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Danny Boyle is a British film director whose films include Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours.
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Danny Boyle made his big-screen directorial debut with Shallow Grave but was launched into the spotlight with his next effort, Trainspotting. The film gave audiences a look at drug use among a group of Scotsmen. After a string less-noteworthy films, Boyle returned to acclaim in 2008 with Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to win eight Oscars, and 127 Hours in 2010, which was nominated for six.
Director. Born on October 20, 1956, in Manchester, England, as the son of Irish immigrants. Boyle discovered his passion for film at a young age. He attended the University of Wales for a time, but he left to pursue a career in the theater. During the mid-to-late 1980s, he worked as a director with a number of theatrical companies including the Joint Stock Theatre Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Royal Court Theatre.
On British television, he directed several movies and a few episodes of the popular Inspector Morse mystery series among other projects. On the big screen, he made his directorial debut with Shallow Grave (1994). The dark comedy featured three roommates—played by Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox, and Christopher Eccleston—who discover the dead body of their fourth roommate along with a suitcase full of cash. The film proved successful in Britain and earned Boyle more than 14 awards, including a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Screenplay.
Boyle was launched into the international spotlight with his next effort, Trainspotting (1996), an adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel. The film, again starring McGregor, brought audiences along for a fascinating look at drug use among a group of economically depressed Scotsmen living in Edinburgh. Janet Maslin of The New York Times described the film as “perversely irresistible” and its characters as “funny, sharp, well-played and fiercely memorable.”
Trainspotting was a huge success, grossing more than $16 million in the U.S. alone and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Writing. Boyle’s next film A Life Less Ordinary (1997) featured McGregor as a fired janitor who wants to reap revenge on his old boss by kidnapping his boss' daughter (played by Cameron Diaz). Meanwhile, two angels—played by Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo—try to get the mismatched pair to fall in love. As critic Roger Ebert to put it, “the film expends enormous energy to tell a story that is tedious and contrived.”
Moving onto a big budget production, Boyle helmed The Beach (2000), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The casting of DiCaprio reportedly led to a fallout between Boyle and McGregor, who said he was originally promised the leading part. In the film, DiCaprio plays Richard, a young man who travels to Thailand seeking adventure. He learns of a mysterious island that is supposed to be a true paradise, but he discovers the society there is no utopia. Opening to mixed reviews, the film earned more than $39 million at the box office.
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