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Gold Derby nuggets: Pundits peer into Oscar crystal balls | It's time to cram for 'An Education'

October 6, 2009 |  5:31 pm

• "Major Oscar battle looms in the animated-feature category," decrees Steve Pond at The Wrap. He cited a glut of top-notch contenders, including "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," "Coraline," "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "9," "Ponyo," "The Prince and the Frog," "Up" and maybe even "A Christmas Carol." THE ODDS

Up cloudy oscars

Nicole LaPorte of the Daily Beast invited me to pipe in on the state of the Oscars derby along with some other gurus, but I took a pass this time around. Those of you who know what's occurring in my personal life understand why I'm a bit late this season catching up on Oscarmania. Sorry. I will make up for all of that over the next few weeks. Meantime, check out what other wags have to say. THE DAILY BEAST 

• In our forums, our posters got so carried away setting up games in our thread devoted to general interest topics that I was forced to set up a separate area just for playing around. So go have fun. GOLD DERBY FORUMS

• "Now that 'An Education' is finally hitting theaters this Friday, I'm curious to see if there's going to be any kind of 'ick factor' amongst audiences and Oscar voters (particularly older ones) over the film's basic plot: a 16-year-old schoolgirl who falls for a man in his early 30s and decides to lose her virginity to him on her 17th birthday," says EW's Dave Karger, who interviews best-actress contender Carey Mulligan. OSCAR WATCH

Anne Thompson dishes with Mulligan too — plus "An Education" director Lone Scherfig. THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

An education

Sasha Stone also pipes in on the topic of May/December romance: "Ah, it is a strange moment in time. 'An Education' is a film that explores, for once, the idea of why it is young girls just might find older, more sophisticated men alluring. At the same time, though, here's David Letterman in the news admitting that he has been kind of living a double life for the last 20 years." AWARDS DAILY

Scott Feinberg ranks Mulligan in second place in the best-actress race, according to his newly updated Oscar forecasts. He's got Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") out front. Personally, I think he should re-jiggle his lineup and put his third-ranked choice on top: Gabby Sidibe (“Precious”).  AND THE WINNER IS

Pete Hammond says academy members are befuddled by the lack of serious Oscar contenders playing at the AMPAS theater — and the odd list of unlikely contenders on the bill. NOTES ON A SEASON

Paul Gaita has the scoop on all of the honorary awards soon to be bestowed to Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, even "The Simpsons." THE CIRCUIT

Photos: Disney, Columbia, Sony Pictures Classics

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