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February 08, 2008

Battle royale

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Isn't everyone getting tired of writing the phrase "cautious optimism?" Well, we can't tuck that one away just yet, as we're facing a weekend of strike-related confabs.

At least one person isn't counting his chickens and he's advising his colleagues-in-arms to refrain from doing so either. Joss Whedon (pictured), a WGA and DGA member, wonders if the guild is suffering from Stockholm syndrome, or whatever mind-distorting condition results from walking endlessly in circles for three months and counting.

Whedon has some poignant and pointed commentary, especially as the rush to end this seems to hinge on The Big Show:

"We're fighting (fighting, remember?) for the future of our union, our profession, our art. If that fight carries us through the Holy Night when Oscar was born, that's just too bad."

Read his thoughts on our brother blog, Past Deadline, along with Ray Richmond's vision of a ticker tape parade to a mashup of "Here Comes the Sun," "Money" and "Kumbaya." In his dreams.

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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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