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February 22, 2009

Winslet wins on sixth try


By far one of the best changes to this rejiggered Oscar show is the way the acting awards are being presented. And if we'd known about this ahead of time? Would it have been any less meaningful?

Definitely not.

It's the juxtaposition of the prior winners with the current nominees that works. And not only that, it's the way the nominees are being introduced and saluted. It's so much more personal. It's warmer; it's real. 

And just now as Kate Winslet won her first trophy in six tries, for best actress in "The Reader," and was quickly surrounded by those presenters -- Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren and Nicole Kidman among them -- it was an authentic moment of joy. We don't get nearly enough of these.

Winslet, who says she's been dreaming of this moment since she was a kid practicing her acceptance speech in the bathroom mirror, gladly trades the shampoo bottle of her youth for the Little Gold Guy.

As we said before, we still feel like this is a case of right actor/wrong role, but Winslet's win was a sweet TV event. And it works for our predictions, which are swimming along quite nicely, thank you very much.


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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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