On Feb. 22, the best movies and performances of 2008 will be celebrated at the 81st annual Academy Awards. Have you seen all the nominated movies yet? Do you know why they're being nominated? If not, have no fear. We're breaking down all the Oscars contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. First up: 'Slumdog Millionaire.'

Slumdog MillionaireNominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song ('Jai Ho' and 'O Saya'), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing

What It's About: When an orphan from the slums of Mumbai makes it to the final round of India's 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?', the police suspect him of cheating. His explanations of how he knew the answers reveal an extraordinary life, encompassing his stints as a beggar and a tour guide, his relationship with his swaggering older brother, and his love for the girl he left behind.

Why You Should See It: A feel-good movie in the very best sense of the term, 'Slumdog' pulses with joy -- it's a fairy tale, a love story, a tragedy and a coming-of-age tale all rolled up into one. Freida Pinto, who plays the love interest, is, quite frankly, one of the most gorgeous women we've ever seen. There's an exhilarating dance scene at the end that'll make you want to run out and rent a week's worth of Bollywood movies. Plus, it's got our favorite use of M.I.A.'s 'Paper Planes' from the entire year.

It's Kind of Like: 'Quiz Show' meets 'Oliver Twist' (via Bollywood)

How You Can See It: In theaters now