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February 16, 2009

No Oscar mashup for Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel lost the Golden Globe to Bruce Springsteen but picked up two Grammy Awards last week for the music of "WALL-E." Next stop: Oscars.

Well, yes and no.

Gabriel will attend the Oscars, where his song "Down to Earth," co-written with Thomas Newman, is nominated for best original song, but he decided to "withdraw from the ceremony." He says in a video posted on his Web site that he and his collaborators worked "bloody hard" on the music for the lovable trash-compactor flick and don't think it should be reduced to 60-65 seconds.

Oscar producers, trying to keep the show within three hours this year, have been nipping and tucking. Gabriel's fine with that and all, but he's decided to stage a mini protest because he doesn't think a mashup of the nominated songs is fair. There are only three, after all. (The other two are from, you guessed it, "Slumdog Millionaire").

The Soweto Gospel Choir, which sings on the animated Oscar nominee's soundtrack, may step in in Gabriel's place.

Catching up on other awards news today...

It was a busy below-the-line weekend, and a busy one for "Slumdog Millionaire" yet again. Its cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, walked away a winner against some formidable competition a the 23rd annual American Society of Cinematographers.

Mantle already has the BAFTA under his belt and won the ASC trophy in a field that included work on "Revolutionary Road," "The Reader," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Dark Knight." More details here.

The Little Movie That Could also swept the Cinema Audio Society's awards Saturday, won for best edited feature film drama at the ACE Eddie Awards ("WALL-E" was the first-ever animated film to win the Eddie musical/comedy) and took the Art Directors Guild Award for production design on a contemporary movie ("Button" won for period flick and "The Dark Knight" for fantasy).

Can there be anybody left out there who doesn't think it'll be a "Slumdog" kind of day Feb. 22?






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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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