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May 21, 2008



Sometimes, he waits until he wins an award to unload on people.

Sometimes not.

This time, it's fellow filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen and Clint Eastwood who are in Spike Lee's cross-hairs. What'd the Oscar winners do to bring this on? Says Lee: the brothers treat death cavalierly (though we see their brand of murder and mayhem more as funny strange than funny ha ha) and Clint largely excluded black servicemen from his World War II films.

Lee poked his colleagues while he was in Cannes this week to pump "Miracle at St. Anna," his own period war drama. So, additional ink is good for the fall release, right? Not that that was his motivation, necessarily, but the fact that he is a masterful marketer and consistently speaks his mind, correctness be damned, are just a couple more reasons we love him. We don't even have to agree -- that's really not the point.

It's about the all-too-rare candor. Hey, Spike, keep giving good soundbite.



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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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