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August 25, 2008

Fellini meets the Olympics


Sure, we like a ginormous spectacle as much as the next guy, so the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night were high on our must-see list.

Never mind all the carping about lip synching, kid switching and fireworks faking from the opening show a few weeks back. So? Bring on the humanity! Or, come to find out, the inanity.

We're just relieved today to see that we weren't the only ones who hated the Zhang Yimou-meets-Fellini display that included Jackie Chan singing, giant drums flying and a zillion sleigh bells ringing. (That ad infinitum tink, tink, tink sound just made us itch!)

And we get the London connection and all -- the torch passing to the 2012 games -- but that scene with a warbling Leona Lewis caught in some "Alice in Wonderland" growth spurt? It wasn't any better when she shrunk down to regular size to serenade Jimmy Page. We'd venture a guess that a live version of "Whole Lotta Love" had never suffered such an indignity, even in Zeppelin's most pharmaceutical-fueled days.

Glad that's over.

Here's your brain teaser for the day: Did Led Zeppelin ever win a Grammy? And how about that Leona Lewis? Answer after the jump.

Zeppelin is one of the most famous bands to never have won a Grammy. To make up for the oversight, the Recording Academy doled out a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2005 to the surviving members of the band (that would be three of the four).

Leona Lewis? She could get nominated in '09 for the first time. So far, the closest she's come is performing at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash.


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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.

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  • 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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