| By Keith Cohen, “The Movie Guy”
The Kansas City Film Critics Circle gave “Slumdog Millionaire” two awards for 2008 films during the 43rd annual vote conducted on January 4. Local area critics voted the movie Best Film and honored its screenwriter Simon Beaufoy for Best Adapted Screenplay. “The Wrestler” (opening here on 1/16) won the most recognition garnering three awards. The Robert Altman Best Director went to Darren Aronofsky, leading man Mickey Rourke on the comeback trail was named Best Actor and screenwriter Robert D. Siegel took the prize for Best Original Screenplay. The box office champion for 2008, “The Dark Knight”, received two awards. The late Heath Ledger was named Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker. The movie also received The Vince Koehler award for Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film.
“Slumdog Millionaire” is loosely based on the novel “Q & A” (abbreviation for question and answer) by Vikas Swarup. It is a fascinating survival tale about an 18-year-old street smart orphan boy from the slums of Bombay (officially renamed Mumbai in 1996) on the verge of winning a staggering 20 million rupees as a contestant on the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” His real motivation is to find the girl from his youth who he truly loved and lost. The movie is now playing at AMC Studio 30, Glenwood Arts and the Tivoli in Westport.
Other voting results included:
Best Actress: Meryl Streep-Doubt
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz-Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Animated Film: Wall*E
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In
The circle started in 1966 and became the second formal organization of critics in the nation. The yearly Best of Kansas City Awards were later renamed the Loutzenhiser Awards in honor of the group’s founder, James K. Loutzenhiser, who died in 2002. There are 25 members whose movie reviews appear in print, online, radio or television.