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January 28, 2008

The bell tolls


Three months into the writers strike, and counting, and the WGA continues to negotiate individually with production entities (Worldwide Pants, the Weinstein Co., Lionsgate) and grant waivers for select awards shows (last night's SAG).

The upcoming Grammys now fall under both those categories. Writers: yes. Pickets: no.

Get the full story from THR's sister pub, Billboard, here.

At the same time, Past Deadline's Ray Richmond reminds us that over the past weeks this strike "hasn't resembled a walkout so much as a lockout" in an assessment he dubs, "There Will Be Mud." And he thinks he knows whose face is getting rubbed in it.


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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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