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October 28, 2008

Oscar's funny bone


The Sarah Jessica Parker fans made themselves heard this summer, at least here at Gold Rush, where they were among the first to suggest that the fashionista actress should be Oscar nominated for her starring role in "Sex and the City."

The summer blockbuster shocked a bunch of non-believers in Hollywood and elsewhere with its $57 million opening weekend on its way to a final $409.3 million worldwide haul. Sequel, anyone?

We said at the time, and repeat now, not bloody likely for SJP, no matter how well deserved an Oscar nod could be. And that's because, mainly, there's no comedy category at the Academy Awards (even though we'd call "SATC" more of a dramedy, but let's not split hairs). But should there be? We've been among those awards bloggers and many others trying to nudge the staid Oscars to open up, lighten up and wise up.


Notice, if you will, that "The Dark Knight" is already on our Too Early For Real Oscar Predictions list. Nominate a movie that people -- lots of people -- actually saw and loved, and those fans might watch the February awards fest. Get it?

Not so sure that Sean William Scott is the poster boy for this campaign, but the L.A. Times has the "Role Models" star pictured today on the front page of Calendar atop the headline, "Loosen up, Oscars." (It's Paul Rudd who's singled out here for a trophy-worthy performance).

Columnist Patrick Goldstein reports that he cornered Academy chief Sid Ganis about the comedy category issue -- it's good enough for the Golden Globes! -- and got some mumbo jumbo about laughers having as much chance as any other movies to be nominated (that would be a snowball's chance, really) and wouldn't that be a can o' worms when superhero, horror, comic and other Academy-ignored genres came calling?

Doesn't sound promising, does it?

Here's another thing that doesn't look so good -- the ratings for any upcoming Oscarcast that features movies most people haven't seen and fewer even care about. Don't give the people what they want? Don't expect them to show up.

Still searching for a punch line -- and the Academy's missing sense of humor -- in here somewhere, but haven't found it yet.


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It seems that not nominating Sarah Jessica Parker they are being biased against comedies (although the reason she should be nominated is not only for the comedic elements but because of her dramatic elements in the film as well). I guess the Academy would is so focused at looking at doom and gloom and I guess by doing so, they are seeing their ratings decline -- which is no laughing matter. The Academy should nominate the best and this bias they have against comedies is against the principles of finding the best.

Michael Pearson

It's not like the Academy has not rewarded comedies -- Diane Keaton won for Annie Hall. Melanie Griffith was nominated for Working Girl, Julia Roberts nominated for Pretty woman. Over the past 10 years especially there just seemed to be a shift that no matter how great a comedic performance, the Academy just does not take it seriously. All of the reasons why Sarah Jessica Parker should be nominated -- the movie was a massive hit, she is well liked in Hollywood, she is a child star, and most importantly she is so overwhelmingly good in Sex in the City that it would be shocking that she can't even be on the considered list of possible nominees.


They won't even put the dark knight on the early list of favorites -- even though it broke box office records and was a superb movie on every level. take away the costume and cape and you got a great crime thriller -- something the Academy loves. Put the mask back on and it goes from being a shoo in to a long shot. It is best picture of the year, not best independent drama or whatever choices that choose to nominate. When has being commercially successful been a hindrance -- you can't be too successful and you can't be a flop. Back to your topic, It's funny that when they do nominate comedic roles, they usually do win -- Kevin Kline, Marisa Tomei, Alan Arkin -- so why is there a disconnect from those who nominate and those who actually vote?

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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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