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February 22, 2009

Tuning up for Oscar

Kodak scene 

Welcome to Oscar afternoon, for those of us on the West Coast, and Gold Rush's live and semi-coherent coverage of the show from a secret location.

Actually, it's a joint called Busby's East and it's just about as close to the Kodak Theater as the "backstage" press room we sat in last year. And it's a whole damn lot warmer. 

We're looking forward to an entire awards show where we will not have to hear the following question, "Who are you wearing, head to toe?" until our ears start bleeding. Oh fashion press, we won't miss you at all.

This is watching the Oscars, Version Regular Joe. We've ensconced ourselves in a group of about 60 such Joes, or as regular as is possible in this town, the entertainment apex. It's a bunch of movie lovers and the people who put up with them, with some really taking this seriously -- we know that because they're wearing gowns and tuxes. Others are much more interested in the chicken wing buffet. (Mmmmm, chicken wings).

See our predictions here, and keep coming back for some musings on the revamped show, the winners, the happs, etc.


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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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