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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Gabourey Sidibe

Gold Derby nuggets: 'True Blood' goes graphic | 'Precious' talent updates | Carol Burnett reminisces

April 6, 2010 |  3:23 pm

True Blood title card • "True Blood" is gearing up for a third season on HBO beginning June 13. And in July, fans of the vampire drama starring Oscar champ Anna Paquin ("The Piano") will be able to buy the first installment of a graphic arts version of "True Blood." IDW is crafting a six-part miniseries in conjunction with the show's creator -- Oscar-winning scribe Alan Ball ("American Beauty") -- with artist David Messina handling interiors and covers and J. Scott Campbell doing variants. IGN

Valerie Harper garnered rave reviews for her performance as theatrical diva Talullah Bankhead in the new play "Looped." However, the New York critics were less kind to this new work by Matthew Lombardo ("Tea at Five") and the Broadway run is ending this Sunday. There is already talk of taking the show on the road and the four-time Emmy champ could still find herself in contention for best actress at the Tony Awards when nominations are announced May 4.

• Fans of the Tony Awards who find themselves on the other coast come June 13 can attend a viewing party hosted by Tony champ Brian Stokes Mitchell ("Kiss Me Kate"). The theater and TV vet serves as president of the Actors Fund, which is holding the fundraiser at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Capping off the evening will be the presentation of the Julie Harris lifetime achievement award, named for one of the theater greats who won a record five lead actress Tony Awards in her stellar career. ACTORS FUND

• The first kudos of the theater season are bestowed by the Outer Critics Circle. Nominations for these awards will be announced by Tony champ Sutton Foster ("Thoroughly Modern Millie") and her equally talented brother Hunter Foster ("Urinetown") on April 26. Winners will be named on May 17 with the prizes presented during a dinner at Sardi's on May 27.

Precious Poster 3Roger Friedman reports that Oscar-winning scribe Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") "will be directing a film from his own original script. 'Violet and Daisy' is the title of a movie that may get a start this summer with two Oscar nominated actresses in the lead roles. They would be Carey Mulligan, of 'An Education,' and Saoirse Ronan of 'The Lovely Bones.' " SHOWBIZ 411

• And we may get a chance to see whether talent runs in the family for Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") with the news that her mother Alice Tan Ridley will sing for the judges on "America's Got Talent." In an e-mail Ridley wrote, "It’s a big break for me and I would like to follow in Susan Boyle’s footsteps and become a star in my own right. I love the judges, Sharon and Piers, and I’m really looking forward to trying and impress them although I have not decided what I will sing or wear yet." RADAR ONLINE

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new tuner "Love Never Dies" -- the sequel to 1988 Tony champ "The Phantom of the Opera" -- will delay its New York opening by six months. The show -- which premiered to mixed reviews in London in March -- is now slated for spring 2011. A statement from the producers explained that the original opening was scheduled prior to the composer being diagnosed with prostate cancer last fall. "Although the cancer has been eradicated, there have been post-operative problems. These have been aggravated by recent air travel and Lloyd Webber's doctors have requested that he does not take any further long-haul flights for the time being and until the problem has been investigated. This prevents him attending auditions and being part of the pre-production process in New York on the original schedule." PLAYBILL

Carol BurnettAndrea Reiher recaps Tuesday's TV appearances by six-time Emmy champ Carol Burnett who has penned a memoir titled "This Time Together." The TV legend "tells 'Today' about discovering Vicki Lawrence and tells Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on 'Live' the amazing story of how she came to New York to act." Back in 1986, Burnett recounted the story of her childhood and early days in show business in the best-selling "One More Time" which she and daughter Carrie Hamilton later adapted into the 2002 play "Hollywood Arms." This new volume -- which takes its title from a lyric in the theme song to her long-running variety series -- continues her fascinating story. ZAP 2 IT

• Writer-director Juan Jose Campanella will follow up his Oscar-winning foreign language film "El secreto de sus ojos" (The Secret in Their Eyes) with the first 3-D animated feature from his native Argentina. The plot of "Foosball" -- scripted by Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri (author of the book on which "Secret" is based), Gaston Gorali and Axel Kuschevatzky -- is derived from the popular table game. VARIETY

OTHER POSTS:

Are 'Damages,' Glenn Close now doomed at the Emmys?

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Photo gallery: Emmy's biggest snubs

'Lost' Emmy mystery solved: Terry O'Quinn returns to the supporting-actor race

'Bosom Buddies' Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari reuniting on TV Land Awards

Gold Derby nuggets: John Forsythe dies at 92 | Oscar shorts go long

40 years ago today: 'Patton' was released, then slapped Oscar

Flashback: 'Clash of the Titans' lost best picture to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' … at the Saturn Awards

Emmy gamble: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss drops to supporting

Poll: Does Miley Cyrus deserve a Razzie for 'The Last Song'?

Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

Can 'Avatar' crush 'Twilight: New Moon' at the MTV Movie Awards? 

