Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

The first three-quarters of Danny Boyle’s latest pic Slumdog Millionaire are astonishing. Filled with scenes so unique and jarring, you can honestly say you’ve never witnessed a movie like Slumdog before.

From the unorthodox structure–pairing the questions from Jamal Malik’s (played by Dev Patel as an adult) stint on “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” with a retelling of a moment from his childhood spent in India’s slums–to the unblinkingly portrayal of the sheer brutality and poverty–Slumdog feels utterly original until the final third of the film.

Then, it becomes more familiar–the guy tries to get the girl and win the cash. In a way, it’s the perfect Hollywood movie–equal parts pop and politics, with struggle and despair coupled with hope and happiness. No wonder it’s cleaned up at all the awards. It’s likely to take the Oscar home, too.