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June 19, 2008

Game changer

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Don't go getting any ideas from "Enchanted" and "Dreamgirls" about hogging all the Oscar nominations (not to mention valuable live TV time) for best original song. The rules have just changed.

There will now be two and no more than two songs from any given movie eligible for a golden guy (more can get tossed into the pot, but they can't all rise to the top).

It's a half year until Oscar nominations, so what better time to rejigger some guidelines? THR covers changes in the music and best foreign language film categories, the latter aiming to avoid glaring oversights like the missing Romanian drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" from the '08 contenders list.

Our knee-jerk reaction is usually to say no to adding another layer to the process, as will happen with the foreign feature, but in this case, it could be the surest way for a "Persepolis" or a "4 Months" to get the kudos it deserves.

 

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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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