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National Board Of Review Declares SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Best Film Of 2008!

Beaks here...

I've a feeling you're going to be reading slight variations on that headline over the next few months. Though the politicking has only just begun, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE seems to be the movie of the moment. It's so undeniable, even the flaky National Board of Review had to bestow their top honor upon it - though it looks like they really wanted to go with Clint Eastwood's curmudgeonly ode to tolerance, GRAN TORINO. GRAN TORINO is going to be an interesting player in this year's Oscar race if only because reactions are clearly split along generational lines (oldsters love it, youngsters not so much). Obviously, the NBR fell hard for the film, including it in their top ten, while dishing out Best Actor to Clint and Best Original Screenplay to Nick Schenk. I don't know if this run of good fortune is going to continue through the critics' awards (very doubtful), but I can definitely see the Golden Globes nominating the hell out of this thing. As for the Academy... it's Clint. They'd retroactively nominate THE GAUNTLET if they could. He's a cinch for Actor if nothing else. I'm not going to get too worked up over the rest of the NBR's choices, but it is nice to see geek fave LET THE RIGHT ONE IN shortlisted. Also glad to see SON OF RAMBOW and MISTER FOE getting some love. What do you think?
Awards for 2008: Best Film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Top Ten Films (In alphabetical order) BURN AFTER READING CHANGELING THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON THE DARK KNIGHT DEFIANCE FROST/NIXON GRAN TORINO MILK WALL-E THE WRESTLER Best Foreign Language Film MONGOL Top Five Foreign Films THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LET THE RIGHT ONE IN ROMAN DE GARE A SECRET WALTZ WITH BASHIR Best Documentary MAN ON WIRE Top Five Documentaries AMERICAN TEEN THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON) DEAR ZACHARY ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED Top Independent Films (In alphabetical order) FROZEN RIVER IN BRUGES IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS MR. FOE RACHEL GETTING MARRIED SNOW ANGELS SON OF RAMBOW WENDY AND LUCY VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA THE VISITOR Best Actor CLINT EASTWOOD, Gran Torino Best Actress ANNE HATHAWAY, Rachel Getting Married Best Supporting Actor JOSH BROLIN, Milk Best Supporting Actress PENELOPE CRUZ, Vicky Cristina Barcelona Best Ensemble Cast DOUBT Breakthrough Performance by an Actor DEV PATEL, Slumdog Millionaire Breakthrough Performance by an Actress VIOLA DAVIS, Doubt Best Director DAVID FINCHER, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Directorial Debut COURTNEY HUNT, Frozen River Best Adapted Screenplay SIMON BEAUFOY, Slumdog Millionaire and ERIC ROTH, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Spotlight Award MELISSA LEO, Frozen River and RICHARD JENKINS, The Visitor Best Original Screenplay NICK SCHENK, Gran Torino Best Animated Feature WALL-E William K. Everson Award For Film History MOLLY HASKELL and ANDREW SARRIS The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression TRUMBO

The New York Film Critics Circle will be announcing their awards soon. With Armond White serving as the chair, you should make like a Gemini and expect the unexpected.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight should have been #1...

    by The Dum Guy

    That is all.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    The thing I hate about this shit...

    by The Eskimo that more than half of these films listed haven't even come to my theaters yet, and I live in my State's capital city so it's not like I'm in some culturally deprived bumfuck little town.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    No love for Uwe Boll?

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    Man, that guy just can't catch a break.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    This years "Little Miss Bullshit"..

    by Monkeybrains

    thank you

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    It was OK but no friggen way was it a top 10 movie.<P> I do agree with Beaks about all the Clint love with the academy. THE GAUNTLET reference was funny. "This is my gun Clyde".

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    The Dum Guy

    by kwisatzhaderach

    No, it shouldn't.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Burn After Reading?!?! Really?

    by Thrillho77

    It is nothing but a curiosity, at best. A complete misfire. Some nice performances, fun to watch, but ultimately very tonally all over the place. The drama didn't work, but it wasn't funny enough for me to overlook or disregard that. Kinda unfortunate when the funniest parts are the meta parts that comment on how crazy the plot is.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:49 p.m. CST

    After all of this year's disappointments...

    by Thrillho77

    The Dark Knight is the best picture, I think. I didn't think it would be, even right after seeing it. But all of the big contenders are showing more and more cracks. <p> I can't wait to see Benjamin Button and The Wrestler, but everything else this year was trumped by the best Superhero picture ever, in my mind.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Im dreading the Slumdog backlash...

    by Captain Katanga

    its probably already started hasn't it? "wait a minute! this highly acclaimed crowd pleaser isn't up to the standard of The Godfather, therefore I will HATE IT with the burning intensity of the sun!".

