Is Slumdog Millionaire a Lock for Best Picture?

  • The crowd-pleasing Slumdog Millionaire is really solidifying itself as the Oscar favorite for Best Picture. The British-produced, Mumbai-set film won a boatload of Critics’ Choice Awards last night, its a strong favorite for Sunday’s Golden Globes, and director Danny Boyle is up for this year’s Directors Guild award. New York Magazine says the race is pretty much over, and Slumdog will take home this year’s trophy. But is the film “too flashy for Oscar tastes,” as The Globe and Mail‘s Liam Lacey says? And is the film peaking too soon, like Brokeback Mountain, Sideways, and Saving Private Ryan did in years past?
  • The film’s star, Dev Patel, is excited about the Golden Globes. “It’s such a nice feeling to be part of the Golden Globes and just to be nominated. I think that’s an achievement in itself. We don’t know how it’s going to go. There are some great actors, some great films, some wicked directors. I guess, like everyone, we are hoping for the best. Let’s see.”
  • Patel says playing Anwar on Skins has made him a hero to British Asian teenagers. Why? Because his character is a drunken horndog. “He wasn’t just a good kid at home eating chapattis. Even now British Asians come up to me and say: ‘You’re a legend for doing that’.”(Telegraph)
  • The BAFTA nominations will be announced next Thursday, but the nominees for the Rising Star award have already been revealed. Noel Clarke, who played Mickey on Doctor Who, is one of the five young stars vying for this year’s title. Clarke has shown himself to be quite the versatile talent: he wrote, directed, and starred in the films Kidulthood and Adulthood. The other nominees include two fellow Brits, Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Rebecca Hall and RocknRolla‘s Toby Kebbell. German-Irish Hex star Michael Fassbender and Canadian Juno actor Michael Cera were also shortlisted. (The Times)
  • Prince Harry has something really big in his jeans pocket.(Daily Mail)
  • Will Prince William pop the question on Kate Middleton‘s 27th birthday?(ITV)
  • Amy Winehouse allegedly threw a glass of water over a hotel guest’s head and vomited over the salad bar. Delicious!(The Sun)
  • Kate Winslet learned the hazards of cooking the hard way: “I was slicing ham and I sliced off a piece of my finger and saw it fall on to the chopping board with a piece of nail still attached.”(The Sun)
  • Kristin Scott Thomas will play John Lennon‘s aunt in a biopic about the late Beatle, which is to be directed by artist Sam Taylor-Wood.(Variety)
  • Madonna did this 20 years ago, and it was barely original then: Sacha Baron Cohen will include a black Jesus in his Bruno film.(Telegraph)
  • Richard Hammond talks about his best and worst vacations.(Telegraph)
  • Heather Mills has chopped off her locks, going for a more innocent pixie look. (Daily Mail)
  • Bryan Ferry is dating his son’s ex-girlfriend. (Daily Mail)
  • 26-year-old EastEnders star Joe Swash sucks face with 71-year-old George Takei during an I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here reunion.(Daily Mail)
  • Estelle has found her American boy, sorta: “I travel to many cities and I know people in many cities. I have friends who understand my work – one in particular. So I am sort of dating him, but I’m not totally committed. It’s fun. He lives in New York, but it’s not that serious. I will never say I am committed to somebody unless I’m serious about that person.”(Mirror)
  • Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who produces several TV talent shows in the UK, has razzed Simon Cowell for neglecting his artists’ careers. “He doesn’t work with the artists the way I do. I spend a lot of time with the artists working on what they need. The kids get to know me. They know they can call me up day or night – and they do. We are like a family. We nurture, we don’t torture. I am here to support and get the best out of everyone. We look at how they can all take their career beyond the show.”(Telegraph)
  • Dave Dee, frontman of the ’60s band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, has died of cancer at age 65. He and his band were relatively unknown in the States, although they gained some notoriety when their 1966 song “Bend It” was banned in the U.S. for its suggestive lyrics. However, they had a huge UK hit in 1968 with the song “The Legend of Xanadu,” featuring Dee cracking a whip.(BBC)
  • Blog fave Little Boots, naturally, is No. 1 on the BBC’s Sound of 2009 list.(BBC)
  • Cajun squirrel-flavored potato crisps, anyone?(Daily Mail)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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