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November 24, 2008

AMAs, 'Twilight' show girl power


Breaking up may be hard to do, but it seems to have given Pink and Taylor Swift new energy, at least as far as their songwriting and on-air performances go. The two recently uncoupled artists  -- the former from her motocross husband and the latter from one of the Jonas brothers (who broke up with her by phone -- classy!) -- were fantastically good on the 36th annual "American Music Awards" last night.

No real surprises among the winners -- Chris Brown, his non-girlfriend girlfriend Rihanna, Alicia Keys -- but some surprisingly good performances. No, not talking about New Kids on the Block who, like other boy bands of that era, seem to have been supplanted by Stephenie Meyer's creations as the objects of teen yearning.


The ABC live show seemed a fitting cap to an all-around girl empowerment weekend, with more strong female performances than we've seen on one stage in quite a while. (If you'll recall, BET and VH1's hip-hop awards shows last month had not a single female nominated at either). Christina Aguilera kicked off the "AMAs," Queen Latifah joined Keys on "Superwoman" and Pink worked with The Fray one minute and Sarah McLachlan the next. And we do mean worked. Full list of winners here.

Yes, a nice ending to a weekend in which "Twilight" raked in a massive $70.6 million at the boxoffice, becoming the highest-grossing movie ever for a female director. It was also the fourth-biggest November opening, and likely siphoned off some business from Disney's "Bolt." With holidays on the horizon and lots of time off school, look for the repeat viewing of "Twilight" to be huge. Also, unfortunately, look for copycats being hastily greenlit. There's a market out there, studio bosses will suddenly discover, and they're called girls!

Summit Entertainment -- are those champagne corks we hear popping from their general direction? -- is already at work on "New Moon," which could come out as soon as next year. Yeah, we're in, as if there was much doubt about that.


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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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