Top photo: "True Blood" logo. Credit: HBO

Middle photo: "Precious" poster. Credit: Lionsgate

Bottom photo: "This Time Together" dust jacket. Credit: Random House

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Gold Derby nuggets: Matt Damon guesting on '30 Rock' | 'Law & Order' updates | Emmy-winner David Mills dies at 48

March 31, 2010 |  4:34 pm

30_rock_logoMatt Damon will make a rare appearance on TV when he reunites with Alec Baldwin -- a co-star from "The Departed" -- on "30 Rock." The Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Good Will Hunting" was at the top of Tina Fey's wish list of guest stars. Last fall Damon told Mike Ausiello he was a huge fan of the show and "would do it in a heartbeat if they asked me to come on. I have not been approached about doing it. She (Fey) should call my people or even better me." That phone call was made and Damon will play the latest in a long line of ill-fated suitors for Fey's character. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin ("Children of a Lesser God") produced a TV pilot -- "My Deaf Family" -- that featured a California family with deaf parents and hearing children. When it didn't sell, she turned to YouTube -- which offers closed captioning -- to generate interest in the idea. As she tells Alex Pham, "I guess in this world where economics, number crunching and demographics are what drive decisions, you have to roll up your sleeves and find other ways to prove that your show is good TV. I wouldn't mind an exclusive online agreement or network agreement, as long as I can find the means to tell more stories about this fascinating family." COMPANY TOWN

• Add Isabelle Huppert to the growing list of movie stars who have guested on TV's "Law & Order: SVU." As per exec producer Neal Baer, the Gallic great will appear in the upcoming 10th season finale as the mother of a kidnapped child. Huppert is the Meryl Streep of French cinema, having been nominated for 13 Cesar Awards but winning only once -- in 1996 for "La Ceremonie." She has rarely worked in English since making the misfire "Heaven's Gate" in 1980. Another French film star -- Leslie Caron -- was one of four guest actresses on "SVU" to win Emmys for their appearances. AP

Law & Order logoNellie Andreeva reports that NBC's renewal for a record 21st season of "Law & Order" could be contingent on a new deal with TNT which carries the procedural in a second window. "Law & Order" won the Emmy for best drama series in 1997 and has contended 10 more times, most recently in 2002. THR

• Should "Law & Order" sign off this year, Olympic gold medallist Lindsay Vonn will be one of the show's last guest stars. The ski champ will feature in the season finale as a key witness in a terrorism case. AP

Mark Malkin delivers the news that Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe will be guest host of an upcoming episode of "Saturday Night Live." The "Precious" leading lady has been busy already this year with her recurring role on the new Showtime series "The C Word" opposite Laura Linney. E ONLINE

• "Glee" star Jane Lynch will be feted with the achievement award at the 14th annual Outfest in L.A. on July 8. That marks opening night for the gay and lesbian film festival. Previous recipients of the top kudo have included filmmakers Don Roos, Jane Anderson and Rob Epstein, all of whom were recognized for significant contributions to the LGBT film and media. OUTFEST

The Corner DVD cover • Scribe David Mills -- who won two Emmys in 2002 for "The Corner" -- died suddenly in New Orleans Tuesday at age 48. He was in the city as part of the production team for the upcoming HBO series "Treme." Over the years, Mills also picked up Emmy nominations for his writing on "NYPD Blue" and for producing that show and "ER."  Before his stellar TV career, Mills was a journalist and his controversial 1992 interview with rapper Sister Souljah became part of that year's presidential campaign. NOLA

• Fans of "The Amazing Race" will get a chance to run their own version of the show in Europe this summer. A Cleveland company is offering 17 teams the chance to compete for a $9,000 cash prize by completing various tasks over a nine-day period including a 4,000-foot-high alpine toboggan. Cost to enter is $2,675 per person. The CBS Sunday night staple has never lost the race for best reality series at the Emmys since the category was introduced back in 2003. NEW YORK TIMES

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Robert Culp never cracked Emmy's secret code

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Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

Upcoming Emmy diva smackdown: 'Nurse Jackie' vs. 'United States of Tara'

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Top photo: "30 Rock" logo. Credit: NBC

Middle photo: "Law & Order" logo. Credit: NBC

Bottom photo: "The Corner" DVD cover. Credit: HBO

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Gold Derby nuggets: Gabourey Sidibe's film future? | Exploring 'The Cove' | Steve Pond ponders Oscars

March 11, 2010 |  3:51 pm

Gabourey Sidibe Oscars Precious • In a provocative piece, Luchina Fisher asks, "Will Gabourey Sidibe's size limit her career?" Building off of Howard Stern's criticism Monday of the lead actress Oscar nominee for "Precious," Fisher interviewed, among others, New York casting director Bernard Telsey, who said Sidibe's size is both a plus and minus as well as Greg Kilday, film editor for The Hollywood Reporter, who said Hollywood will have to think creatively to find roles for Sidibe. By the by, Sidibe already has wrapped another film -- "Yelling to the Sky" -- and has just inked a deal to appear as a recurring character on the new Showtime series "The C Word."  ABC NEWS

• Five-time Emmy champ Kelsey Grammer is headlining the upcoming second Broadway revival of the 1984 top Tony tuner "La Cage Aux Folles." Initially Grammer will play the more sedate role of George opposite Douglas Hodge, who is recreating his Olivier-winning performance as the cross-dressing Albin. However, as Grammer told the New York Post, "In six months, I switch over to playing Albin. It really means I must memorize the whole show." PLAYBILL

• In a countdown of the top 10 Oscarcast jokes, this one by Jimmy Fallon topped the list: "Did everyone watch the Oscars last night? Or as I like to call it James Cameron’s own personal hurt locker." MEDIAITE

The Cove Oscars • On Tuesday, Louie Psihoyos, director of the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove" was interviewed by New York Times science scribe Andrew Revkin at the Asia Society in Gotham. The former National Geographic photographer "predicted that Japan would be more likely to shut down the seasonal capture and killing of thousands of dolphins because of the human health implications of eating dolphin meat -- which the film shows is laced with high levels of mercury -- than because of complaints about cruelty in the killing of the marine mammals." NEW YORK TIMES

