Dave Karger
November 17, 2008 AT 08:48 PM EST

Did a future Best Picture nominee just hit theaters this weekend? After winning the audience prize at this year’s Toronto film festival, Danny Boyle’s electric drama Slumdog Millionaire had its first weekend of limited release and posted a strong $35,000 per-theater average, by far the best of any film out there. I also found the important reviews to be terrific, though not so terrific that the film will be considered merely a critics’ darling. Rather, as it was in Toronto, Slumdog should end up emerging as an audience film, building momentum among the public (and the Academy) as the next few weeks and months go by. As I said on Friday, it really is the only “little” film with a real shot at scoring a nomination. Here’s another OscarWatch TV segment, in which Missy and I discuss Slumdog along with Toronto’s other breakout hit, The Wrestler, followed by a video postcard from Boyle and his film’s star, Dev Patel.

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