Did you like Juno? How about Little Miss Sunshine? Well have we got a movie for you!
Fox Searchlight, the studio that brought you those crowd-pleasing Oscar winners, as well as other audience hits like Napoleon Dynamite, has just acquired the rights to the next movie you’ll tell all your friends they have to see and then be sick of by the time they actually see it: Slumdog Millionaire. Danny Boyle’s latest, which just screened to a sold-out crowd at the Telluride Film Festival, is already being positioned at 2008’s “little movie that could.”
We have to admit, despite not particularly liking any of his movies, we’ve always found Danny Boyle interesting. This probably has to do with his penchant for genre hoping: He’s done horror (28 Days Later…), science-fiction (Sunshine), indie darlings (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting) and misfired star vehicles (The Beach, A Life Less Ordinary); an English Richard Linklater, if you will. So it stands within reason that he could take a crowd-pleasing, Capra-like film about an Indian boy who goes on a version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and turn it into something incredibly worthwhile. But, and maybe it’s just because we’re too cynical, we hate having the “next big thing” shoved down our throats. It feels so inorganic and unnatural. Lest we forget that even smash hit Juno, which now sits in our memory as a cloying tearjerker (but charmingly so!), started out as an indie with modest expectations.
We hope for the best with Slumdog Millionaire; we’ll probably see it when it comes out on November 28th, and we’ll probably laugh and cry our way to saying it’s the “feel good movie of the year!” But can we please slow the hype machine down ever so slightly before it flies off the tracks? Let’s not forget what everyone thought about Hamlet 2.