• In anticipation of Betty White's guest-hosting appearance on the May 8 installment of "Saturday Night Live," the Daily Beast video crew has compiled 11 clips of the still sassy octogenarian in some of her most memorable TV moments, including two of the roles that won her Emmys: Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls." THE DAILY BEAST

Drew McWeeney is delighted that Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood ("Unforgiven," "Million Dollar Baby") has made a biopic of one-time FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover his next project. Dustin Lance Black -- who has penned the script -- won an Oscar last year for his original screenplay for "Milk," another true life story. HIT FIX

• In advance of Sunday's premiere of "The Pacific," HBO gathered 250 WWII vets in the nation's capital to salute their service. Among those praising their heroics were series producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg who wanted to make a companion piece to their 2001 Emmy-winning "Band of Brothers," which focused on the war in Europe. AP

OscarsSteve Pond shares nine lessons learned from this Oscar season, including this observation: "You can’t force populism on this batch of voters. If ever there was a year when the Academy was nudging voters to go for something popular, this was it. But the Best Picture winner hasn’t been a widely popular film since 'The Return of the King,' and voters refused to take the hints dropped by the expanded slate of nominees and the mass-appeal Oscar-show bookings. These voters like what they like, not what the public likes." THE ODDS

Amy Kaufman reviews the tweets of rookie Oscarcast producer Adam Shankman and discovers that he thinks the show was a rousing success. Among his recent tweets was this one -- "I'm spool tired stilli cnt believe I just produced 1 of the most successful Academy Awards of all time. Humbling." And on the subject of a return engagement as producer, Shankman tweeted: "I loved ths years #oscars. Best experience of my life. I'd just do things differently if I did them again 2 surprise ppl. dont wanna repeat." 24 FRAMES

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Top photo: Gabourey Sidibe at the 82nd annual Academy Awards. Credit: Mark Boster / LAT

Middle photo: "The Cove" poster. Credit: Lionsgate

Bottom photo: Academy Award statues. Credit: AMPAS

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Hurt Locker' expands screens | 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in primetime |'Mad Men' gets Barbie makeover

March 10, 2010 |  3:46 pm

The Hurt Locker poster • The post-Oscars box office bounce for "The Hurt Locker" will be limited by its availability on DVD. However, as Melena Ryzik reports, "The film, which has actually never left theaters since it opened in a very few in June 2009, will open in an additional 35 on Friday, in major markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington D.C., Seattle, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis and San Diego, as well as in 30 more in Canada. That will take its total in North America to 348 theaters; for comparison’s sake, 'Avatar' is playing in 2,163 theaters (although 'Alice in Wonderland' has scooped up most its 3-D screens), and 'Crazy Heart' in 1,274." THE CARPETBAGGER

• Among the tasty tidbits served up by Steve Pond in an Oscars wrap-up was this morsel: "Tucked away at the back of the ballroom was a small room with a red velvet rope, a wooden counter fronted by a few high chairs, and three stations where pre-engraved plaques were affixed to the statuettes of the night’s Oscar winners. At about 11 p.m., Kathryn Bigelow finally made her way back there; she was carrying a pair of Oscars she’d won for directing and producing 'The Hurt Locker,' while writer-producer Mark Boal carried another pair. Bigelow took a seat behind the counter, shook her head, and called a friend over to watch the process. 'Look at this!' she said with a big grin. 'I have my own personal engraver!'" THE WRAP

Emma Rosenblum profiles the charmingly disarming Oscar-winning editors Chris Innis and Bob Murawski ("The Hurt Locker"). Chris told her, "We met on Sam Raimi’s television show 'American Gothic'; he introduced us." And Bob revealed, "That was about fifteen years ago, but we actually only got married after 'The Hurt Locker.' We knew if that didn’t break us up, nothing would." NEW YORK

Amy Kaufman explains some of Oscars' oddest moments including George Clooney's sourpuss:  "'He and Alec [Baldwin] and Steve [Martin] were making pre-arranged grimacing faces at each other. All planned just to be funny,' Clooney's representative, Stan Rosenfield, assured in an e-mail." THE ENVELOPE

Jimmy Kimmel Live Oscars • ABC is repeating the post-Oscar installment of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in primetime on March 13. As per the news release, the episode, "which debuted the now viral 'Handsome Men’s Club' video, captured 4.7 million viewers, making it the third-highest rated telecast to date for the late-night talker, behind only its two post-Super Bowl telecasts (on 1/26/03 and 2/5/06). The late night show’s most watched post-Oscar telecast ever welcomed two-time Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr., who brought along the world premiere of the new trailer for 'Iron Man 2,' plus a musical performance by Grammy Award winner Keith Urban." TV BY THE NUMBERS

Julie Miller recaps Tuesday's appearance of "Music by Prudence" producer Elinor Burkett on Joy Behar's HLN gabfest. The Oscar winner explained her interruption of the acceptance speech by the short doc's director Roger Ross Williams: "I had two choices, right? Either I could let [Williams] blather on for 45 seconds, because that was our max -- this year only one person could speak -- or I could interrupt so I get to talk. And everybody thinks that I was bad for interrupting him. So they don’t think he was bad for, like, bigfooting me to prevent me from speaking at all?" MOVIELINE

