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The leak was a fake!

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During the last week, a document has been circulating wildly via the Internet that appears to be an official list of winners for tonight's Oscars. See it here.

Bookies in the UK went crazy upon seeing this "insider" information.

The Academy, no surprise, quickly dismissed it as a fake. And so far tonight, the list is all wrong ...

Will Plant/Krauss be the safe Grammy choice?

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By EDNA GUNDERSEN

The odds favor the oddest couple in recent Grammy memory. By almost every measure, former Led Zeppelin howler Robert Plant and bluegrass darling Alison Krauss have a lock on the Grammy for album of the year, music's highest honor.

This year's field, widely hailed as a solid reflection of 2008's worthiest works, pits the duo's "Raising Sand" against Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III," Ne-Yo's "Year of the Gentleman" and Radiohead's "In Rainbows."

All enjoyed critical hosannas and commercial success, but the Grammy victor is often determined by byzantine variables that weigh artistic merit along with popularity, familiarity, past performance, overdue recognition and comfort levels. The probability rises when an album appeals to multiple constituencies, avoids controversy and evokes a bygone era.

Roger Ebert's '09 Oscar predictions

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Read all five parts of Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert's look ahead at the Academy Awards, "Elevating the Oscar Winners" here:

Part 1: Best Motion Picture
Best film: "Milk." I was truly shaken by how deeply I was moved by the closing shot of the candlelight parade down San Francisco's Castro Street, the memorial to the murdered Harvey Milk, who had started here and become the nation's first openly gay public official.

Part 2: Best Leading Actor
It is impossible not to be implicated with a career performance by an actor you have long observed and admired. I've met Mickey Rourke, been on locations, admired him, deplored his self-destruction (which was not by the usual Hollywood routes but because of disastrous career decisions and uncontrolled personal intensity).

Part 3: Best Leading Actress
Best Actress: Melissa Leo. What a complete performance, evoking a woman's life in a time of economic hardship. The most timely of films, but that isn't reason enough. I was struck by how intensely determined she was to make the payments, support her two children, carry on after her abandonment by a gambling husband, and still maintain rules and goals around the house. This was a heroic woman.

Part 4: Best Supporting Actor
I expect the late Heath Ledger to win the Oscar for best supporting actor for "The Dark Knight," but I'm not choosing his performance as the "most elevating" out of sympathy. It was elevating for an entirely separate reason: He transformed the character of the Joker, who we thought we knew so well, into a suffering, haunted being, stripped of all emotion except for ruthless self-pity.

Part 5: Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, of course. She walks into "Doubt," which is a great film to begin with, and stuns us with a scene that portrays an entire reality outside the closed world of the school. She's the mother of a boy who the school principal thinks may have been abused, and in words of fire and insight, she shows how well she understands her son and the choices in his life. She pulls the ground out from under both the nun and the audience.


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Kate Winslet after the Golden Globes, clutching both her acting awards. Should one of them really be for supporting actress? (AP file)


Thank you, Robert Osborne, for bringing to light what's been nagging at us about Kate Winslet's thrilling but shocking double-win at Sunday's Golden Globes. The nut of the nag: How could she possibly be called a supporting actress for "The Reader"?

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 ...

Can a popular actor or movie win the Oscars?

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Robert Downey Jr. stands near a life-size "Iron Man" during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan. (AP file)


First, Dave Karger, a blogger at Entertainment Weekly collected a round of early Oscar picks -- actors to watch in the upcoming race. The list includes Frank Langella as Tricky Dick in the still-to-be-released "Frost/Nixon" and Sean Penn in "Milk," opening later this month.

Then, another bunch of Oscar watchers slammed Karger for his list. ...

Sept. 30 and already a round of Oscar predictions?

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Yegods -- Mickey Rourke is back, pictured at the recent Toronto Film Festival. (AP)


The trailers at the movieplex this weekend were one long menu for the upcoming smorgasbord of Oscar bait. And even though many of these films haven't opened yet -- and it's barely October -- we already have our first round of Oscar predictions!

Magic Emmy ball: Our award predictions

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Who needs Jean Dixon when you have a Magic 8 ball like I do? Here are my picks for who will take home the Emmy gold on Sunday.

Outstanding Comedy Series

I've curbed my enthusiasm for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and officially given
"The Office" its Emmy pink slip. My bet for the Emmy:

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Liz Lemon and the rest of the gang from "30 Rock" should be rock solid.

Outstanding Drama Series
Showtime's "Dexter" has proved it's a cut above the rest, and "Damages" was anything but damaged goods. Though both shows deserve a nod, the Emmy should go to: Thumbnail image for 20959542H6900129.JPG

The hard-working folks at Sterling Cooper on AMC's "Mad Men."