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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars voters get 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Rachel' DVDs | 'The Reader' and 'Revolutionary Road' are best picture contenders, says Roger Friedman | Clint Eastwood is a 'slam dunk' for an acting bid

November 20, 2008 |  5:29 pm

• Today many Oscar voters got the DVDs of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Rachel Getting Married." Yesterday they got "Last Chance Harvey" and "Traitor." To see what screeners they received before that, CLICK HERE.

• Probably thanks to his long-term chumminess with producer Harvey Weinstein, Roger Friedman of Fox News is first out with a review of "The Reader." It has "the earmarks of a best picture nominee," he says, calling it "a movie about an intimate relationship set against the backdrop of an Important Issue.


"Kate Winslet is a revelation in "The Reader,'" he adds, reflecting his similar view of her screen turn in "Revolutionary Road," which also "joins the small group of potential best picture nominees. Certainly, for direction it’s a shoo-in. Kate and Leo are superb. Yes, it's Oscar caliber work. Winslet we expected. But Leo DiCaprio is a revelation." READ MORE

• At the Feinberg Files, check out Scott Feinberg's report on the bash thrown in Manhattan last night for "Milk" where he chatted with Lauren Bacall. READ MORE and listen his podcast.

• Several film critics have finally been shown "Gran Torino"! The Envelope's Pete Hammond reports that "consensus is it's a slam-dunk acting nomination for Clint Eastwood." Pete also serves up audience reax to other top Oscar contenders like "Revolutionary Road" at his Notes on a Season blog.

Christina Aguilera has been added to the star lineup appearing on the Grammy nominations TV special airing 9-10 p.m. ET/PT Dec. 3 on CBS. Also performing: Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Foo Fighters, B.B. King and John Mayer. The award ceremony will be held on Feb. 8. Grammy_museum

• The Grammys open their new museum to the public on Dec. 6. It's located in L.A. LIVE, directly across from the Staples Center where the award ceremony takes place. READ MORE

• At his EW blog, Dave Karger weighs the Oscar prospects of "Seven Pounds."

• On Dec. 9, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will induct the following honorees into its TV Hall of Fame: Bea Arthur, Daniel B. Burke and Thomas Murphy, Larry Gelbart, Merv Griffin and Sherwood Schwartz. The ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, emceed by "Desperate Housewives" star James Denton.

• The National Book Awards were bestowed yesterday to Annette Gordon-Reed for "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family" (nonfiction) and Peter Matthiessen for "Snow Country" (fiction). The choices sparked some controversy, as noted by the New York Times and New York Mag's Vulture blog. Vulture also reports (hilariously) on the after-party, which moved this year — in a desperate ploy to be perceived as more hip — to Socialista. The ploy was so desperate that the room was packed with downtown trendoids who had no idea where they were or why they were there — and probably haven't read a book without "Harry Potter" in the title since leaving high school.

Roger Ebert 's having fun spreading the Oscars tattle of "Deep Vote," an academy insider who purports to speak for many colleagues. That's absurd, of course. The academy is a bastion of stubborn-headed mules. You won't get a good take on what many of them think without speaking to LOTS of 'em. But HERE is what Deep Vote thinks.

• The European Film Awards won't be held in Berlin as usual this year. It's moving to the western German city of Essen. READ MORE

Photos: Weinstein Co., Paramount Vantage, NARAS