• Mike Fleming of Deadline reports: "Sunday's Oscar viewing party for 'The Hurt Locker' producer Nicolas Chartier has officially become a hot ticket. I'm told the bash had to be relocated to the Malibu home of reality TV/film producer Mike Fleiss when the guest list tripled. Three hundred people are now expected to attend or stop by. Fleiss is co-hosting the bash with WME Global chief Graham Taylor and his wife Lynnette Howell, the producer of 'Blue Valentine' and 'Half Nelson.' "
• Peter Bowes of the BBC talks to first-time Oscars director Hamish Hamilton. " 'There are so many emotions going through my head,' says Mr. Hamilton, who admits to being nervous about the big night. 'I'm genuinely excited, genuinely thrilled, really prepared, and I feel like I'm peaking at the right time. I'm also incredibly honored, but I'm feeling the weight of the world and Hollywood on my shoulders.' The job comes with a formidable responsibility to orchestrate a show with a global audience of hundreds of millions. 'It can make you shiver,' he says."
• Gold Derby on TV: Tune in to KTLA's red-carpet Oscar show on Sunday between 3 and 5 p.m. PT. You'll find me teaming up with Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes, but not on the actual red carpet. I've got a busted foot that's in a cast, so I plan to hang back in a comfy chair in the studio and get beamed into the show. On early Sunday morning, I'll be on KNBC with Ted Chen at 7 a.m. Over the next few days I'm on TV Guide Channel giving you the career dish on Oscarcast co-host Steve Martin: March 6 (10:30 p.m. ET/PT), March 7 (noon, ET), March 9 (2 p.m. ET/PT), March 14 (midnight ET/PT).
• For Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, "It’s time to do our final No Guts, No Glory for the year. Up to three, and here’s to making it count. Don’t pick alternates (like 'Avatar' for Best Pic) but real and true upsets. Here are mine. And by the way, as soon as I type them I know they won’t come true. 1. 'In the Loop' upsets in the Adapted Screenplay category. 2. 'Star Trek' wins in both Sound categories. 3. 'The Blind Side' wins Best Picture."
• Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood bemoans the shift in locale for the Indie Spirit awards. "I wasn’t able to take my sunny beachside pictures of the indie gang because it was dark on the rooftop at L.A. Live, a monstrously large modern complex near the L.A. Convention Center. On a Friday night, many people had to escape early from work, hitting heavy traffic heading downtown -- I had spectacularly bad luck, hitting an accident bottleneck on the Santa Monica Freeway -- and some folks were tired. (In fact, three grown men -- Scott Cooper, Lee Daniels and Geoffrey Fletcher -- broke down and cried during the course of the evening.) There was competition too: many Spirits attendees blew off the IFC after-party across the street in favor of WME and/or CAA pre-Oscar fetes."
• However, for Steven Zeitchik of 24 Frames, "Concerns that the casualness of the event would be lost without the Santa Monica beachside setting turned out to be misplaced, as the usual preshow mingling, and in-show strolling and table-hopping, unfolded pretty much as it always has. Fears, meanwhile, that a popular Friday night slot would have the Spirits a sparsely populated second choice for Oscar weekend partiers proved overblown as well. Although some attendees rushed from or to agency parties -- a William Morris Endeavor Entertainment fete at Ari Emanuel's house and a party thrown by CAA's Bryan Lourd -- the event still felt packed with industry insiders and stars. Of the major nominees, the Coen brothers and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were among the few that didn't show. (Jeff Bridges, Carey Mulligan, Woody Harrelson and Mariah Carey were among those who did.)"
• A trio of intrepid USA Today reporters -- William Couch, Arienne Thompson and Joshua Hatch -- present an assortment of Oscars facts and figures in this interactive illustration. As the introduction notes, "This year’s Academy Award acting nominees cover the spectrum from been-around-forever veteran (Christopher Plummer) to never-acted-before newcomer (Gabourey Sidibe). Yet, you may be surprised to learn that they all share connections in their personal and professional lives that bind them together, no matter how long their résumé."
• Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter counts down "the 10 most interesting Oscar-related lawsuits ever" with the top case being when "Disney sues the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, alleging that the infamous Rob Lowe-Snow White duet at the 1989 Oscars was unflattering to the beloved character and lacked permission."
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Photos: (Top) "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit (Bottom) Independent Spirit Awards logo. Credit: Film Independent