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December 17, 2008

Ebert, Fey and a slew o' people news


It's about the people, people!

While we're reshuffling the afternoon's "work schedule" to make room for Oprah's chat with two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith and Emmy hoarder Tina Fey, we find that there's a veritable cornucopia of people-centric news to share with you today.

Practice your interpersonal skills, and read on!

Michael Shannon, latest Gold Rush Q&A victim and explosive presence in Sam Mendes' period drama "Revolutionary Road," will be among the actors showered with praise at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month.

Joining him will be Viola Davis ("Doubt"), Sally Hawkins ("Happy-Go-Lucky"), Melissa Leo ("Frozen River") and two previous GR Q&A victims, Rosemarie DeWitt and Richard Jenkins.


Trophies and seaside Santa Barbara in January? That doesn't suck at all.

Roger Ebert, the venerable Chicago film critic whose blog is always worth a peek, will get the DGA's 2009 Honorary Life Member Award for his "outstanding creative achievement." Ceremony's Jan. 31 in Century City.

Oscar winner Halle Berry and churchgoer-beloved mega-mogul Tyler Perry will host the 40th NAACP Image Awards in February. Expect the show to retain its undisputed title as "awards ceremony with the most effusive shout-outs to God."



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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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