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I forgot about The Dildo Chair

    by BobParr

    That adds an extra 1/2 star to my review. He was so proud that he made it himself.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Love Slumdog

    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    loved Slumdog, one thing I would have changed. I would have had Latika bring up the idea of destiny in their childhoods. All this bad shit happens to them as kids and Jamal talks about how if you're born in the slums of India it's your destiny to stay in those slums forever. Then Latika wraps her arms around him and tells him it's theor destiny to grow up and live in a big house and get married etc. That notion sticks with the kid even as Latika loses hope in the idea. Again, really loved Slumdog but it felt like 2 different movies almost, the second half being super heavy on fate and destiny and the first half being much more realistic.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by billypilgrimisunstuck

    Seen it three times, each time solidifying that it is probably my favorite flick of the year.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Are we going to have to deal with....

    by landrvr1

    that Indian reviewer coming back again and telling us that Danny Boyle has made a cute little film but that he's utterly clueless about real Indian culture?

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Good movie.. but overhyped

    by blindambition238

    I really liked it, though I was a bit disappointed only cause I was expecting 'teh best film evar!' from the absolute amount of raving going on for this thing. <p> Man On Wire is still my number one pick for 2008, followed by maybe Wall-E (if not only because it was insanely cute and enjoyable, but not gratuitously so).

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Slumdog Millionaire is fun

    by Frisco

    The gameshow MC is such a sleazebag, it's awesome. He would be great in the Richard Dawson role in a Bollywood adaptation of The Running Man. Anyway: fun movie, though I don't have any illusions about understanding India any better after having watched it. It does make you appreciate the life and opportunities that we all enjoy though, and that's cool.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Slumdog Millionaire

    by Mattyboy122

    Is fan-fucking-tastic. Loved it.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Danny Boyle The Oscar Gold Is Calling

    by Broseph

    I Will always support Danny Boyle for giving me 2 of my favorite films.Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.I can't wait to see this along with milk,spirit,and the wrestler

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Slumdog is Great

    by Larry of Arabia

    I fear it's one of those movies the Academy will nominate because it "has to." Like Sideways, Babel, and Lost in Translation it's the token indie. Then again in Academy terms Shakespeare in Love > The Thin Red Line. I know it's been 10 years now. I don't want to let it go.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Truly great film!

    by kafka07

    if it hasn't come to your town, don't worry, it will be there soon.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Slumdog Millionaire

    by Sgt.Steiner

    Is a shoddy, formless, mess, devoid of tension, trafficking in static symbols posing as characters(good brother, bad brother, token degraded female), and the hokiest of cliches. Sentimental drivel for those who find Richard Curtis to be a bit too complicated. Directed as if by an elderly relative shooting pictures of the grass. And the most inane usage of MIA I hope we'll have to endure. The National Board of Review has officially gone to shit!

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Slumdog Millionaire

    by billypilgrimisunstuck

    Is a careful, definite, masterpiece; brimming with tension, and magisterially implementing timeless and classic character archs (good brother, bad brother, damsel in distress) to the point which what can easily be misconstrued as banal and trite to the darkened heart is surprisingly uplifting and joyful. Optimistic, full of hope, and paradoxically sensible for those who find Richard Curtis to be a bit too contrived. Directed as if by an elderly man, in his last days, seamlessly plotting the significant moments that has brought him to this point. And the most logical usage of MIA, as if she wrote the song for the film. The National Board of Review has officially redeemed itself.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Wait, some candy ass said

    by Mattyboy122

    That a Danny Boyle flick was "directed as if by an elderly relative shooting pictures of the grass"? WTF? Really? Danny Boyle? The guy's phenomenal. What a cocksucker.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    You DARK KNIGHT freaks need to get real...

    by JimCurry

    If you see ANY movie more than twice in the theater you've got no life. Sorry for the truth...

