The race to Oscar night glory begins here and, by all accounts, this most unlikely of films is going to take some beating when it comes to lifting the coveted Best Picture prize.
Nothing about that fact makes any sense on the face of it. This film has no stars whatsoever, is set on the teeming streets of India, is directed by maverick Brit Danny Boyle and has India’s version of the hit TV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? at the very heart of its story!
As odd as all this may seem, this is a movie which has so far caused everyone who has seen it to fall in love with the adventures of 18-year-old orphan Jamil (Dev Patel from TV’s Skins) who finds himself on the brink of winning 20 million rupees.
But the night before he is due to return to play for such high stakes, he is hauled in by the police and subjected to a brutal interrogation for one simple reason: no one can believe he knows the answers to the questions and so therefore he must be cheating.
In a desperate bid to prove his innocence, Jamil has to tell the story of his life growing up among the slums of Mumbai with his older brother Salim.
It also gives Boyle a chance to introduce a love story as we witness Jamil’s blossoming romance with the beautiful Latika.
Because, make no mistake, while Boyle may be best known for such edgy material as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, he has come up with the most old-fashioned movie of his career to date with a story that echoes the kind of rags to riches tale that Hollywood would have lapped up in its golden era of the 30s.
STAR RATING: ****
EXTRAORDINARY true story about three brothers during World War II who hide from the Nazis in a Russian forest and provide a sanctuary for hundreds of Jews against incredible odds. Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber and Jamie Bell all impress as the three heroic brothers. Under-rated director Edward Zwick, who made Glory, Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai, keeps tension at breaking point throughout.
STAR RATING: ***
ROLE MODELS (15)
SURPRISINGLY witty and character-filled comedy about two slackers who trash a truck and are forced to do community service by mentoring two young lads – one a wise-cracker, the other a nerdy role-playing geek. Paul Rudd and Seann Wiliam Scott make the most of a rare chance to play leads rather than the best friend roles they usually get saddled with.
STAR RATING: ***
BRIDE WARS (PG)
BY THE book chick flick starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as best friends who declare war on each other when they announce they are getting married on the same day.
STAR RATING: **