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Gold Derby Nuggets: Hot on the trail of Coldplay | Kris Tapley big on Oscar shorts | Do Michelle Pfeiffer + 'Cheri' = Oscar?

February 5, 2009 | 12:19 pm

Roger Friedman warns of trouble ahead for Chris Martin and the rest of Coldplay: "Martin and his bandmates may be looking over their shoulders this Grammy weekend. The reason is that a lawyer representing musician Joe Satriani is sending teams of process servers all over town to hand them a plagiarism lawsuit ... Satriani is claiming that Coldplay lifted his 2004 instrumental, "I Just Wanna Fly," for the basic melody of "Viva la Vida." Coldplay disputes this and has issued a rebuke on its website. But that hasn’t stopped Satriani or his attorney Howard King of King Paterno et al. The firm claims that Coldplay has dodged being served, and that the Grammys are the easiest forum at which to strike while the iron is hot. King says, 'We have warned their British lawyers that we have hired a fleet of process servers lined up to dog the band everywhere they go this weekend in the hopes of serving them.'" FOX NEWS


• The Grammys are auctioning off more than 100 items at EBay to raise money for its MusicCares Foundation. Included among the googies: a private DJ lesson from DJ AM; meet Rihanna on the set of her next video or photo shoot; phone call from Aretha Franklin; guitars autographed by AC/DC, B.B. King, John Mayer, Jonas Brothers, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Taylor Swift. EBAY AUCTIONS

• Bad omen for the front-runners at the BAFTA Awards coming up? "Slumdog Millionaire" lost best picture to "Hunger" and Kate Winslet ("The Reader") just lost best actress to Tilda Swinton ("Julia") at the London Evening Standard Awards. WASHINGTON POST

• "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black will receive the WGA West's Paul Selvin Award at the guild's awardsfest Saturday. The kudo is given to a writer whose work embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties. Said WGA West prexy Patric Verrone, "At a time when history seems to be made daily, Lance Black's script reminds us that all it takes is a single spark to light the fuse of an entire movement." WGAW


Kris Tapley provides invaluable guidance to the Oscar nominated animated and live action shorts like "La Maison en Petits Cubes" (left, nominated for best animated short): "I always like seeing what the world’s filmmakers have cooked up in these categories, so I took an hour or so earlier in the week to have a look at the films in contention. I have to say, it’s a more impressive collective than we’ve seen in recent years, especially on the live action side of things, where interestingly enough, all the entrants hail from overseas." IN CONTENTION

Brad Brevet wonders if "Cheri" will be a return to Oscar form for Michelle Pfeiffer: "The new film from Stephen Frears ('The Queen') ... stars Kathy Bates as Madame Peloux, a famed courtesan in 1920s France, who sends the spoiled Cheri (Rupert Friend) to her courtesan pal Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) for an adult education, but their six-year affair comes to a painful end when he’s forced to marry a wealthy young woman. Christopher Hampton, who was nominated for an Oscar for his screen adaptation of 'Atonement' (2007) and won for his 'Dangerous Liaisons' (1988) script, adapted the script from the novel by the late Sidonie Gabrielle Colette. Based purely on the talent involved this film is gaining attention considering Frears, Hampton and Pfeiffer were all involved in 'Dangerous Liaisons' and all three have proved to have the talent to bring a great film to the big screen." ROPE OF SILICON


Lou Lumenick revisits the career of three-time Oscar nominee Natalie Wood with the release of the DVD versions of "Splendor in the Grass" (nomination No. 2 — Wood lost to Sophia Loren, "Two Women" ) and "Inside Daisy Clover." NEW YORK POST

Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the producing team behind the Emmy-winning "thirtysomething" and "My So-Called Life," are prepping a new drama pilot for CBS. The project, called "A Marriage," will be an examination of a working modern-day marriage. TV SQUAD

• Playbill has a quick Q&A with two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who is returning to the rialto after a 46-year absence in Moisés Kaufman's latest play, "33 Variations," which begins performances Feb. 9. In it, she plays Katherine Brandt, who is trying to solve a centuries-old mystery about the great classical composer, Beethoven. PLAYBILL

Photos: NARAS, Robot Communications, Warner Bros.

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