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Sgt. Steiner

    by kaspianwithak

    You are an idiot, good day sir.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by Leafy McPlantsalot


  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Love Danny Boyle cuz...

    by kaspianwithak

    at his best he revitalizes genres. Trainspotting - drug movies/28 Days Later - zombie movies/Sunshine - sci-fi. I can't quite put my finger on what genre Slumdog redefines.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    i agree

    by ranma627

    Best film of the year, by far. Also, Jim Curry, if you see a movie more than once in a theatre it's because you adore that film. How is going to the theatre, not having a life? Movies are a part of life.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Slumdog is the best movie of the year. DK is #2

    by TallBoy66

    A very close #2, inches really, but Slumdog is just more inventive, visually. DK looks fantastic, but it doesn't have the lush visuals that Slumdog has. Great choice.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    make that double billypilgrim...

    by kaspianwithak

    my words exactly (except clever, intelligent, and entertaining)

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight

    by kaspianwithak

    sits at number one for me right now, but I'm waiting to see the wrestler, gran torino, Benjamin Button, and Valkyrie. TDK totally transcended all expectations and destroyed genre conventions. Had perfect performances and jaw-dropping cinematography. What more can you ask for?

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Slumdog is the "Crash" of 2008.

    by Steve Young

    OK, so it's much better than "Crash". But it's a crowd-pleasing film with some serious split-personality issues... whimsical fantasy about a slack-jawed romantic, or harrowing and socially-important thriller about growing up poor in India? Rags-to-riches fable with mustache-twirling stock villains, or hyperkinetic fever-dream through India with torture, degredation, and murder? Some people love that the film delivers all of these things without a blink; I thought it gave the film a serious personality crisis. I respect the film, and love Danny Boyle's work, and predict it will win more than one "Best Picture" award, but it's not the masterpiece most reviewers seem to think it is.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Has anyone seen VALKYRIE yet?

    by No Respectable Gentleman

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 7:18 p.m. CST


    by warghost

    I am tired of these stupid independent films always receiving these shitty awards, nods, and congratulations. It seems that whenever a foreign film comes to America or a film tackles gay issues or living with AIDS, that they get all this praise and hype. Same thing happened with Brokeback and Babel. Those movies sucked! Babel literally made me want to walk out of the theater, and some people were asking "What was that all about" as the credits rolled. However, because it dealt with real-life social problems, it was heralded as the best movie of the year. It fucking sucked! Was it great because it pushed the envelope by showing an Afghani boy jacking off while watching his sister get dressed? Or maybe it was when Brad Pitt fucked Cate Blanchett while she was sitting on a pedpan and dying? So romantic! It sucked, and so will this movie. So will Milk. They need to stop pandering to the foreign film committees and gay rights activists, and start making movies that aren't so lame. It's sad that almost every movie being made these days is a remake, a sequel, a shitty comedy, or a crapfest that relies on pushing decency to the limit in order to get attention.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 8:34 p.m. CST

    "pushing decency to the limit in order to get attention"

    by jimmay

    Ah, decency. That favored standard of human behavior thrown about so much in the 1950's. I didn't know the elderly posted on AiCN talkbacks.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Oh Danny Boyle...

    by Citizin_insane

    prob the best brit director around these days...

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by JimCurry

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 9:07 p.m. CST


    by JimCurry

    either you're joking or you're an ignorant turd who doesn't know what he's talking about... i know which way i'm leaning..

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 9:18 p.m. CST



    ... neither funny, good or entertaining. After the great NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, this was a bit disappointing for moi. <p> If you wanna see a film that rightly deserves all the plaudits that BURN AFTER READING gets - check out IN BRUGES. Brilliant little film.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Aren't the 'cliches' the point of this movie?

    by blindambition238

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Slumdog is "formless"? The flick has a rigid structure.

    by TallBoy66

    That's why it's so damn good, each question leads into another piece of his life. Very inventive. Yes, I know it's odd that the question's answers increased as he aged but, whatever, it's a movie. You could say alot of things about Slumdog, but I really wouldn't say "formless" at all.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 10:32 p.m. CST

    DARK KNIGHT better be nominated!!!

    by zooch

    Or the Academy has fallen dangerously out of touch, and I will not watch the Oscar show at all.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    film awards are so dumb

    by robamenta

    the whole concept is very flawed and every year we have to go through can u compare two different films, with different goals??? the real goal in these awards is getting the added exposure so that they can make more money... <br> i know this is hardy an original thought...but please lets keep this in mind

