Slate is doing what Slate does best – having smart, witty people discuss topical things in a series of shared emails. Today, Dana Stevens and Troy Patterson are discussing the 2009 Oscars. Patterson thinks Slumdog will win, and agrees that Van Sant’s best movie of 2009 is called Paranoid Park:

Yes, agreed, Slumdog Millionaire seems to have the momentum. The movie itself is all momentum, giddily and sometimes wonderfully—but how do you suppose its controlled rush will sit with the grandma set? And how many voters will join reasonable people in finding its hybrid of Dickensian melodrama and Bollywood melodrama a little too melodramatic? If I had a best-picture vote, I’d cast it for Milk. It’s the squarest movie Gus Van Sant has ever made and not even his best of the year—that’d be Paranoid Park, about manslaughter and sinking dread and skate punks more graceful than gliding fish—but you take what you can get.

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