• One of the men appearing onstage at the Kodak Theatre Sunday to accept the documentary feature Oscar for "The Cove" broke academy protocol when he unfurled a sign instructing viewers to text the word "dolphin" to an animal rescue organization. "TMZ has learned those two seconds of exposure triggered so many text messages the group's mobile service provider nearly went down. The group claims they've doubled their membership in the two days following the awards." TMZ

Mad Men Barbries • The cast of the Emmy-winning "Mad Men" have been cast in plastic by Mattel. As Stuart Elliot reports, "Mattel is licensing rights to the characters from Lionsgate, the studio that produces 'Mad Men' for the AMC cable channel. There will be 7,000 to 10,000 copies of each doll, to be sold in specialty stores and on two Web sites, amctv.com and barbiecollector.com. The characters to become dolls are Don Draper, the show’s leading man; his wife, Betty; his colleague at the Sterling Cooper agency, Roger Sterling; and Joan Holloway, the agency’s office manager who was Roger’s mistress." NEW YORK TIMES

Pamela McClintock reports that "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" won't unspool in April as planned due to a possible premiere at Cannes in May. Instead, Paramount is releasing the Oliver Stone-helmed sequel -- in which Michael Douglas reprises his 1987 Oscar-winning role of Gordon "Greed is good" Gekko and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan ("An Education") costars -- in September. VARIETY

• Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"), who appeared in the pilot of the Showtime comedy "The C Word," will be a recurring character during the show's upcoming first season. Sidibe plays a sassy student while Laura Linney is her teacher who is recovering from cancer.

RELATED POSTS:

Complete list of Oscar winners

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Top photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

Middle photo: Jimmy Kimmel and Rob Lowe on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Credit: ABC

Bottom photo: "Mad Men" dolls. Credit: Mattel

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Poll: Who will win lead actress at the Oscars?

March 6, 2010 |  5:28 pm

While most of the winners are seemingly foregone conclusions at this year's Oscars, the lead actress race remains too close to call. Most pundits put Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") ahead. She won with both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild and seems to have the most buzz going into Sunday.

But when you talk with actual Oscar voters, you hear many of them say that the film and Bullock's performance are too lightweight. You hear lots of votes for all-time nominations champ Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") as well as first-time nominees Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"). As for Helen Mirren ("The Last Station"), she will have to be content with her 2006 win in this same race for "The Queen." 

If you are among those who believe that Sandra Bullock will win, ask yourself: does she deserve to? That the question Pete Hammond and I discuss in our video chat here.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Big bash for banned Oscars nominee | Mixed reviews for Indie Spirits

March 6, 2010 |  5:12 pm

The Hurt Locker posterMike 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." 

Independent Spirit Awards LogoAnne 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

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'Precious' sweeps Indie Spirit Awards ... Oscars next? (Hey, where was 'The Hurt Locker'?)

March 5, 2010 | 11:50 pm

With winners like best actor Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"), the Independent Spirit Awards looked a lot like the Oscars. But that's not unusual. When Oscar front-runners compete at the Indie Spirits, they usually win. Recent examples: Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona"), Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote"), Charlize Theron ("Monster").

Now and then there are rare exceptions – like last year when Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") beat Sean Penn ("Milk") – but that may have occurred in part due to griping that "Milk" wasn't really an indie since it was produced for more than $20 million.

Precious indie spirits independent spirit awards

Missing from the nominees this year was the most notable indie of 2009 — "The Hurt Locker" — but that's because it competed at last year's Indie Spirits where it fared poorly. It wasn't nominated for best film, director or screenplay, only for two acting spots (Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie). Both lost. Considering how solid "The Hurt Locker's" awards sweep has been since, it really makes you wonder how much of that is due to a bandwagon effect gathered as "The Hurt Locker" juggernaut crashed through, first, the film critics awards, then the guild prizes, then tying "Avatar" for the most Oscar nominations. Would other award groups weigh it as lowly as the Indie Spirits did last year if not affected by what other awards do?

However, with "The Hurt Locker" out of the way, "Precious" got its due. At the start of derby season, back in November, it was widely considered to be the standout indie of the year. Some Oscarologists even pegged it to win the Oscar for best picture. Now it reaped five impressive Indie Spirit victories, including best picture, director, screenplay, actress (Gabby Sidibe) and supporting actress. That's one short of the record (six) held by "Fargo," "Sideways" and "Stand and Deliver."

Meantime, "The Hurt Locker" still got its own separate due from the rival awards for indie film bestowed on the opposite American coast early this derby season, the Gotham Awards, which broke off from the Indie Spirit Awards in 2006.  Back on Nov. 30, it won trophies for best film and ensemble.

However, the Gothams chose to snub "Precious." Thus the curious game continues between these competing awards that, year after year, pick one of two top indies to the exclusion of another. Doesn't that make you wonder how they would vote if not influenced by other awards?


BEST FEATURE: "Precious"
BEST DIRECTOR: Lee Daniels, "Precious"
BEST ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
BEST ACTRESS: Gabby Sidibe, "Precious"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo’Nique, "Precious"
BEST FIRST FEATURE: "Crazy Heart"
BEST SCREENPLAY: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, "(500) Days of Summer"
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY: Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious"
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, "A Serious Man"
BEST DOCUMENTARY: "Anvil!"
BEST FOREIGN FILM: "An Education"
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD: "Humpday"
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD: Director and Cast of "A Serious Man"
PRODUCERS AWARD: Karen Chien ("The Exploding Girl," "Santa Mesa")
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, "Easier With Practice"
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD: Bill Ross, Turner Ross, "45365"

Photo: "Precious." Credit: Lionsgate

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars countdown | James Cameron OK with 'Avatar' Oscars spoof | Oscar gold equals box office green

