The Mozart of Madras A R Rahman is just a step away from claiming the coveted Oscar Awards, the dream of several hundred film personalities in the country.
After spelling magic at the Golden Globe Awards, Rahman on Thursday became the first Indian to get three Oscar nominations for his score in Slumdog Millionaire, which was also was nominated for seven other categories including best film and best director. Interestingly the movie released to packed houses abroad will be opening across screens in India from Friday.
Rahman was nominated for Best Original Score and the numbers 'Jai Ho' and 'O Saya' were shortlisted for the Best Original Song.
Close on the heels of the dual-language film winning four Golden Globes, including one for Rahman, earlier this month, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy were shortlisted for best director and best adapted screenplay categories.
The nominations were announced at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre by Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker. The awards will be announced on 22 February at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. This is the first time that an Indian has won more than one nomination in Oscar history.
An elated Rahman was as usual humble and reacted in his own way once he received the news of his work nominated for Oscars. Said Rahman, 'I did not think it will get there. God has been really kind. And I have to really thank the prayers of all the people and
their good wishes.
'Something good is happening and I am really happy about it,' he said, adding there is a kind of optimism in the film and so much of positive vibes as you leave the movie hall.
In the original score category, Rahman will compete with Alexandre Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), James Newton Howard (Defiance), Danny Elfman (Milk) and Thomas Newman (WALL-E).
Rahman will compete with Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman (Down to earth from WALL-E) in the original song category. Gulzar has penned the lyrics of Jai Ho and Maya Arulpragasam for O Saya.
Those nominated in the best director category along with Boyle are David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Stephen Daldry (The Reader), Gus Van Sant (Milk) and Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon).
Slumdog Millionaire also won nominations in cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing and film editing.
Click here to listen to the 'Slumdog Millionaire' tracks on Raaga.com
Watch A.R. Rahman Shares His Glorious Moments videos