Slumdog Millionaire

slumdogmillOK, now we’re talking. After a long dry spell and a lot of good-not-great movies, I’ve seen a batch of films in the past few weeks that boost 2008’s quality level substantially. And my favorite of all these movies — indeed my favorite of the year so far — is Slumdog Millionaire.

A strange mix of Rocky, Quiz Show and City of God, Slumdog Millionaire is simultaneously like a thousand films before it and like nothing I’ve seen before. That freshness is due to director Danny Boyle’s visceral camerawork and editing as well as the film’s setting in the slums of India. I’ve seen plenty of rags-to-riches stories, and plenty of tales about love defeating the odds, but none that painted such a vivid portrait of hope amidst squalor.

(Minor spoilers follow)

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