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December 03, 2008

Gervais, Oscar and Sundance


Are we having a laugh?

Well, we were when one of our favorite funny men Ricky Gervais put a temporary halt to our hair-standing-on-end, cringe-filled Emmy experience a few months back by actually entertaining from the stage of the Nokia. Today, not laughing.

Seems that Gervais has confirmed that he received and swiftly shot down an offer to host the Oscars in February, saying it would be too buttoned-up for his style of humor and that basically it's a thankless job (something Jon Stewart should know well by now). Specifically, he said:

"It's a historic, stuffy thing and I would want to have fun with it, and I don't think they would want me to do that. I wouldn't be allowed to do what I wanted and it would be no fun for me reading from an autocue."

He's right. We're sad.

In brighter news today ...

Whiny next-gen love stories, environmental disaster tales -- Amazonian Chernobyl! -- and low-budget sci-fi. Anti-Prop 8 protesters potentially upstaging luxury swag suites. Maybe it's time to make those Sundance plans.

Full list of the 118-film Sundance slate here.

Look closely -- lurking somewhere in there could be the next "Hamlet 2."



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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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