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January 22, 2008

Crock pot campaigns


Timing, as they say, is everything. Or is it? It explains why Ringo walked off the "Regis" set today (song too long -- segment too short), but doesn't quite cut it when we consider the headliner for this summer's Coachella rave in the desert. Rogers Waters? Really?

But, as we often do, we digress.

As we continue to ponder the Oscar noms, because that's another thing we do, we see the timing that worked in favor of "Juno" -- released at the peek of awards season and broadened at precise moments to reach potential fans in the fly-over states who'd by then caught wind of this teen tale with a twist.

Fox Searchlight's Nancy Utley and her team marinated this movie in the "Little Miss Sunshine" juice, and then watched it plump. It's a crock pot (no, not crack pot) campaign, likely to send the dramedy well over the $100 million mark. And maybe it'll pick up some gold, too.

The kind of heat that's now surrounding "There Will Be Blood," we can't help but think, would not have been possible if it had launched in some other window. It's also been skillfully/surgically marketed as the weighty film it is. It may end up drinking everybody's milkshake.

The lesson here? Don't be early, don't be late. Make enough noise, but not too much. And that explains "Sweeney Todd's" virtual We could discuss it for days.


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That is exactly what happened too Zodiac, released too early, but a truly great film.

It should have replaced Juno for best film if released later in the year.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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