The success saga of Slumdog Millionaire continues with the movie winning seven awards at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday.
Based on Vikas Swarup’s novel, it bagged the awards for Best Film, Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Adapted screenplay (Simon Beaufoy), Best Music (A.R. Rahman), Best Cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), Best Editing (Chris Dickens) and the Best Sound (Resul Pookutty, Glen Freemantle, Richard Pryke, Tom Sayers, Ian Tapp).
It beat four other contenders — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader — to win best film at the awards ceremony in London’s Royal Opera House.
“David Lean said you should announce your ambition for the film in the first five minutes,” Boyle said.
“In that spirit, I’d like to announce my ambition for this speech — my father’s power went out last night. A big shout-out to everyone who helped him run the extension cable in so he could watch this.” Slumdog is considered the front runner for the Oscars with 10 nominations and has already dominated the Golden Globes, while also picking up prizes from the Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America.
The best actress award went to Kate Winslet for her role in The Reader. Winslet, who was also nominated in the same category for Revolutionary Road, said: “To get this award at home means a lot to me.” It’s her second BAFTA, the first in 1995 for her supporting role in Sense and Sensibility.
Mickey Rourke won the best actor prize for his portrayal of a comeback fighter in The Wrestler and thanked director Darren Aronofsky for giving him a second chance. “Such a pleasure to be here and be out of the darkness,” he said.
Penelope Cruz took home the best supporting actress prize for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, while the supporting actor award went posthumously to Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the Brad Pitt-starrer about a man who ages backwards, was nominated for 11, but won just three awards — for production design, special effects and hair and make-up.
Meanwhile, Rhys Blakely of Times met 30 poor children in Mumbai “who inhabit the Mumbai streets” to ask them what they thought of the film.
The movie was shown to them and the boys’ leader, who lives on Chowpatty and helps run a ferris wheel, said, “We like it better than the usual Bollywood movies. It gives an accurate picture of our kind of life.” He added that his train journey resembled that of Jamal’s in the film. “So that is the response to those who say the film sells poverty.”