March 4, 2010 |  2:10 pm

Oscars New Members movie news 1357986Sandy Cohen reports, "Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic are bridging stage and screen with an advanced, automated set at the Kodak Theatre and a super high-tech program planned for TV viewers. After days of technical tests on their stage setup, Shankman and Mechanic moved into the Kodak Theatre Wednesday, where they're seeing their whole show come to life in person and on screen. 'Today's the first day we're up fully running,' Mechanic says. 'We had three days of tech and now it's camera...' 'Camera, scripting, scenic transition, we're camera-blocking some stuff,' Shankman says, finishing his partner's sentence. 'This is probably as technically advanced a show as you've ever seen or as you will have ever seen,' Mechanic says. 'But what I really like about it, and yes that's true,' Shankman says. 'But on the monitors it actually looks much more simple in a weird way. It's elegant and it is more advanced but it's actually very focused and very simple.' " AP

• Half a dozen Oscar nominees have the added pressure of presenting on Sunday's big show. Two of the six already have Oscars on their shelves. Both supporting-actor contender Matt Damon ("Invictus") and writer-director Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") won original-screenplay Oscars, Tarantino in 1994 for "Pulp Fiction" and Damon three years later for "Good Will Hunting." Five-time nominee Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") is the favorite in the lead-actor race this year, as is first-time nominee Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") in the lead-actress race. Also presenting are first-time nominees Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Anna Kendrick ("Up in the Air"). AMPAS

Oscar nominee Lee Daniels ("Precious") tells Donna Freydkin that "work has been a welcome distraction from the madness of awards season. 'Simultaneously I'm working on a pilot for HBO. It pulls me away from having to think about the Oscars. It's God's way of pulling me away.' Daniels is very busy prepping the feature film 'Selma' about the civil rights struggle and says, 'I have to really start casting the movie because we're shooting it soon. The only person I've nailed in for sure is Hugh Jackman. It's all over the place.' " USA TODAY

James Cameron Avatar OscarsCristina Gibson says, "At least one person wouldn't mind an 'Avatar' Academy Awards this Sunday. James Cameron. The Oscar-nominated director told me this exclusively tonight at the Global Green party at Avalon. Cameron said he wasn't aware that a proposed 'Avatar' sketch involving Ben Stiller and Sacha Baron Cohen had been cut from the show, presumably to avoid upsetting the director. 'I don't know anything about that. ... I don't produce the Oscars. If they want to poke fun at 'Avatar' Sunday, that's OK by me,' said Cameron, 'I'm sure we'll laugh.' " E ONLINE

• The second edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Oscars Special" on ABC -- which paired up Oscar champs and nominees like Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball") and Penelope Cruz ("Nine") as well as James Cameron and his "Avatar" cast for intimate conversations with narration by Winfrey -- was a bust in the ratings Wednesday, down 19% from the recently canceled "Ugly Betty" in the time slot. THE LIVE FEED

• Had Winfrey worked the late-night circuit like Barbara Walters has been doing in advance of her final Oscar-night special, she might have reaped more ratings points. Walters did the top 10 on Wednesday's "Late Show With David Letterman" and then dropped by "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" to dish on her decision to stop these gabfests after 29 years.

• As Zachary Pincus-Roth discovers, "In recent years, a number of Oscar-nominated performances have involved some form of low-talking, be it mumbling, muttering, slurring, or a lack of volume, either because of the actor's choice or the requirements of the role. It's not that they're completely unintelligible -- it's that on the spectrum that runs from Laurence Olivier in 'Richard III' to the Olsen twins in 'Full House,' they're a few standard deviations toward the latter. Every year, there are at least one or two acting nominees who are in this category, and this year it's Jeff Bridges and the tight-lipped Gabourey Sidibe in 'Precious.' Last year, it was Frank Langella's gravelly former president in 'Frost/Nixon' and Robert Downey, Jr.'s white actor pretending to be black in 'Tropic Thunder.' Recent low-talking winners include Tim Robbins in 'Mystic River,' Javier Bardem in 'No Country for Old Men,' Renée Zellweger in 'Cold Mountain,' Benicio Del Toro in 'Traffic,' and Jamie Foxx in "Ray.'" THE DAILY BEAST

Sandra Bullock • In a fascinating read, Michael Cieply writes, "When the estimated salaries of all 10 of the top acting nominees are combined, the total is only a little larger than the $20 million that went to Julia Roberts for her appearance in 'Erin Brockovich,' a best-picture nominee in 2001, or to Russell Crowe for 'Master and Commander,' nominated in 2004." As Michael reports, "the fashionable deal now is called 'CB zero.' It stands for “cash-break zero,” and refers to an arrangement under which the star or filmmaker begins collecting a share of profits after the studio has reached the break-even point. Such deals can be extremely lucrative when they give stars a substantial share in home-video revenue. So Sandra Bullock, who cut her usual $10 million fee to just $5 million for 'The Blind Side,' another of this year’s nominees, will eventually make $20 million or more from the movie because it was a hit. Mr. Clooney similarly stands to make additional millions when all the revenue from 'Up in the Air' is finally counted." NEW YORK TIMES

• Everyone can predict the winners in at least a couple of the Oscar races this year -- supporting actor and actress for a start. But getting them all wrong -- that takes talent. Sasha Stone is running a contest looking for someone to score 0 out of 24. But be warned for, as Sasha writes, " It is a lot harder than you might think.  My friend Ed is the one who does this every year, and despite his best intentions, last year he actually got a few right." AWARDS DAILY

