“I would like it to win in every category it’s nominated for and in most of the categories it isn’t nominated for as well,” writes Salman Rushdie in a special guest column for Deadline in which he sings the praises of “Lion.” The film is up for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel) and Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman) for telling the true story of a young man raised in Australia who seeks out the family he lost in India.
Rushdie is a famous British-Indian writer whose accomplishments include a Booker Prize in 1981 for his novel “Midnight’s Children,” becoming a fellow of the UK’s Royal Society of Literature, being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and perhaps most famously receiving an assassination threat from Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini for his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses.”
The author wept “unstoppably” while watching “Lion.” He especially admired the film for its depiction of Indian life. “I’m frequently suspicious of Western films set in contemporary India,” he explains, “and so one of the things that most impressed me about ‘Lion’ was the authenticity and truth and unsparing realism of its Indian first half.”
But the most important reason Rushdie is supporting the film for Oscars is as a rebuke to isolationist and nationalist policies that have spread in governments all over the world. “I myself am an immigrant here in America and so, yes, that’s the side I’m on, and I love being told a story of how migration can enrich the lives both of the migrant and the people into whose home he is received.”
Read Rushdie’s entire tribute to “Lion” here. Are you supporting the film for Best Picture like he is? And do you think it can win?
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.