Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar night: Slumdog Millionaire wins big

Rags-to-riches romance "Slumdog Millionaire" swept the Oscars on Sunday, winning eight awards including the prize for best picture in a climactic triumph for a movie that almost failed to get released.

Among the "Slumdog" honors, Briton Danny Boyle was named best director for the often dark but ultimately hopeful tale about a poor Indian boy who competes for love and money on a TV game show, and writer Simon Beaufoy won adapted screenplay.

"Slumdog" also earned Oscars for best cinematography, sound mixing, film editing, original score for composer A.R. Rahman and best song, "Jai Ho" for Rahman and lyricist Gulzar. Only seven other films in the 81-year-history of the Oscars have won eight or more awards.

Filmed in the teeming slums of Mumbai, the movie was orphaned at one point when it was dropped by financier Warner Independent Pictures, a division of giant Warner Bros. Fox Searchlight Pictures ultimately rescued the project and released the movie to critical acclaim in November.

"You've been so generous to us this evening, and I want to thank you for that," Boyle said to the Academy Award audience when accepting his trophy.

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