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"Slumdog" And "Wall-E" Top Los Angeles Critics Awards

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LOS ANGELES — The ceremony had yet to begin, but this arrivals line felt more like an afterparty.

The red carpet leading into the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards on Monday was packed with winners from Sunday's Golden Globes, where the Mumbai-set drama "Slumdog Millionaire" emerged the big victor, earning four statuettes.

The Indian star of "Slumdog," Freida Pinto, said she wished she was already back home.

"If there was no Mumbai, there would be no 'Slumdog,'" Pinto said. "I would love to see how Indians are celebrating, because I know they are definitely rooting for us. Can't wait to go back. I'll be back on Thursday, and start to see the reaction out there."

The film's composer, Indian music superstar A.R. Rahman, said his Golden Globe win was followed by a call from his wife in India.

"She was screaming with joy," Rahman said. "I spoke to my mother and my family and my kids, and friends. In fact, the whole film community. All of them are so excited."

"Slumdog" director and English soccer fan Danny Boyle said he will look back on Sunday for a number of reasons.

"The day was broken up into three parts: two good and one very bad," he said. "The really good: Manchester United beat Chelsea. The really bad: I put the tuxedo on. I was told it was a 'George Clooney-type' look. But once I got it on, it didn't look like that. So that was very bad. And then we picked up four Golden Globes. So it all ended merrily and happily."

The "Slumdog" contingent wasn't the only one making and receiving long-distance calls following the Globes.

"Well, the truth is, I got a call from the president of Israel in the morning," said director Ari Folman, whose war drama "Waltz With Bashir" was named best foreign language feature. It deals with an Israeli Army veteran struggling with cloudy memories of the war in Lebanon in the early 1980s.

"It was no conversation," Folman continued. "It was a monologue. There was no dialogue. When the president calls, there's no dialogue. He said, 'The country's proud of you. I'm proud of you. The team's great, and great film, I saw the film.' Hang up and this was it."

In addition to its Globe win, "Bashir" took the Los Angeles critics' top prize in the animation category.

But it was another animated feature, Disney/Pixar's "WALL-E," that the group named best feature film of 2008, live, animated or otherwise.

"For us, this is historic," said "WALL-E" director Andrew Stanton, who also was among Sunday's Globe winners. "I mean, we've been striving since 'Toy Story' to have our films be seen just like any other film. And we've tried very hard to raise the bar and make the content that good, so that might happen. And to finally have that happen, it's huge. It's like we finally broke some glass ceiling. It's just really gratifying."

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