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February 22, 2009

Black, Beaufoy take writing Oscars

84979506 Two-for-two over here at Gold Rush, and we couldn't be happier about this win for Dustin Lance Black for his original screenplay for "Milk," even though he's collected a number of Important Awards this season.

This was the biggest. And this gave him the most extensive platform yet to inject some politics into the proceedings.

Black, after thanking the cast of "Milk," Harvey Milk's protege/film consultant Cleve Jones and others, talked about his conservative Mormon upbringing, as he's done repeatedly along the campaign trail, and how badly he needed Harvey Milk as an influence in his life.

And he spoke directly to the young gays and lesbians, saying: "You are beautiful, wonderful creatures with value. And God does love you. Very soon, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours."

Absolutely touching and absolutely deserved.

Simon Beaufoy, despite the steamroller routine that "Slumdog Millionaire" has done this season, said he didn't expect to be standing there winning for his adapted screenplay (nor did he ever imagine standing on the moon, the South Pole or the Miss World podium).

Thus begins what'll likely be a "Slumdog" romp.


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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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