Published February 17, 2009
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire
Chance of winning: 90%
I had insisted early in the Oscar season that Slumdog would have a tough time winning.
As I mentioned above, there’s simply no precedent for a film like this to triumph. Even 1987 best picture winner The Last Emperor, set in China, was an epic period drama based on a true story and featured a favorite Academy actor (Peter O’Toole.)
But as the season has progressed, Slumdog has continued to defy expectations. It has pleased both critics and audiences. It’s won the top prize at the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Producers Guild and British Academy (BAFTA) Awards.
And most importantly, none of the other films has emerged as a clear alternative choice.
All signs point to a win by Slumdog. I chose not to give it a perfect 100% chance of winning because of a few small factors – the lack of precedent for a film like this, the absence of any acting nominations, and some small controversy regarding the producers’ treatment of its child actors.
Slumdog may not be a slam dunk, but it’s close.