Surprise! Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t win this time

February 2, 2009 in Entertainment by pacejmiller


The best image I could find online

For quite some time it seemed Slumdog Millionaire was going to sweep all the major awards on its way to capturing the Best Picture (and Best Director) Oscar next month. 

But it wasn’t to be.  At least not at the Evening Standard British Film Awards handed out last night.

Slumdog Millionaire lost out to Hunger for Best Picture, and Danny Boyle lost out in the Best Director category to Stephen Daldry for The Reader

Other winners included Michael Sheen for Frost/Nixon and Pat Shortt for Garage (joint Best Actor winners), Tilda Swinton for Julia (Best Actress, beating out Kate Winslet), Martin McDonagh for In Bruges (Best Screenplay) and Sally Hawkins for Happy Go Lucky (the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy).  Slumdog didn’t go away empty handed though – Mark Digby, the production designer of the film, won the award for Technical Achievement.

Most people (at least outside of the UK) have probably never heard of these awards.  However, according to Wikipedia, it is one of the most important film awards in the United Kingdom (along with the BAFTAs and the British Independent Film Awards).  So is this an indication that we should now have doubts about Slumdog Millionaire taking out the top prize at the Academy Awards?

Not so fast.  If you take a look at this award’s previous Best Picture winners over the last few years, you’ll see that its correlation with the major US awards (eg Oscars, Golden Globes) is very low.  Previous winners such as Control (2007), United 93 (2006), The Constant Gardener (2005), Vera Drake (2004), Touching the Void (2005) (you get the point) have not exactly been Oscar front-runners.  So I think while it’s nice to see some other films getting recognition, Slumdog Millionaire and Danny Boyle should still be favourites at the Academy Awards next month.