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February 22, 2008

Bringing the alt crowd to its knees

Notthere3

By Leslie Simmons

Who says indies don't cry?

At last night’s Film Independent Spirit Awards nominee reception in Santa Monica, it wasn’t the awards show host Rainn Wilson or “Juno” director Jason Reitman or the party’s host, the lovely Patricia Clarkson, who got everybody’s attention.

It was 15-year-old “I’m Not There” co-star Marcus Carl Franklin who turned attendees' hearts into warm gooey messes during the now-traditional part of the soiree where the nominees are invited to the stage to introduce themselves.

“I’m Marcus Carl Franklin and I’m nominated for best supporting actor for ‘I’m Not There,’” the New York actor started off. “I wanted to first give a shout out to my mom. She probably left because she knew I was going to do this.”

Franklin, (pictured), who plays young Woodie Guthrie in the film, talked about how his mom is with him all the time, has taken good care of him on the set and on the road and is “the best stage mom in the world,” drawing lots of sappy, fawning “aahs” from the usually jaded bunch.

But back to form.

Wilson was invited on stage to say a few words, and he took full advantage. The crowd, of course, loved it.

“I’m Rainn Wilson and I’m nominated for best f---ing awards show host ever!” he declared.

More of Wilson’s dry wit can be seen on the awards show Web site.

There, his “Rainn on Film” interviews with a few nominees include the actor sporting a way-too-small, crotch-hugging (and blurred in all the right places) Dancing Elk Track Team uniform from “Juno.”

Wilson made a brief appearance in the beginning of the film as a smart ass convenience store clerk. His package, thankfully, did not.

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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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