movie that targets a global theatrical audience for less than $100 million these days.

    3. Also, other Bollywood movies like CC2C were big budget. Rumor has it that the upcoming Rajinikanth-Aishwarya Rai movie Enthiran has a budget of over Rs 120 crore.

    4. Wonder if you remember this…

    When we first did the Slumdog Millionaire review in mid-December and described it an Oscar-worthy gem and the finest movie made in India this century, you expressed skepticism about our review and asked us – are you serious or is it a hyperbole?.

    Hope you got your answer now. 🙂

  14. aditya_k   February 25, 2009 at 2:42 am

    No. I certainly don’t think its the ‘best film of the century from india’…..for instance, I thought ‘Aamir’ was better….if slumdog can win an oscar, so could have salaam bombay…..what about the geographical settings? the film was shot in india, so my comparison is justified…and what has the audience got to do with the film’s budget? I my opinion, the british crew must have been more expensive, as well as our actors charging a much higher sum than usual……so when is the ‘a wednesday’ review coming? BTW the film is loosely based on your ‘bhaiyya aaramse maar..’ post…. Responds:

    1. Audience part is justified. Let’s say Bollywood spends Rs 50 crore for a movie aimed at say roughly 500 or 600 million people worldwide. A movie like Slumdog Millionaire spending $15 million to target 3 billion seems cheaper..
    2. We watched A Wednesday the other day.
    3. On the geographical setting, in our humble-as-always opinion, a low-budget English movie not set (story) in the West has an even more difficult time making it in the West.

  15. Raju   May 12, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Watching Button since last night.. have already watched Milk.. Slumdog is miles better than those two.

    Yet to watch Frost/Nixon and The Reader.. I guess the weak nominees also helped Slumdog win easily. Responds:

    We went to Red Box yesterday & picked up Uninvited.

  16. Raju   May 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Arielle Kebbel in bikini was tempting.. but I am using my free movies wisely. Also picked up Twilight for the wife and “Hotel for dogs” for the kids. Responds:

    Was this the last free Monday?

  17. Raju   May 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

    yes ma’am/saar.. have to wait till the first monday of june now 🙁 Responds:

    There’s always the local library for free movies (of course, you won’t get new ones).

  18. Raju   May 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

    no.. our county has no DVDs/VHS.. they want to promote “Recreational Reading” it seems.. we are fuming! but my daughter has read more books that I ever did.. so that is probably helping.

    I used to live in Denver.. they had the newest DVDs.. when we rent TV programs, they give us the whole set Sopranos, 24, you name it… for free.. their library system rocked! Unfortunately I couldn’t stay there.. my favorite place of all.. mountains were just couple of hours away.. drove to many exciting places like Yellowstone NP, Mt. Rushmore, Arches NP and more.. Responds:

    Edison (NJ) is nice.

    Indian Movies, Indian restaurants, Indian DVD libraries, Indian fast food, Indian sweets, Indian cultural events, Indian fashion stores, Indian barbers, Indian jewelers, Indian bakery (no kidding, HotBread), and last but definitely not least lots of Indian babes 😉

  19. Raju   May 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    been in Edison too.. the second worst place after Detroit! Responds:

    We haven’t seen Detroit but we have seen Detroit’s future – the 9th ward in post-Katrina New Orleans.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login