• That sassy Tariq Khan is not content just to be aces at predicting the Oscars; now he wants to be part of the action and has offered up some jokes for your consideration. As he writes, "Hosting the Oscars is no easy task. Just ask David Letterman. (Remember the “Uma …Oprah” bit?) Keeping the show moving and the audience laughing for as long as four hours requires a lot of humor. But not just any humor -- OSCAR humor. To help out this year’s co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, Fox411 has come up with some award-worthy jokes. We think they’re pretty funny and bet that the Academy (and Oscar audience) will, too. So Steve and Alec -- please feel free to read, laugh and lift from the list below. And if you use any of them, maybe you can give 411 a little plug. That’s not too complicated, is it?" FOX 411

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Top photo: Academy Award statues. Credit: AMPAS

Middle photo: James Cameron on the set of "Avatar." Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side." Credit: Warners

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'Precious' sweeps NAACP Image Awards

February 28, 2010 |  2:02 pm

Precious Poster 4 "Precious" won six NAACP Image Awards at the 41st annual kudosfest Friday night including best picture, director, screenplay, lead (Gabourey Sidibe) and supporting (Mo'Nique) actress. The film contends in all those categories at next week's Oscars. Mo'Nique -- a virtual shoo-in at the Academy Awards -- also won best talk show for the first season of her BET series.

Another Oscar nominee -- Morgan Freeman -- won best actor for "Invictus" while Adam Rodriguez won the supporting prize for "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself." The prolific Perry -- who received the Chairman's Award -- saw his TV hit "House of Payne" win four prizes again this year, repeating for comedy series as well as supporting players Lance Gross and Keshia Knight Pulliam while Cassie Davis won her first lead actress award.

Daryl “Chill” Mitchell kept "Payne" from sweeping the comedy acting awards, winning for his leading role on "Brothers." Show co-host Hill Harper won the lead drama actor prize for the third consecutive year for "CSI: New York" while Jada Pinkett Smith took home her first Image Award after seven nominations over the years for her leading role on the debut season of the medical drama "Hawthorne." And "Lincoln Heights" broke the four-year winning streak of "Grey's Anatomy" by prevailing in the drama series category. 

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Photo: "Precious" movie poster. Credit: Lionsgate

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Gold Derby nuggets: Dave Karger predix Oscars | So does Sasha Stone | Oscars marketing gambits

February 23, 2010 |  4:12 pm

The Hurt Locker poster • Before revealing that he is sticking with "The Hurt Locker" for the best picture Oscar, Dave Karger recaps the derby parallels between that film and "Brokeback Mountain" four years ago: "'Brokeback' managed the rare feat of winning Best Picture and Best Director at both the New York and Los Angeles film critics awards; so did 'Hurt Locker.' 'Brokeback' also picked up those two big prizes at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards; so did 'Hurt Locker.' 'Brokeback' won the trifecta of PGA, DGA, and WGA trophies; so did 'Hurt Locker. 'Brokeback' won 4 BAFTAs, including Best Film, Director, and Screenplay; 'Hurt Locker' picked up 6 awards, including Best Film, Director, and Screenplay. And of course, 'Brokeback' lost the SAG cast award, and so did 'Hurt Locker.' (The main difference between the two films’ tallies is that 'Brokeback' did win four Globes, including Best Drama and Best Director, while 'Hurt Locker' went 0 for 3.)" ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• After noting that, "'The Hurt Locker' director Kathryn Bigelow could be the first woman to win Best Director, a triumph for female filmmakers everywhere," Nicole Laporte wonders, "is the Academy voting for her movie or her gender?" She begins her analysis of the issue with this anecdote: "At a recent awards ceremony where Bigelow accepted one of the many accolades she's earned on the pre-Oscar circuit, Bigelow, who is 58, was met with a whooping cry of 'Go, Girl!' It was the kind of remark that's hard not to smile at -- at least, at first -- but that lingers in the air, eliciting a longer-lasting cringe, and ultimately dumps out a suitcase's worth of sexist issues of the sort that have been trailing Bigelow on her long march to the Academy Awards." THE DAILY BEAST

Pete Hammond reports, "campaigners are pulling out all the stops trying to position their movie as the one with the gravitas that befits a best picture winner. In addition to the usual trade and newspaper ads, TV spots and billboards, at least one 'Hurt Locker' nominee apparently feels the best way may be hand-to-hand combat via e-mail. The Academy may frown at this direct attempt to contact its members, but 'Hurt Locker' co-producer Nicholas Chartier, who through his Voltage Pictures was the film's key financing wizard, is making pleas to friends and friends of friends to get out the vote for 'Hurt Locker' like it was some sort of political grass-roots campaign. His pitch isn't so much about the quality of the film, but rather its independent nature versus that movie with the blue people that cost so much to make. He doesn't mention 'Avatar' by name." NOTES ON A SEASON

• Gold Derby's Emmys forum has been buzzing with speculation over which category Showtime will enter "Dexter" star John Lithgow: supporting or guest? Lithgow recently won the Golden Globe in the supporting slot, but Showtime media chief Richard Licata tells us that Lithgow will compete in the guest slot at the Emmys. The actor won the first of his four Emmys as a guest performer on the series "Amazing Stories" back in 1986. The other three came for his regular lead role on the laffer "Third Rock From the Sun."

