It has been quite a strange experience. In the US, we typically don’t pay much attention to the big Oscars awards broadcast, leaving it to the tabloids (and some magazines) to pour over relevant stuff such as “who wore what” at the big ceremony. Anyway movie industry’s big awards night seems to be a much bigger deal overseas where billions watch so-called stars stroke their egos onstage in pretty outfits.
This year, the awards ceremony took on a much larger meaning for Indians, thanks to a whopping 10 nominations for Slumdog Millionaire. Best Picture, Best Director and Best Soundtrack were among the eight categories won by a movie that came to represent love and optimism in 2008.
I was amazed by the coverage leading up to the awards ceremony. Newspapers were full of articles about the stars (and non stars). There were prayer ceremonies for A.R. Rehman, who won two Oscars for his music. This morning, however it was a whole different experience. Sitting in my old bedroom, I was channel surfing only to find breathless (and screaming) headlines, breaking news alerts and hyperactive television hosts tracking every single win by the movie.
What makes it more delicious is the fact that a few weeks ago there were many who were denouncing the movie for objectifying the slums and poverty. You know how I feel about it, but today’s news coverage reminded me of the wonderful (and sometimes infuriating) duality that is modern life.
Regardless, Danny Boyle & his crew deserves all the kudos for making our lives better by two fantastic hours – Oscar or not!