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February 22, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix doppelgangers


Two awards shows in as many days, and two rumpled, shaggy-haired, unintelligible Joaquin Phoenix doppelgangers. Not sure who that was yesterday behind the scraggly beard and sunglasses at the Spirit Awards (getting screamed at by "Christian Bale" in a Bat suit), but today at the Oscars it's Ben Stiller.

Some of our Gold Rush readers have recently weighed in on the Phoenix debacle, sprung wide open on the "Late Show with David Letterman" recently. They mostly said they're concerned and sad about his erratic behavior and near-comatose public appearances.

They see it less as a ruse and more as a cry for help.

Who knew that Gold Rush commenters were missing the cynical gene?

We'd called bullsh** on Phoenix's claim that he has quit acting for a hip hop career. Everybody has. We consider it all a big joke perpetuated by a spoiled, self-important actor who's filming the whole "transformation" for a documentary. It seems so self indulgent and bratty.

But what if he's seriously in trouble, something our readers nudged us to really consider? What if he's going the route of his late brother? If that turns out to be the case, making fun of him on live TV could turn out to be a move of incredibly tasteless proportions.


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If I were that guy, I would not have done such a foolish act of presence in there. He looks awfully bad!

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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.

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  • 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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