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February 06, 2008

After the apocalypse


It's set to be a big weekend in Los Angeles, and not just because Flo Rida will be on stage with about a hundred of his closest friends at the Avalon.

The WGA West has called a Saturday night tent revival at the Shrine (it's actually called an "informational meeting" but that just sounds so deadly dull). Members are freed up because they'd already ditched their own awards show on that night. (Winners will be announced by press release, speaking of deadly dull). WGA East will be holding a similar get together on the other coast.

Before anyone imagines that the strike's done, guild negotiator John Bowman says this:

"Regardless of what you hear or read, there are many significant points that have yet to be worked out."

For now, pickets continue. THR's Carl DiOrio has more details here.

Today's cautious optimism aside, people are already starting to look to tomorrow, metaphorically speaking, at the scorched landscape left behind after three-plus months of a bitter work stoppage. Does it look like a post-apocalyptic "Mad Max?" No, but it's not exactly singing animated woodland creatures lovely either.

Check our brother blog Risky Business for a lay of the land, (also known as, who'll be buying stuff?) and the L.A. Times' Scriptland for some stark news about a revamped, streamlined business that will tighten its belt going forward. The photo of stern faced Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch makes it real. Real scary, that is.


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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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