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Happy Oscars news for Harvey: Grace is gone, but Clint is here!

August 8, 2007 | 12:59 am

GraceisgoneHere comes Clint Eastwood crashing into the Oscar derby at the tail end of the year again! (Remember "Million Dollar Baby" and "Letters from Iwo Jima"?)

This time he's joining someone else's nearly finished production: Harvey Weinstein. After viewing a screening of "Grace Is Gone," Clint offered to compose a new musical score, which he's still busy doing now. The new score won't be laid down until close to the movie's debut at the New York Film Festival in September and in theaters in early October. Meantime, screening audiences are still hearing the old score by relative rookie Max Richter.

Earlier this year Harvey paid $4 million for "Grace" at Sundance, where it won the Audience Award and scriptwriter's prize after reducing viewers to puddles of tears. It features John Cusack as a dad who takes his daughters on a road trip while avoiding telling them that their soldier mom has died in Iraq.

"The story's emotional effectiveness and family grounding give the film a real shot at connecting with general audiences across the political spectrum," said Variety in its review.

If "Grace" connects with academy members, too, it could be The Big Oscar Contender that Harvey's been aiming for since splitting with Miramax. "Bobby" and "Factory Girl" showed promise last year, but fell short. The best he's done on his own so far was Felicity Huffman's best-actress bid for "Transamerica" two derbies ago. A notable achievement, but the Happy Oscar Warrior is eager to be back in the fight.

(Photo: Weinstein Co.)