NEW YORK – The National Board of Review has picked "Slumdog Millionaire" as the year's best film.
The board's picks, announced Thursday, are considered the first major harbinger of the Academy Awards. The win boosts the awards hopes for "Slumdog," which is viewed as the independent film most likely to follow "Juno" and "Little Miss Sunshine" in Oscar contention.
Directed by Danny Boyle, the film follows the reflections of a poor boy (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai, India, who ends up on the country's version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." Patel was also chosen for best breakthrough performance by an actor.
"Slumdog Millionaire" also won best film at the British Independent Film Awards. With a cast of largely local talent, it was shot in Mumbai, which last week suffered a bloody terrorist attack.