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Gold Derby nuggets: Campaigners crash after the Oscars | Did Jennifer Aniston snicker when Brad Pitt lost? | Will Penelope Cruz fall into Carmen Miranda's trap?

March 3, 2009 | 11:17 am

• After winning the lead actor award at the Oscars for "Milk," Sean Penn has joined the campaign to have Harvey Milk's birthday, May 22, recognized as "a day of significance" in California. VARIETY

Woody Allen's "Whatever Works" will open the next Tribeca Film Festival. It's the first movie he's made set in New York City since 2004. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Anne Thompson reports that the early exit of programmer Peter Scarlet from the Tribeca Film Festival "is an act of protest indeed." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD


• "Penelope Cruz won the best supporting actress Oscar for a role that lampooned her foreignness," notes a London paper. "Let's hope she doesn't fall into the trap that claimed Carmen Miranda." GUARDIAN

• There are lots of groans over the news that Ed Zwick will make another movie: "In the Heart of the Sea," based upon the destruction of the ship Essex by a sperm whale in 1820. His last, "Defiance," had high Oscar hopes but crashed after it got panned by Variety, the New York Times and the L.A. Times. Produced for $32 million, it earned only $27 million domestically. Lately, it's becoming popular to bash Zwick movies. The reason: His films have compelling subject matter and are well directed and acted, but they're terribly written. Dialogue is clunky. Characters are cookie-cutter cliches. Zwick should stick to directing, period. For his upcoming flick, he's the co-writer, along with the accomplished Marshall Herskovitz, but that's little reassurance, since together they gave us the clunkily penned "Last Samurai," which also fell far short of Oscar expectations. VARIETY

• While the Oscar success of "Slumdog Millionaire" marks a triumph for films made in India, the local film industry is suffering an all-time low in ticket sales. THE AUSTRALIAN

Oscar consultants are suffering battle fatigue and planning a wrap-up party. L.A. TIMES

• "'Slumdog Millionaire' child star Azharuddin Ismail has fallen ill as fears grow about the psychological state of the two young Indian actors," reports a London paper. TELEGRAPH

Scott Feinberg has been busy counting up fascinating Oscars stats. Here's an interesting factoid, for example: "Slumdog Millionaire" is the 10th best-pic winner that received most of its financing outside the U.S. FEINBERG FILES

• The Associated Press tally is wrong! While reporting on "The Simpsons" being extended two more TV seasons to become the longest-running series in prime-time TV history (surpassing "Gunsmoke"), the wire service counts 22 Emmy victories for that crazy Springfield cartoon clan. Hey, they've actually won 24. Most impressive: 10 of those were for best animated program. "The Simpsons" needs 13 more wins to tie "Frasier" as the weekly series with the most Emmys. ASSOCIATED PRESS

• Wake-up call to the Tonys? The 1993 hit film "Sleepless in Seattle" is coming to Broadway, adapted by original screenwriter Jeff Arch, who's working with composer/lyricist Leslie Bricusse ("Stop the World—I Want to Get Off," "Jekyll & Hyde," '"Victor/Victoria"). The original film was nominated for two Oscars. Arch was up for best original screenplay with co-writers Nora Ephron and David S. Ward (they lost to "The Piano" writer Jane Campion), and the film tune "A Wink and a Smile" was up for best song (losing to Bruce Springsteen's "Philadelphia"). PLAYBILL

• Fox News claims that the TV camera caught Jennifer Aniston snickering at the Oscars when her ex Brad Pitt lost lead actor and also claims you can see Brad being forced to his feet by Angelina Jolie when Kate Winslet beat her for best actress. Yeah, Brad's late getting up when everyone else stands around him, but he claps on cue when the winner's announced and, a short time later, he does rise. See the top video below. As for Jennifer, well, judge for yourself. See the bottom video. She's sitting right behind Sean Penn. She smiles when he wins. It's kind of a tilted, crooked smile. Is it really a snicker? FOX NEWS

Photos: The Weinstein Co., 20th Century Fox

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