Tag Archive for 'Oscars 2009'



‘Kavi’, American director Gregg Helvey’s short film (19 minutes) in Hindi about an Indian slave boy, has lost out the Oscar in the Best Short Film (Live Action) category to the Danish entry ‘The New Tenants.’

Read more at kavithemovie.com and here and here

It shouldn’t have won

Why is India going overboard about Slumdog Millionaire? It is not a victory for Indian cinema, says Sandipan Deb in The Indian Express. Yes, rejoice for the six children who acted in it. And for AR Rahman for winning two Oscars for his music. But Sandipan a;so says that Rahman’s music in the movie “is not even of his average quality.”He is all praise for the other ‘Best Film’ nominee: The Reader.

“Frankly, I don’t think Slumdog Millionaire deserved the Oscar for best film. And even more frankly, I don’t think Resul Pookutty should have invoked “my country and my civilisation” in his acceptance speech for best sound mixing.”

John Elliott (on his blog Riding the Elephant) has a different take on Slumdog’s Oscars. He says the awards “are a win in India’s success story.”  “As A.R.Rahman, the Indian composer, who won two Oscars for the best score and for his hit song Jai Ho, said after receiving his award, Slumdog is all about “optimism and the power of hope in our lives”. And that is the mood of Dharavi and of India’s millions of budding success stories.”

LA’s new lady

She’s expertly navigating the red carpet, one pretty dress at a time. ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘ star Freida Pinto is Hollywood’s latest style icon. Parizaad Khan and Rachana Nakra in Mint Lounge:

pintoLooking at images of Freida Pinto descending the red carpet in some of the world’s hottest fashion labels, it’s difficult to believe that she once shopped at Fashion Street, a street market popular with Mumbai’s college students.

The 24-year-old resident of the Mumbai suburb of Malad has been hailed by the foreign press as Hollywood’s latest It Girl as she does the rounds of the awards circuit with the rest of the cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto has come in No. 1 and No. 3 for two consecutive weeks on Vogue’s 10 Best Dressed, a weekly list of stylish women that the magazine’s online edition singles out. She’s also featured in the March issue of Vanity Fair. Blogs on celebrity dressing, such as Bellasugar.com and Gofugyourself.com, have raved about, among other things, her hair and eyebrows.

[Photo: www.freidapinto.com]


Also in Mint Lounge: Freido Pinto on what she’s thinking about on the red carpet:

‘I have mastered the art of graceful exits from the car’

‘Slumdog’ fusionist in Oscar spotlight

A.R. Rahman, the prolific Indian film composer behind the “Slumdog Millionaire” score, has been nominated for three Academy Awards. From The New York Times:

rahmanA. R. Rahman knows how big a deal it would be if he wins an Oscar on Sunday.

One of the most prolific and successful film composers in India, he has three nominations, all for “Slumdog Millionaire”: best original score and best original song, for both “Jai Ho” and “O … Saya,” a collaboration with the Sri Lankan-British rapper M.I.A. (The film, by Danny Boyle, has 10 nominations, and last month Mr. Rahman won a Golden Globe for best score.)

“It would be a great honor,” Mr. Rahman said with characteristic diffidence in a phone interview this week from Los Angeles, where he was preparing to perform at the ceremony. “It would help me to do bigger things.”


Leaving for LA


From The Indian Express:Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail (above), the youngest Salim in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, and Rubina Ali, the young Latika, in their homes in Bandra, Mumbai, on Friday, February 20. They were preparing to leave for Sunday evening’s Academy Awards. Photos: Mahendra Parekh. Read story here, here and here


In The New York Times: The squalor in Dharavi depicted in “Slumdog Millionaire” is unjust. To understand such a place solely by the generic term “slum” ignores its complexity and dynamism.

Also in NYT:  Is it ‘poverty porn’? Does it promote ‘slum tourism’? Why have some Indians attacked the film? Opinion by Chitra Divakaruni, author of “Palace of Illusions,” Amresh Sinha, who teaches film and media studies at NYU, and Sadia Shepard, author of “The Girl From Foreign.”