The Blind Side PosterSasha Stone offers up her Oscar predictions in a compelling piece of writing that includes these observations: "In the Best Actress category, it is perhaps a three-way race, with Sandra Bullock firmly in the lead, followed by Meryl Streep and then perhaps Carey Mulligan in a possible upset. There is little doubt that Meryl Streep gave the best performance, but Sandra Bullock has paid her dues and 'The Blind Side' managed to get a Best Picture nomination, which is practically a miracle. For Bullock to lose at this point there would have to be a good reason for it -- and that reason would probably be something like a messy divorce or a bar room brawl. Best Actor still feels like it’s Jeff Bridges’ to lose. There isn’t anyone gaining Adrien Brody-like steam. The only one would have been Viggo Mortensen in 'The Road' but he didn’t get a nod. Jeff Bridges is so beloved and his performance was so good -- and he was in a movie that people seem to really like, certainly enough to give Maggie Gyllnehaal the supporting nod." She also says, "Supporting actor and actress couldn’t be more locked. Both will seen as the big wins for their respective films, which means they can’t really lose. The two open categories right now are still Picture and Original Screenplay in the major categories. Everyone is so quick to call the race done and done, but the truth is, with ten nominees and preferential ballot, anything could happen." AWARDS DAILY

Randy Lewis reports, "Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham will make what may be their swan song appearance together in conjunction with the film 'Crazy Heart' when they perform one of the movie’s songs at  the 25h anniversary Spirit Awards ceremony on March 5 in Los Angeles. Rather than singing the much-lauded theme 'The Weary Kind,' the best-song Oscar-nominee that Bingham and Burnett wrote, the trio plans to offer up 'Fallin’ and Flyin’, written by the late Texas singer and songwriter Stephen Bruton, who oversaw the film’s music with producer and longtime friend Burnett. Bruton died of cancer shortly after completing work on the music." POP & HISS

Roger Friedman reports, "Monday night in the main ballroom at the Plaza Hotel, AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, gave its lifetime achievement awards to an eclectic bunch. They were: 'Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, CBS' Charles Osgood, 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, the cast of 'Sesame Street' and Latin American artist Juanes. The winners inspired an equally eclectic group of presenters: Don Imus, for Sam Moore; Tony Bennett, for Juanes; Bill Geist for Osgood." SHOWBIZ 411

Oscars Expanded Best Picture RaceMelena Ryzik makes merry with the academy's proposed party kit for Oscar night. "When you think Oscars, you think, 'Bingo!' right? The Academy’s reaching-out-to-the-youth campaign continues with snazzy party-planning tips on its website, including a downloadable card for Oscar bingo, with squares for 'Crying,' 'Winner Accepts Oscar in a Foreign Language' and, mystifyingly, 'Lauren Bacall.' (Spoiler?!) Also on the Academy’s fun primer -- available at oscars.org/partykit -- is a video with Cheryl Cecchetto, a producer of the Governors Ball, the official Oscar afterparty, offering 10 tips for throwing your own Oscar-watching party. 'Must-have number three,' according to Ms. Cecchetto: 'Set the mood by featuring the soundtracks of the nominated pictures.' (Right, since you won’t be hearing them on the actual show.) And must-have No. 4 is 'Champagne, Champagne and more Champagne.' No argument there." THE CARPETBAGGER

• While Heidi Klum won't be on hand, the academy is staging its own version of "Project Runway" this year. Nine up and coming designers -- five from LA, two from New York, and one each from Chicago and Phoenix -- have created gowns to be worn by the models who appear onstage at the Kodak Theater. But only of their creations will make it to the Oscars with online voting from now till March 1 determining the winner. The unveiling of this design will be in the pre-show airing on ABC just before the Oscars on March 7. AMPAS

• One star who has definite ideas about what she will be wearing to the Oscars is best actress nominee Carey Mulligan ("An Education"). As Phil Boucher writes, "Having already appeared once in Vogue, is Mulligan taking editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s advice on what to wear to the Oscars? Not according to Mulligan, who has visions of her own. 'Anna said I should wear short for the Oscars,' says Mulligan. 'I was like 'No, that is so not what I had in my head when I was six years old!'" PEOPLE

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Top photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

Middle photo: "The Blind Side" poster. Credit: Warners

Bottom photo: Academy Award statuettes. Credit: AMPAS

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Poll: Can Carey Mulligan pull off an upset at the Oscars?

February 23, 2010 | 10:07 am
Oscars predictions Academy Awards best actress Sandra Bullock news

The Oscars and BAFTA Awards reputedly share about 500 voters, so maybe that explains why BAFTA has correctly predicted the Oscars' lead actress race for the last four years. If they're really in sync, what are we to make of Carey Mulligan's lead-actress victory for "An Education"? Does this mean we're underestimating her voter pull at the Oscars? Or maybe the Brits just decided that they wanted to take a break from Hollywood groupthink this year and embrace a local British gal?

What makes parallels difficult is the fact that Oscar front-runner Sandra Bullock wasn't nominated at BAFTA because she wasn't eligible. "The Blind Side" didn't open in Britain in 2009. Maybe the fact that Mulligan won BAFTA just means Mulligan, not Meryl Streep, poses the biggest challenge to Bullock, who may the Oscar front-runner, as most pundits believe.


