BAFTA Awards: Another Sweep For Slumdog Millionaire

I’m going to be so happy after the Academy Awards because then I can finally stop posting about Slumdog Millionaire winning every award possible. It is kind of getting redundant and boring.

In addition to winning the WGA for Best Adapted Screenplay this weekend, Slumdog swept the BAFTAs, receiving 7 awards. Here is the complete list of BAFTA winners.

BEST FILM
Slumdog Millionaire

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Man on Wire

THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD
for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer for their First Feature Film
Steve McQueen (Director/Writer) – Hunger

DIRECTOR
Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
I’ve Loved You So Long – Yves Marmion, Philippe Claudel

ANIMATED FILM
WALL•E – Andrew Stanton

LEADING ACTOR
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

LEADING ACTRESS
Kate Winslet – The Reader

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The complete list of BAFTA Winners can be found here.

Live-Blogging the SAG Awards

7:32 PM – Hello party people! Cinefille here and I’m getting ready to live blog the SAG Awards. I’m currently stationed in my friend Aria’s room, who is taking an LSAT prep test. Doesn’t she know that that prevents me from enjoying the wonder that is Ryan Seacrest and the Big Vowel.

She just better leave soon or else I will have to injure her. No one comes in between Cinefille and an award show!

7:37 – Aria is still taking her LSAT test. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

7:40 – Aria is STILL taking the LSAT. You know, Aria doesn’t even want to be a lawyer. I think she is doing this just to spite me.

7:42 – FINALLY. Aria is gone. Time to turn on the Big Vowel. And oh my, what the hell is Nicolette Sheridan wearing?

7:50 – Debbie with the Greek last name that I can’t spell always comes across as drunk whenever she interviews someone. No wonder she got canned from The View.

7:55 – So it is a good thing I turned on the Big Vowel so late. Without Seacrest, this pre-show is a downer.

8:00 – Time for the SAGs!! There was just a shot of William Shatner popping a giant champagne bottle with a couple of models. Only you Shatner, only you.

8:01 – Time for the “I’m an Actor”, when actor’s tell funny (not usually) anecdotes about when they knew they were going to be an actor. This year the stories come from Eva Longoria Parker, Victor Garber, Phylicia Rashad, Anil Kapoor (I think, correct me if I’m wrong about that),Tom Cavanaugh, Jenna Fisher, Will Arnett, and Steve Carell.

Steve Carell had the best line: “On January 15 a pilot named Chelsey Sullenberger landed a place in the icy waters of the Hudson River. It’s a good thing I was not behind the wheel of that plane, because I’m Steve Carell and I’m an actor.”

8:05 – First award – Best Award in a Comedy Series – to Tina Fey. Shocker. Funny speech, it’s a cute tribute to her daughter

8:09 – Apparently Dev Patel can’t read from a teleprompter. He wrote the introduction to Slumdog Millionaire.

8:10 – Actor in a Comedy Series – Thank you Jon Hamm for that AMAZING joke about Chinese Olympic Team. Alec Baldwin wins, who somehow never fails to come across as a jerk.

8:19 – Evan Rachel Wood introduces a montage about aptly titled “Trailblazers”. She introduced it with such a monotone I thought we were a the “In Memoriam” portion the evening. Does the SAG suddenly think it is the AMPAS all of the sudden? Only the Academy Awards can do pointless montages and do them much better. That was a crappy montage.

8:22 – Why is Claire Danes here?

8:23 – The award for Best Comedy Series ensemble goes to… the cast of 30 Rock. Yet another shocker. Jane Krakowski accepts the award. I was hoping Tracey Morgan would accept the award. And that was a nice diss of the cast of Ally McBeal, Jane Krakowski. “The cast of 30 Rock is defintely a much heavier cast.” Tina Fey loved it but it took a second for everyone to get the punchline.

8:27 – Frank Langella and Michael Sheen. FRANK LANGELLA! And Michael Sheen. Just kidding. I like Michael Sheen too.

8:29 – Greg Kinnear announces the first film category – Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Fingers crossed for Penelope Cruz or Viola Davis or Amy Adams or Taraji P. Henson or Kate Winslet. I can’t really decided on a favorite in case you couldn’t tell.

Kate Winslet wins! Does this mean that Winslet will finally win an Oscar? Remember, she nominated for The Reader in the Best Actress category, not for Best Supporting Actress.

8:38 – Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series. Sidebar: I just noticed that the SAG is politically correct these days. No more actresses here!