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Oh dear god the Coen brothers are now main stream

    by MrClark

    there a fad and everything they do now is going to be something brilliant even if its really shit. Don't get me wrong I like there stuff and love there brand of humor, Miller's Crossing mya be my favorite film. But Burn After Reading was really not even in there top 5 let alone one of the years best. It was cute and mildly amusing, thats about it. I haven't seen most of the Oscar baits yet but if TDK doesn't at least get some nominations for the big prizes then the Academy has lost touch. I also hope they don't give Eastwood awards just because hes a legend. TDK was an epic film that will be up there with Indiana Jones, Godfather, Star Wars etc as pop culture Icons for decades to come. I really hope eastwood splits his own vote with Changeling and GT. I'd love to see Fincher get some big awards like Best Director/Best Picture, him or Nolan are deserving.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Will Ledger be up for Best Actor or Best Supporting?

    by MrClark

    as far as Oscars. I know the nom's aren't out but somebody mentioned that the campaigning has already started and I'm wondering which Warner Bros will be pushing for.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST

    by Sgt.Steiner

    "In Bruges" is a fine example of an thoughtful and moving film that does not traffic in cliches. Unlike, the cornball garbage heap that is "Slumdog Millionaire". If you find it uplifting, you are Forrest Gump.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST

    In Bruges is great. Slumdog is better

    by TallBoy66

    Visuals, people! Visuals! Don't let that be a slam against In Bruges. That's also one of the best movies of the year, and has my favourite line of 2008: "They're filming something... they're filming midgets!!!"

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Ledger support only...

    by jfp2007

    WB is actively pursuing supporting actor for Ledger and actor for Bale. The official adverts are out and you can find them at Batman on Film or the official WB oscar site.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 4:51 a.m. CST


    by Sgt.Steiner

    The kind of rhetoric grew stale back in the mid-nineties, when goose-stepping homophobic, bigoted morons still listened to people like Newt Gingrich.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Tilda Swinton in Burn After Reading

    by Vote Fa Stokes Brutha

    "Besides, there is no way in hell I would take my kid to a doctor like her. Creepy ghost lady." Yes! That was the point, summed up in one of the funniest scenes in the film - "I'll ask your mother to leave the room and then we can sort this out one on one." *Answers phone call, not dropping her freakin' EAT YOUR SOUL stare at a five year old*

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST

    NBR Street Cred?

    by Vote Fa Stokes Brutha

    Who are these people? Might have to wiki it. But for some reason, I do love hearing their nominations and awards. Remember last year when they had the Bucket List on there? It's almost as if they're throwing out titles and then looking at the Academy hopefully, grinning and shrugging, like "Huh, huh? Bucket List, yeah? No? Okay, how about Changeling? You guys like Eastwood, right? Eh? Eh? Eeehhhhh??" The Dark Knight IS my top movie of the year still, followed by Encounters At The End of the World, and like many others, I hadn't expected that at the start of the year. I'm dying to see Gran Torino, Benni Button (, and Doubt.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I aint mad at em this year

    by applescruff

    Last year, in case anyone chooses to remember, these assholes had "The Bucket List" in their top 10 movies of the year. So even though I agree that "Burn After Reading" is definitely not one of the 10 best movies of the year, its at least 25000 times better than "The Bucket List".<Br><BR> Also, between the two top ten lists they have this year, they've got maybe 7 or 8 of my favorite films from this year:<BR><BR> THE DARK KNIGHT<br> WALL-E<br> SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE<br> THE WRESTLER<BR> THE VISITOR<BR> RACHEL GETTING MARRIED<BR> and IN BRUGES<br><br> Add "Iron Man", "PIneapple Express" and "The Signal" to that list, and that's just about what I think are the 10 best movies I've seen so far. (Still haven't seen Benjamin Button, Gran Torino, Doubt, Revolutionary Road, Valkyrie, The Reader, and about 5 others I think will be good).<br><br> I also think they should give an award for worst movie of the year. Mainly cause I like to know what people think sucked as well as what was awesome. My early pick for worst movie of the year is "Jumper", and right behind that is "Australia". What a shitty fucking movie.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Oh, and also...

    by applescruff

    I think that there needs to be some kind of special mention for "Synecdoche, New York", which is probably the best movie of the year only in terms of ambition and scope. Its problem is that there's as much messy unfocused stuff in it as there is lucid, shimmering genius. I still find tons of shit to think about even two months later.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 12:19 a.m. CST

    In Bruge was fantastic

    by MrClark

    I absolutely adored that film. It was brilliant in its simplicity the characters were great and it should prove beyond a doubt the immense talent that Colin Farrell has, yes hes made some shitty movies but when hes on his game hes one of the best of his generation.