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Oscars

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    Writers Guild Noms Bring Surprises

    The Writers Guild Award nominations are in. Remember, as far as future Oscar noms are concerned, the list of ineligible WGA films this year was long: Inglourious Basterds, Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Me and Orson Welles, A Single Man and An Education among them.

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    Palm Springs: Directors Talk Ajami, Samson & Delilah, I Killed My Mother, The Misfortunates

    While some Academy foreign language committee members have complained of the plethora of downbeat World War II/holocaust/war movies in this year's selection (as though member countries think this is what Academy voters tend to go for), the films cherry-picked from the Palm Springs Fest's program of 41 (out of 67) Oscar submissions for this year's annual filmmakers' panel were four contemporary Cannes entries. Ably moderated by Variety's Peter Debruge, the panel focused (in photo, from left) on Australia's Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton), Israel's Ophir-winner Ajami (Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani), Belgium's The Misfortunates (Felix Van Groe...

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    Palm Springs Weekend: Dogtooth, City of Life and Death

    Nora and I drove out to the Palm Springs International Film Festival Saturday, already well under way (it winds up on the 18th). Fest director Darryl Macdonald and lead programmers Helen du Toit and Carl Spence not only play the pre-Oscar awards-tributes-red-carpet game with such films as Precious, ...

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    Oscar Watch: Winnowing Down the Art Directors Guild Nominees

    The Art Directors Guild production design award nominees are all over the place: contemporary, period, and fantasy, 15 in the feature film category. So the trick is to figure out which movies get an Oscar boost from being nominated here.

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    MORE: Awards, Oscars
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    Oscar Talk Episode Seventeen: PGA, DGA, Scripters and Top Ten

    Kris Tapley and I track the Oscar impact of the recent PGA, DGA and USC Scripter noms. Of the top four, what's ahead? Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air or Inglourious Basterds? Is Christoph Waltz a lock to win best supporting actor? We also weigh the chances of Up, The Messenger, District 9, A ...

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    Oscar Watch: DGA Noms Analysis

    The big news in today's Directors Guild nominations was the selection of Precious director Lee Daniels, the DGA's first African-American nominee, over Invictus' Clint Eastwood.

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    Oscar Watch: BAFTA Voters Prune Long List

    The Orange British Academy Film Awards can be influential on Academy voters. Thursday, BAFTA released their long list of 15 in each category (on the jump).

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    Oscar Watch: WGA Eligibility Issues Dog An Education, Weinstein Films

    It's good to get an Oscar boost from the various guilds, but eligibility requirements often make that attention and credibility lift impossible.

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    Oscar Watch: Visual Effects List of Seven Led by Avatar

    Seven movies have made the short list of the Academy Visual Effects branch. They will vote for the final three nominated films on January 21 at the annual bake-off, where 15-minute reels of each film are screened for the VFX voters. I'm always at Sundance for this; I'd love to go one day.

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    Avatar's Script: Derivative?

    Just to prevent James Cameron's head from swelling too much from the astonishing global Avatar phenomenon, folks keep reminding him of how derivative and clunky his script is. It's been compared to everything from Pocahontas, The New World, The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves to Ferngully. Trut...

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