It’s been a while since I’ve seen a great movie. And it’s been an even longer while since I’ve seen a great movie that was totally uplifting, happy and perfectly pulled together. That just doesn’t happen much anymore. Last year’s best — the likes of “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men” — were masterful works, in fact I’ve watched both again over the last couple months. But are they flicks I’d recommend to Mom or a casual acquaintance? Nope — not everybody can handle that type of art. Plus, directors Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen brothers, respectively, would rather leave you with a bloody mess that lingers in your mind days after you’ve left the theater rather than neatly tying up the loose ends for you. My mom hates that.

In contrast, Slumdog Millionaire — about a teenage boy who grew up in the slums and is now under arrest on suspicion of cheating on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, Mumbai" —  is an all-around crowd pleaser. (He tells his life’s story in hopes of proving his innocence , and it’s a doozy) Sure, there are a few violent, gut wrenching, baffling and intense scenes, but the horrendous events are balanced and painted beautiful by a whole lot of dazzlingly colorful visuals and more than a few laughs. The story unfolds simply and methodically, it’s not long before you are sitting back in your seat satisfied that you are in for an enthralling cross-cultural ride.

It’s showing in Dallas at the Magnolia,

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