Hugh Laurie wins. Will Jon Hamm ever win for Mad Men? I know he’s won a Golden Globe, but will Jon Hamm

8:42 – John Krasinski and Amy Poehler presenting an award for Best Actress – ahem Female Actor – in a Drama series. Finally interesting presenters. Can Amy Poehler and Tina Fey just host an award show already?

Sally Field wins! I personally wanted Peggy Olson, I mean, Elisabeth Moss to win. At least Sally Field always makes a lovely acceptance speech.

8:47 – Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, and James Franco introduce a clip Milk. I hope Milk wins.

8:49 – Time for a Drama Series Ensemble to be presented. I love that Eric McCormack poked fun at the Denny as a ghost story line from Grey’s Anatomy. Oh the jokes you can tell when certain people aren’t present!

8:51Mad Men wins! It is by far the best drama on television right now, so the best cast definitely won.

8:57 – I really have to pee. But Aria told me that I’m not allowed to leave her room since she’s still taking the LSAT. Did I mention that she doesn’t even want to be a lawyer? Sometimes I just don’t get Aria. I know this has nothing to with the SAG Awards but I really have to pee. But I can’t because Aria has trapped me in her room. So I’m bitter and venting on the internet.

9:00 – The director of the SAG is talking and since I’m not an actor, I really don’t care about what he has to say.

9:01 – Forest Whitaker is presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to James Earl Jones. I hope he finishes talking soon and that the video tribute isn’t too long so I can listen to Jones to give a speech.

9:06 – It’s ironic that James Earl Jones has one of the most iconic voices in entertainment history and someone else is narrating his life story.

9:08 – This is taking a little bit too long for my liking (mostly because I still have to pee). I just updated The Doozy Marooney in order to distract myself.

9:13 – James Earl Jones made a short but sweet speech. After referencing Genesis and comparing the actor to God (because an actor has a similar responsibility to give life and meaning to a character) he said this: “Paul Newman, someone down here likes you.”

9:19 – Outstanding Performance by an Actress – Female Actor – in a Television Movie or Mini-Series goes to Laura Linney. It was presented by Ernest Borgenine. Hehe, he’s so cute.

9:23 – Amy Adams and Viola Davis introduce a clip from Doubt.

9:24 – Male Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series goes to… Paul Giamatti.

9:26 – Susan Sarandon introduces the “In Memoriam” segment.

9:31 – Aria’s back. I CAN PEE!

9:33 – Aahh, relief.

9:36 – Male Actor in a Supporting Role – goes to Heath Ledger. Gary Oldman accepts the award on his behalf.

9:39 – Taraji P. Henson and Brad Pitt introduce a clip from Benjamin Button. They also cannot read teleprompters.

9:42 – I really enjoy watching award shows with Aria. In the ten minutes since she’s been in the room she has already said this: “I’d be on board with him (Heath Ledger) not winning” and “Brad Pitt is hot but he can’t read for shit” and “Oh you want me to win? Thank you!”.

9:48 – Ralph Fiennes presents the award for Best Actress – I mean Female Actress. I’ll never get used to that. Aria upon seeing Ralph Fiennes: “Oh! Voldemort!

MERYL STREEP WINS! Standing ovation!! “Even though awards mean nothing to me anymore, I’m very happy.”Haha! Best. Speech. Ever!

9:54 – Male Actor in a Leading Role – goes to Sean Penn. Surprisingly, it is his first SAG win. I did not know that.

9:59 – Anthony Hopkins (or Mr CIA man as Aria called him) Best Ensemble – Slumdog Millionaire.

10:03 – The SAG Awards are over. It is pretty safe to say that Slumdog Millionaire isn’t going to win many awards.

Just kidding. Slumdog Millionaire is going to clean up at the Oscars. But as for the acting categories… they have been thrown a huge curveball. Sean Penn instead of Mickey Rourke; Meryl Streep instead of Kate Winslet; and Kate Winslet winning in the supporting category for The Reader when she is only nominated for Best Actress.

I really have no clue who is going to the Oscar now.

And Aria just told me she isn’t listening to me as I ramble on about the Oscars. I think that means it is time for me to leave her room.

Cinefille out.

What Are The Reasons Behind Slumdog’s Success?


