“Though Slumdog Millionaire has a hoary plot device, the kind of narrative armature that could have come out of the vaults of Warner Brothers five decades ago, the ability of Danny Boyle to find both the movie and the humanity in that story make it a tough Oscar competitor,” says N.Y. Times Oscar guy David Carr, a.k.a., “the Bagger.”

“[Still], the more Slumdog Millionaire rolls, the harder the push-back will get. Nothing is writ. And it won’t be long before we start hearing, ‘Sure, it was a darling movie, a surprise really, but that third act? Please.'”

That’s exactly the opposite view I have of Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a buzz-kick movie but also a rough one to get through because of all the cruelty and violence visited upon the lead character (played in his adult years by Dev Patel) in the first and second acts. It’s hard, it’s a chore, but then along comes that third act and the film starts to sing. The third act saves it, and the train-station finale knocks it out of the park .