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December 16, 2008

'Rain Man,' screener scandal, 'Reader' backlash

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It's the drama that spawned a thousand impersonations, all of them completely insensitive to the short bus riders among us, and became part of our cultural lexicon. But did "Rain Man" deserve the best picture Oscar?

If you're still fuming over that choice -- and thought for sure it should've been "Dangerous Liaisons" or, better yet, "Working Girl" -- here's your chance. In its march through awards time, dubbed Recall the Gold, Entertainment Weekly is offering up this particular best picture race (1988) for a recount. Go here to make your feelings known.

In other kibbles and bits today...

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Screener scandal! In what may be the first leaked DVD screener of the Oscar season, Gold Derby reports that a copy of "Quantum of Solace" has shown up on the Interwebs. Naughty, naughty!

"Pineapple Express" makes non-stoner top 10 list! Kris Tapley over at InContention thinks award magnets like "Revolutionary Road," "Milk," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" just missed the mark this year. What made his top 10? An eclectic group that includes heart wrenching documentary "Dear Zachary," the I.R.A. prison-based tale, "Hunger," and popular favorites like "Bolt" and "The Dark Knight." See all the choices, and the rationale, here.

Manhola Dargis, the often vitriolic New York Times critic, trained her gimlet eye on "The Reader" and guess what? She gutted it. Hooray! Somebody with the cojones to tell the truth about this beautifully lit Holocaust drama, which she pegs as a movie that aims to make "the audience feel good about a historical catastrophe that grows fainter with each new tasteful interpolation."

 

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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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