Oscars: December 2008 Archives

Oscar nomination ballots are in the mail

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed 5,810 official Oscar nominations ballots to voting members last Friday. The ballots are due back by Jan. 12, and the nominations will be announced the morning of Jan. 22. (Fear not. This Academy isn't so desperate to try and pull off a lame primetime nominations announcement show.)

List of songs eligible for Oscars

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The Academy today announced the list of songs eligible for the Best Song award at the Oscars. The list is 49 long, including 11 from "High School Musical 3."

According to Variety, to be eligible, a song must contain original words and music written specifically for the film. In a change to the rules, only two songs from a single film may be nominated.

A remembrance of Oscar hosts past

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Host Whoopi Goldberg gives her opening monologue at the 74th annual Academy Awards in 2002. (AP file)


Hugh Jackman isn't the first actor -- or the first Australian (Paul Hogan was a co-host in 1987) -- to host the Academy Awards.

Here's a look at Oscar hosts through the years since the ceremony was first televised in 1953 ...

Hugh Jackman will host the Oscars

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Hugh Jackman will host the 81st annual Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed today.

(So, no Ricky Gervais!)

Batman has a shot at an Academy Award -- for musical score, at least.

The music branch committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed an earlier decision that would have made "The Dark Knight" score ineligible to compete for the Oscar.

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By DAVID GERMAIN

As the box-office bankroll climbed for "The Dark Knight" last summer, the Hollywood consensus was that a posthumous nomination for Heath Ledger was the Batman blockbuster's best Academy Awards hope.

But now that critics have gotten a peek at all the last-minute Oscar contenders, "The Dark Knight" has emerged as a solid contender for best picture and best director for Christopher Nolan.

Web sites such as TheEnvelope.com and Awardsdaily.com rank Nolan and Ledger among key Oscar contenders and list "The Dark Knight" alongside best-picture possibilities such as Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon," Gus Van Sant's "Milk" and David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

An early look at how the Oscar race is shaping up

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By RUTHE STEIN
Scripps Howard News Service

This time last year, anyone attempting to divine the Oscar nominees would have had a lot more to go on. ''No Country for Old Men,'' ''Michael Clayton,'' ''Into the Wild,'' ''Eastern Promises,'' ''Away From Her,'' ''La Vie en Rose'' and ''In the Valley of Elah'' were all already in release. Other potential nominees such as ''Atonement'' and ''Juno'' had played festivals, leaving a trail of reviews to aid one in prognosticating.

This time around, reels of the most likely Oscar nominees are locked in a vault somewhere in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Oscar buzz for earlier releases such as ''W.'' and ''Rachel Getting Married'' is barely audible anymore. The perception that this is an off year for movies could change once the studios march out their top-of-the-line product.

Here's how the Oscar race is shaping up ...