‘Slumdog’: From mutt to Hollywood ‘Millionaire’

Some movies can generate a spellbinding silence: a collective hush of audience anticipation, proof that the film has captured the attention of everyone in the theater. The deadly quiet that Danny Boyle heard in " Slumdog Millionaire's" first Hollywood screening was of a very different nature -- evidence that his underdog drama faced even longer odds than his film's uneducated game-show contestant.

Boyle and his filmmaking collaborators have said that "Slumdog Millionaire" has enjoyed so much good fortune it is almost as if destiny has guided it toward tonight's Academy Awards, where the film is a heavy favorite to win the best picture Oscar. But at the moment the film arrived in town, "Slumdog Millionaire's" fate looked bleaker, particularly after its initial showing inside an upstairs screening room at Warner Bros. last June 12.

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