Another day, another award for Slumdog Millionaire (The Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association, or WAFCA!, named it best picture.) That’s the way it goes now for the immensely likable rags-to-riches Mumbai film directed by Danny Boyle. The story of a street urchin (“slumdog”) who somehow winds up on the Indian edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire (see the clip below), Slumdog is entertaining all the way through. Even its end credits are a delight, when the film nods to both Bollywood and Hollywood with a terrific musical sequence in the train station.
But here’s the problem for Slumdog, which is distributed by both Fox Searchlight and Warner Brothers: With all these awards, the movie is losing its surprise factor. Hurry to the theater, kids — you’ve only got a week or so left to be the cool kid who “discovers” Slumdog. The movie is slowly going into wider release, and when you combine that with the award onslaught, well, you know what’s coming: It’s Backlash Time! I felt it myself this morning reading one of the many news stories that compares Slumdog’s Oscar run to those of Juno or Little Miss Sunshine — yawn. This is one of those moments where I wish there was less coverage of the Oscar race. Yes, that is absurd given that I edit a magazine that devotes a wee bit of space to the Oscars. But I wish I’d had at least a week or so to enjoy the movie as a lovely surprise before I had to start comparing it to other flicks in the race.
How about you, PopWatchers — does the constant coverage of the Oscar race ruin films for you? Does it help you discover new movies? Do you just wish it would go away? Discuss…
By Rick Tetzeli