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December 22, 2008

'Frost/Nixon' sweeps Vegas

83729848 Between bouts of being shoppertunistic -- that means taking advantage of insolvent retailers to snap up cut-rate gifts for friends and loved ones -- we're still keeping track of movie critics from near and far who keep doling out their annual kudos.

Today's offering includes Houston and Las Vegas and finally there's a little divergence in the findings. Not much, but a tad. Houston reviewers gave "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" its top award, but skipped David Fincher (that movie directed itself?) and picked Danny Boyle as best director for "Slumdog Millionaire." They chose no actors from those films, instead giving awards to Sean Penn for "Milk" and Anne Hathaway for "Rachel Getting Married."

Vegas critics loved "Frost/Nixon" enough to vote the ticket, so to speak, giving it best film, best actor (Frank Langella), best director (Ron Howard), along with screenplay (Peter Morgan) and film editing. They singled out Marisa Tomei from "The Wrestler," and continued the Heath Ledger romp. Full list here.

In other bits today...

File this under "great holiday week time waster." Awards Daily has an extensive display of "For Your Consideration" ads, with everything from the seared-into-our-brains Frank Langella-as-disgraced-president profile from "Frost/Nixon" to campaigns that are an outright waste of money (take a guess!). At any rate, there's some nice artwork there.


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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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