Slumdog Millionaire has emerged out of nowhere to become this year’s Oscar favorite. But why? There are six reasons, according this article, for Slumdog Millionaire‘s massive appeal and success. Here are the two that stand out to me:

5. The Tourist Factor: For those whose only exposure to India might have been phone calls to customer service and the odd curry dinner, “Slumdog” is an eye-opener. Boyle resisted stepping back and shooting the movie like a travelogue. Instead, he thrusts the audience into a street-level view of the sights and sounds of India — from the slum’s crowded back alleys to the new gleaming towers of Mumbai, from the Taj Mahal to a stomach-churning outhouse. When you watch “Slumdog,” you feel like you’ve been to India.

6. Bollywood: Remember back during the early ’90s when Tinseltown did a collective double-take about wildly over-the-top flicks coming out of Hong Kong, movies like “The Killer,” “City on Fire” and “Supercop”? It wasn’t long afterwards that the likes of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat were making movies stateside and Hong Kong choreographers like Yuen Woo-ping were in high demand to add some kung fu spice to films like “The Matrix.” Well, the same might be happening now with Bollywood.

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I just don’t get the hype surrounding Slumdog Millionaire. It’s is a good story with a nice happy ending but as far as it being the best movie of the year… I just don’t see it. Maybe I have to see it again and then I’ll jump on the Slumdog bandwaggon. But for me, at this moment, there is something not quite appealing about Slumdog Millionaire.

I am glad that this article mentioned “The Tourist Factor” because I think that plays a huge part in Slumdog’s appeal. It is just another example of how the West becomes completely enthralled by the East.

Here is my review of Slumdog Millionaire.

Review: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire is this year’s movie that has seemingly come out of no where to become a critical darling. It has been nominated for practically every award in existence and has been on ample Top 10 lists. So why the hype? 

Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting), Slumdog Millionaire is stunningly simple story about friendships, family and love.

Jamal Malik, a former street child from the slums of Mumbai, is a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. With the odds stacked against him, Jamal has somehow makes it to the final question and now stands to win 20 million rupees. Naturally, Jamal is accused on cheating and is brought into police custody for an interrogation session that slowly weaves the web of Jamal’s past.

We learn about his childhood in the slums, his relationship with his brother, Salim, and his love for a local street girl, Latika. The events from his childhood provide enough clues for Jamal to know answers to the questions.

Jamal is played by Dev Patel, who is best known for his role on Skins, a British teen drama that I love. Slumdog Millionaire has provided Patel with the breakthrough role of a lifetime, earning him a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

There is a risk with Slumdog Millionaire. As a story about India set in Mumbai, Western audiences are likely to become entralled by the film. Especially after the Mumbai terror attacks last months, audiences will go in expecting this exotic tale about India. But Slumdog Millionaire is not an Indian film.

The movie is a typical Hollywood melodrama aimed at hooking an audience in but it ends with a typical Bollywood dance number in order to remind us that this is a movie about India. In many ways, this could be the movie that finally gives Bollywood a mainstream Hollywood audience. But is this a bad thing? Not really, as long as audiences are able to recognize this.

At the end of the day, Slumdog Millionaire is an intense experience; it will literally have you at the edge of your seat. Simon Beaufoy’s script, Anthony Dod Mantle’s cinematography, Chris Dickens’s editing, and A. R. Rahman’s soundtrack all come together to tell this wonderfully romantic story and simple reminder about the power of the human spirit.

I think Todd McCarthy of Variety sums up the film best when he wrote about the film in September. “As drama and as a look at a country increasingly entering the world spotlight, Slumdog Millionaire is a vital piece of work by an outsider who’s clearly connected with the place.”

It is hard to resist and hard to forget the charm of Slumdog Millionaire.

Updated December 2, 2010

Best of 2008: WAFCA

Another day, another round of critics awards.
The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Assocation (WAFCA) announced their picks for the best films of 2008.

Slumdog Millionaire, the story of a street urchin who winds up on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, was named Best Picture. Mickey Rourke, who is the midst of a big comeback, received the award for Best Actor and Heath Ledger received the Best Supporting Actor prize.

Here are all the winners.

Best Film
Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler
Best Actress
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Best Ensemble
Doubt
Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress
Rosemarie DeWitt – Rachel Getting Married
Best Breakthrough Performance
Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Adapted Screenplay
Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Screenplay
Jenny Lumet Rachel Getting Married
Best Animated Feature
Wall•E
Best Foreign Language Film
Let The Right One In
Best Documentary
Man On Wire
Best Art Direction
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button