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February 27, 2008

Bless the beasts


Silky soft puppies, sweet-faced kittens and fuzzy polar bear cubs -- now that's our idea of a good group of featured performers at an awards show. So much more relatable than Price Waterhouse and more articulate than Cameron Diaz.

So, color us interested in the upcoming Genesis Awards to be handed out next month (more trophy-show business for the Beverly Hilton!) by the Humane Society of the U.S.

But as THR's Gregg Kilday reports the nominations today, it's apparent that the awards for entertainment that gives props to animal welfare issues won't be all cute and cuddly.

Sure, there's "Year of the Dog," a Mike White indie charmer about a mousy assistant (Molly Shannon) who finds her voice as a vegan animal activist/serial dog rescuer, and "Arctic Tale," which spliced together a lot of nature footage of polar bears and seals, taking care not to show the inherent carnage in that relationship, all to a soothing yet hip-hoppy Queen Latifah voiceover.

But there are also nods to news segments, documentaries and magazine shows about dog fighting, pig farm abuse (we do not want to know), dolphin slaughter, puppy mills and deplorable conditions at the Baghdad Zoo.

Go with God, people, and continue this worthy work, but those are clip reels even more excruciating than anything we sat through on Sunday night. We're out.


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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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