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Getting real with Oscar, Pete & Jeff

October 23, 2006 | 12:41 am


"The surest way for an actor to win an Oscar: Get real,'" says Pete Hammond at " Cate Blanchett, Jamie Foxx, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon all won their Oscars in the past two years playing instantly recognizable celebrities (Katharine Hepburn, Ray Charles, Truman Capote and June Carter Cash, respectively). It seems the current mindset of voters is: 'It's brilliant acting if it's someone I know.'"

Then Pete notes the vast list of real life-inspired roles that are up for Oscar consideration this year — so many that it must set a new record.

"Typically comprehensive (Hammond knows his stuff) but a little too generous," harrumphs Jeff Wells of, cranking up the Oscar fun by dishing and dissing the chances of many biggies on Pete's list. Jeff offers his own "tough-darts, hard-odds rundown" at which I toss — to heighten our Oscar hilarity all the more — just a few of my own poison darts.

Commenting on Annette Bening as Deidre Burroughs in "Running With Scissors," Jeff says her perf "has a certain root-canal quality."

My reply: So did the Oscar-winning portrayal of another lunatic on screen: Angelina Jolie in "Girl, Interrupted."

On Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter in "Miss Potter," Jeff asks: "Has anyone seen this film, and, if if she's good, isn't the Zellweger animus factor still pretty strong?"

My reply: Yes, they have seen it and rumor has it that she is good, but forget Oscar. It's too whimsically quirky in that British way. Maybe a Golden Globe nom on the comedy/musical side. And, oh, yeah: What animus thing? If you're referring to that annoying thing Renee did on screen in "Cold Mountain," I'll forgive her, but only if she agrees to give her Oscar back.

On Kirsten Dunst as Marie-Antoinette, Jeff says, "C'mon . . . not a serious proposition."

My reply: Oui! Merci, mon ami! Now . . . off with Sofia Coppola's head!

Photo: Hmmmm . . . why is it that male journos don't hold unsympathetic roles against male actors, but usually blast women over 40? Personally speaking, I love "Running with Scissors" and I think Bening is brilliant on screen. Even sympathetic.