As shallow and Hollywood-centric as this may sound, I’m wondering (as others have since yesterday) if the Mumbai terrorist attacks will have any effect on Academy voter thinking regarding Best Picture contender Slumdog Millionaire, which is set in Mumbai and does an excellent (and at times almost too persistent) job of capturing the chaotic sociological and temperamental stew of Mumbai (particuarly the social caste system) over the last 20-plus years.

I suspect the attacks will have either no effect or perhaps (cynical as this sounds) help the film a little bit because the horrible news pushes all kinds of how, why and what-the-hell? questions into everyone’s head, and Slumdog Millionaire is now a kind of touchstone — a movie at the center of the hurricane, although not one that touches even slightly on the subject of Muslim militancy.

Slumdog is a Dickensian fable that portrays, yes, hard times and much cruelty but also projects an optimistic fantasy that couldn’t contrast more strongly with the mindset and tactics of the Muslim wackjobs who yesterday shot and bombed that town all to hell.