• The Oscars took pity on the poor ABC censor when they said no to rookie show producers Bill Mechanic's and Adam Shankman's idea to have Sacha Baron Cohen ("Bruno") host the Oscars. As Shankman told "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, "it would just be spectacular. But I think the Academy felt like not only
is it unpredictable but it could overshadow the nominees. Then we immediately went to this idea of co-host." Among the other tidbits he shared was this one about the presentation of the acting Oscars: "We're doing something a little bit different with it, but in point of
fact, something like that is going to be done and the way
we're doing it has to do with a bit more of interconnectivity because
what was really, really stunning about last year the way they did that
was the video clip buildup to the reveal of the stars, I mean the
editing of that stuff was so breathtaking and so big that when those
screens went up and you saw the five walk out, you're just like going,
whoa, my God, it was so dramatic and beautiful." NPR
• As well as all those previous Academy Award winners, last year's Oscars also had "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson presenting. This year, the other two sides of the love triangle at the heart of the film -- Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner -- will be onstage at the Kodak Theatre on March 7. Stewart admitted to Mark Malkin that she is very nervous. "I'm trying to pick shoes that I know I won't fall down in." E ONLINE
• "Up in the Air" novelist Walter Kirn will be in the audience after all to see whether Stewart falls. Following his earlier airing of his frustration that he had not been invited to the Oscars, today he tweeted: "thanks to Paramount Pictures for coming through with Oscar tickets and proving true to its word, which i shouldn't have doubted." TWITTER
• Dave Karger says, "I've always been a firm believer in the power of the BAFTA Awards to give
us an idea of how the overall awards-season winds may be shifting.
After all, 'The Hurt Locker' tied 'Avatar' with the most
nominations at the BAFTAs before it managed the same feat on
Oscar nomination day. But then there’s the BAFTA wild card, 'An
Education,' which also scored eight nods." Says Dave, "Avatar" will win best picture while for best director "clearly this is a race between Cameron and Bigelow. I’m wondering if 'The Hurt Locker' might be too American-indie feeling to sway the British voters, but I still think Bigelow will take it." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
• Pete Hammond reports, "Voters seem more confused than ever on the new preferential voting even though the academy tried to diligently spell out specific instructions for members who may be ballot-challenged when it comes to selecting their best picture choices in order of preference. One academy member, a savvy publicist I know who has worked on many campaigns, is puzzled himself by the new process that requires voters to rank the 10 nominees. 'I have read the instructions four times now, and I still don't know what they want from me,' he said in total frustration. 'I have no dog in this hunt this year, but if I can't figure this out, how do they expect others to, especially the older ones used to just picking one winner?'" NOTES ON A SEASON
• And Jack Mathews bemoans the late date of this year's Oscars. "The Academy Awards season, even with a mid-to-late February finale, is
far too long. And as it has turned out this year, as it turns out in
most years now, many of the winners are known long before the show. Current example: Golden Globe and SAG winners Jeff
Bridges ('Crazy Heart'), Sandra
Bullock ('The Blind Side'), Christoph
Waltz ('Inglourious Basterds') and Mo'Nique
('Precious') have nothing to fear but forgetting people to thank on
March 7." MOVIEFONE
• Sasha Stone delivers an insightful analysis of this Saturday's WGA Awards.
Says Sasha, "Since 'Inglourious Basterds,' 'In the Loop,' 'District 9,'
Messenger,' Up,' and 'An Education' were all ineligible for the
WGA, things are bumped off the rails even more. It could mean that, for
the first time in five years, there will be a mis-match in Original
Screenplay." She concludes with, "for now, I’m going with 'The Hurt Locker' and 'Up in the Air' for
the WGAs and 'Inglourious Basterds' and 'Up in the Air' for
the Oscar." AWARDS
Top photo: "Bruno" publicity still. Credit: Universal. Middle photo: BAFTA statuette. Credit: British Academy of Film and
Television Arts. Bottom photo: Writers Guild of America award. Credit: WGA
'Lost' leads with eight TV Saturn Awards nominations
leads with 10 Saturn Awards nominations
BAFTAs preview Oscars again?
Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' actors snub explained |
Harvey Weinstein campaign tactics | Tina Fey encoring Sarah Palin?
More pundits dish:
Can 'Inglourious Basterds' pull off an Oscar upset for best picture?
nuggets: Brits go Lady Gaga | Oscars set set | Prince William presenting
Pundits pipe in: 'Yes, "Inglourious
Basterds" can pull off an Oscar upset'; 'No, "Basterds" will not win
Here comes an 'Inglourious' upset at the Oscars
Derby nuggets: Oscars: No singing, lots of dancing | Oscars nominee
luncheon reports | James Cameron: 'Failure is an option'
Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' & 'Hurt Locker' win with guilds | Barbara
Walters ends Oscars specials | Emmy champ David Canary leaving 'AMC'
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