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February 26, 2009

Hero's welcome for 'Slumdog' kids


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The adorable young actors from "Slumdog Millionaire" might've gotten a less than gracious introduction to Hollywood from the likes of Ryan Seacrest -- describe how you're feeling, in English! -- but they had a hero's welcome back home in Mumbai.

The celebration swept up Azharuddin Ismail (youngest Salim, pictured above) when he and other cast members of the eight-time Oscar-winning love story arrived at the city airport near the Behrampada slums where they live.

85122144 Update on Ismail and Rubina Ali (who played the youngest Latika): They'll be moving from their lean-tos to real homes soon, courtesy of the Indian government.

"These two children have brought laurels to the country, and we have been told that they live in slums, which cannot even be classified as housing," a state-run housing authority exec told the AP.

This photo of Ali was taken before she dissolved into tears (not Kate Winslet style), apparently overwhelmed at all the attention and hundreds of well-wishers that mobbed the kids. Give her a break -- she could probably really use a nap.

Fox Searchlight paid to bring the cast to L.A. for the Oscars on Sunday -- where the rags-to-riches "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"-based tale snagged best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, among other prizes -- and had to defend against a pseudo-backlash in the weeks before the awards about treatment and pay for the young stars. And, oh yeah, those ridiculous "poverty porn" accusations.

Because of their roles in "Slumdog," Ismail and Ali are enrolled in school for the first time, have funds set up for their future education, medical and living costs.

Meanwhile, the movie's nearing $100 million at the boxoffice and will expand to more than 2,500 theaters tomorrow to capitalize on the Oscar exposure.




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Comments

Dr Janardhan

May God bless not only them, but all the slum kids. Jai Ho!

89o89o

I didn't even expect that the film would impress me that much! Nice idea and nice creative realization - http://rapid4me.com/?q=Slumdog+Millionaire

jane paulus

the dog days of summer are begining now - can i nominate the basset hound as the representative

Anna M. Bond

Hi. "Slumdog Millionaire" is a stunning movie. I think that such a huge success this film has received more thanks to these young actors.
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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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