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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 30, 2009 at 1:33 PM

A “Slumdog” backlash?

So, a scrappy little movie without stars charms audiences, wins a bunch of yearend awards and suddenly becomes the one to beat in Oscar’s best picture race. What happens? Why, a backlash, of course. Variety reports today that “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson, accused of exploitation of two of the film’s Mumbai child actors, released a statement detailing the filmmakers’ expenditures on the children’s behalf. They say that not only were the children generously paid, but they were enrolled in school for the first time, with a fund established to pay for their education, health care and other expenses. Interesting that while the movie’s been in theaters since November, the rumbles of exploitation only began in earnest this week — as the Oscar ballots were mailed.

Right now my feeling is that it’s “Slumdog’s” Oscar to lose, even though it wouldn’t get my vote if I had one. (Lovable as “Slumdog” is, I find “Milk” a more affecting and skilled film. Just one person’s opinion.) And all this nasty buzz seems to indicate the kind of mudslinging that surrounds a front-runner. Stay tuned.

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