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Critic's Pick: 'Slumdog Millionaire'

February 19, 2009|Betsy Sharkey

Let's face it, with the final song and dance for this season's Academy Awards just days away, most of us have a case of the blahs, as in we've heard so much about the relative merits of this film or that, the endless "blah, blah, blah" that swirls around Oscar season like a dense perfume cloud, that we are weary, bone-weary of it all. Still, if I may, a last-minute "blah, blah, blah" about "Slumdog Millionaire." I'm not just recommending that you see it but rather offering up some suggestions on how to see it. What I'd ask you to do is forget -- everything. Forget "Slumdog's" 10 Oscar nominations, toss aside any latent memories of the 60-odd awards it has already piled into its trophy case, look past the crushing embrace of the nation's film critics, step over the backlash from those who saw it after a tidal wave of hype had raised expectations to tsunami heights, withdraw every random "Slumdog" comment from your memory bank. Now you're almost ready. Go into that theater with no expectations, no opinions, no reservations, no resistance and no popcorn. Not even a kernel. Breathe. Let your mind go blank. Breathe again. Then give yourself over to a story that will transport you to another place if you let it, one filled with all the elements, bad and good, that come with any complex world. And then when the best picture winner is announced on Sunday night, you'll know why, win or lose, "Slumdog Millionaire" will be the one everyone is talking about.

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-- Betsy Sharkey

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