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Photos: "An Education" (Sony Pictures Classics), left; "Julie & Julia" (Columbia), "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)

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Gold Derby nuggets: Grammys & Super Bowl boost record sales | Oscars best picture race staying at 10

February 10, 2010 |  5:33 pm

Pink Grammy AwardsTodd Marten reports, "a little TV exposure continues to go a long way. Country trio Lady Antebellum tops the chart for the second straight week, leading in a week that saw big increases for acts that appeared on the Jan. 31 Grammy Awards. Artists such as Pink, Green Day, Taylor Swift and the Dave Matthews Band all saw large sales jumps, and the Who's appearance on Sunday night's Super Bowl seems to already be paying dividends." In particular, "the biggest beneficiary of the Grammys, in terms of a sales increase, was pop star Pink. Her 'Funhouse' (LaFace) was up 235% over the prior week, selling a total of 31,000 copies. To date, it's sold 1.5 million, while the cut she performed on the Grammys in all its acrobatic glory, 'Glitter in the Air,' sold 114,000 downloads this week, which is the biggest sales week for the track. It sold about 9,000 last week, and 1.5 million to date." POP & HISS

Andrew Gans reports Katori Hall's 'The Mountaintop,' which received a Olivier best play nomination on Tuesday, "will arrive on Broadway in fall 2010. Jean Doumanian Productions in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions will produce the acclaimed play, which will be directed by Kenny Leon ('Fences,' 'A Raisin in the Sun'). Casting will be announced at a later date." Set on April 3, 1968, 'The Mountaintop,' according to press notes, "is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., as he retires to Room 306 in the now famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, after delivering his legendary ‘From the mountaintop’ speech to a massive church congregation. When room-service is delivered by a young woman, whose identity we puzzle over, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people." PLAYBILL

Sasha Stone has penned a must-read analysis of the state of the Oscars best picture race. Sasha says, "there are still four movies with the right stuff to win: 'The Hurt Locker' sitting pretty with a PGA and a DGA win ('Saving Private Ryan' did not win with those two under its belt). 'Inglourious Basterds' has the actors vote with the SAG. 'Up in the Air' which has more acting nominations than any other film in the race, and 'Precious' which landed the coveted editing nomination. My work thus far, which might amount to nothing more than a wild guess that turns out to be wrong, tells me that only one of these four films can win." AWARDS DAILY

Mark Lisanti makes merry with the preferential ballot for best picture at the Oscars. Among the special conditions he has dreamed up: "If 'The Hurt Locker' is in the number one slot, it may be placed in either the 'Hey, Did You Know This Was Directed By A Woman? Crazy!' pile, or the 'Hey, Have You Heard That The Director, A Lady, Used To Be Married To Jimbo Cameron?' pile." MOVIELINE

Melena Ryzik notes, "now that there are two fewer late night show outposts, the looser daytime shows are getting more play. But actors appearing on those shows run the risk of indulging in rampant silliness. See: Jeremy Renner -- the bad boy star of 'The Hurt Locker' --  sing a self-written soap opera-style ballad on 'The View' and James Cameron speaking in Na’vi on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' (O.K., Mr. Cameron would probably speak in Na’vi wherever he went. Even 'Star Trek' nerds don’t parrot Klingon this much.) But who knew that the demise of the Conan O’Brien 'Tonight Show' would have ripple effects into statuette land? Some people, probably. It’s called synergy, folks!" THE CARPETBAGGER

• However, says Anne Thompson, "I’m not sure that putting James Cameron on 'Oprah' is the best way to win the hearts and minds of Academy voters. The movie couldn’t be a bigger hit. The trick is to convince people that 'Avatar' isn’t just a great technological achievement but a movie to be taken seriously. That’s why I wonder: if Academy members vote for 'The Hurt Locker' for best picture wouldn’t they consider giving Cameron best director? Who else could have accomplished what he did on 'Avatar'? It’s a director’s vision, a director’s achievement." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Oscar nominations 2010 Avatar The Hurt Locker The Blind Side Up in the Air UpSteve Pond reports we better get used to this expanded playing field at the Oscars after an interview with academy president Tom Sherak who "said that the Academy was happy with the results of the expanded field … for now. 'I don’t know if it’s a success yet,' he said. 'But so far, yes, we’re happy. I don’t think there’s any question about that. So far. And I expect we’ll do it for another year.' He laughed. 'Some people have said, ‘Well, they got lucky.' I love that comment. In fact, the voters gave us everything we were hoping for when we made the change, except a foreign film or a documentary.' On that count, Sherak says he’s determined to find a way to get those films into the Best Picture race, and to increase their visibility. 'There are things in the works to address that,'he said. 'I don’t know how much I can achieve, but I’m going to keep working on it.'" THE ODDS

• To find out whether the Gold Derby awards are expanding as well, drop into the chat room Thursday night (Feb. 11) at 8 p.m. EST for the announcement of the nominations. All forum members can vote for the best of 2009 through midnight EST on Feb. 28. Winners will be announced the night before the Oscars on Saturday, March 6 at 8 p.m. EST.

Dave Karger turns his attention to the Spirit Awards. After noting that he expects "Crazy Heart" and "Precious" to dominate the March 5 ceremony,  Dave makes mention of three underdog contenders: male lead Adam Scott ("The Vicious Kind"), female lead Gwyneth Paltrow ("Two Lovers") and first feature "A Single Man." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe must be happy that "Up in the Air" is not contending at the Spirit Awards; after all, her first encounter with that film's leading man George Clooney left her all wet. As she explains, "It's raining at the Golden Globes, that's where I met him (Clooney). So everyone's got umbrellas and George is standing too close to me and his umbrella is getting me wet because it's underneath my umbrella. I'm finished taking my press photos and I'm completely wet and it's all because of George Clooney." IMDB

Top photo: Pink at the Grammys. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Academy Award statuettes. Credit: AMPAS

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