Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

by | February 23, 2009 at 12:18 AM | 81st Academy Awards

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Capping a night of Oscar wins, eight in total, Slumdog Millionaire celebrated with the biggest Academy Award of all, that of Best Picture. “Thank you so much to the Academy,” said executive producer Christian Colson, who was backed onstage by the cast and producers. “Our film was a collaboration among so many people. It’s been an extraordinary journey. When we started out we didn’t have any stars and not enough money, really. But what we had was mad love for what we wanted to do and a genius director…We had passion and believe and if you have those anything is possible.”

Colson and Danny Boyle spoke for a long while backstage in the press room, and Boyle made a habit of citing great literary quotations. “There’s this expression, this amazing British poet called W.H. Auden. It’s to do with when America was trying to travel to the moon. It’s really interesting because of course India is now going to the moon. This is the plan. And he talks in his poem about putting juke boxes on the moon. ‘Soon you will be putting juke boxes on the moon.’ I love that expression, and that’s what tonight feels like. Just amazing like that. The bringing together of things that are just so unlikely and yet wonderful about entertainment and pleasure and exploring things and changing things.”

Then, when waxing philosophical about films with deeper emotional resonance: “A mate of mine sent me this quote from Plato, the great Greek philosopher. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” That just gets it, really. And I think the kind of films that we have been talking about have that heart; which is a lot of people are fighting hard battles, especially now, and we have got to try and use entertainment to entertain them and to sympathize with them and encourage them and inspire them.”

Finally, when asked about the miraculous nature of Slumdog’s ascension, Boyle was all smiles. “Einstein said, ‘There are two ways to live your life; one is to believe nothing is a miracle and one is to believe that everything is a miracle.’ I’ve always believed in miracles, actually.”