Will Rahman have his day with 'Slumdog' at the Oscars?

Los Angeles, Feb 21 (IANS) British director Danny Boyle's hit film "Slumdog Millionaire" is the favourite to win the Oscar for best picture at Sunday night's annual Academy Awards, but would luck smile on Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman too?

Rahman, the first Indian musician to be nominated for the annual Academy Awards, has been listed for three of the film's ten Oscar nominations - one for his original score and two others for songs composed by him, "O Saya" and "Jai Ho."

He also sang the first song along with MIA and Sukhwinder Singh as the lead singer for the second.

Other nominations for Slumdog Millionaire are: Best Picture; Best Director, Danny Boyle; Adapted screenplay, Simon Beaufoy; Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle; Film editing, Chris Dickens; Sound editing, Tom Sayers; and Sound mixing, Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty.

The crowd-pleasing rags-to-riches story of a boy from the slums of Mumbai who goes on to win the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" has been the winter's surprise winner, racking up victories at practically every juncture.

The Golden Globes gave "Slumdog" its top award; so did the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild and the Brtish BAFTAs.

The small-budgeted film itself was caught in a downsizing at its initial American studio (the Warner Independent Pictures, which was folded into parent Warner Bros.) and slated for straight-to-video until Fox Searchlight stepped in as US distributor. From there, the honours started rolling in - and haven't stopped yet.

"I think that 'Slumdog Millionaire' is one of those very rare cases, where the movie comes out and you think, OK, that's a good little movie ... it will be happy to be nominated, and it will get some great recognition," CNN quoted Oscar historian Steve Pond, author of "The Big Show" as saying.

"And somehow it has hung on, and the bigger movies that came out afterwards did not click with people as much, and suddenly this little movie was the best story of the year."

That gives "Slumdog's" best picture competition -"Milk," "Frost/Nixon," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Reader" - a major challenge in stopping the little film's momentum.

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