I suppose it’s not entirely fair to be thrilled that Slumdog Millionaire won out last night over the other four movies nominated for best picture: I ‘ve only seen one of the others also nominated. But truth be told, that really only means I can’t say it’s the best of the bunch. I can still say it was the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. So I will say it. It was.
And I am thrilled it won.
An article appeared in Sunday’s San Diego Union Tribune, before the Oscars aired, of course, that described some of the angst Indians feel about the depiction of life in Mumbai, as if this movie was a commentary on India’s woes and nothing was said of its virtues. But there is poverty in nearly every country. And mean streets. And abusers of children. And crooked cops. This wasn’t a story about India. It was a story about love. It was a story about an Indian boy and an Indian girl and the people around them – both good and bad – that took them to the edge of love’s defining moments.
I loved how the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? backdrop was a metaphor for so many other questions. Who wants to be cared for? Who wants to rise above the thumb of oppression? Who wants to live in peace? Who wants to risk everything for love? Who wants to believe we are more than what someone else says we are? This movie excelled on so many levels. A well-told story about the extravagance of sacrifical love often makes the best kind of movie.
It’s not often my pick gets the Oscar. I am content.