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February 20, 2009

Oscar presenter non grata

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Some of those anonymous, red carpet-ducking presenters have decided to ditch their surprise unveiling and their high/low profile jobs at the "81st Annual Academy Awards" this Sunday.

But we don't know which ones. 

So it boils down to this -- unnamed celebs who would've presented Little Gold Men aren't going to do that now, and they're protected from scrutiny by the whole faceless/nameless thing. Is that why they backed out, because they could? Or is that why the appearance wasn't that appealing after all, because the stars weren't part of the pre-show promotion?

Why does this strike us as even less interesting than the whole ruse about keeping some of the presenters under wraps to begin with? And why is anyone bothering with this when Zac Efron's locked and loaded? He'll be there, people!

Even though "they" might not show up, there are some guests of honor who will -- the entire cast of "Slumdog Millionaire."

After suffering through and successfully answering criticism about the treatment of the young actors, Fox Searchlight and the Mumbai fairy tale's producers have decided to haul everyone to the Kodak Theater for the ceremony.

That's given rise to a stylist session, Mumbai-style, for adorable "youngest Latika" (shown in the photo above). Rubina Ali did some shopping and got make-better tips from members of her family before hopping a plane to Hollywood.

If the sumptuous love story wins best picture, all nine performers (who play Latika, Salim and Jamal at various stages of their lives) will appear on stage with producer Christian Colson. There should be spontaneous dancing, and we'll be sort of disappointed if it doesn't happen.

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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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