Good Morning Oscar, November 16: Hosts & Honorees

Palm Springs lands Colin and Natalie, but the Gothams can’t get Meryl and Philip

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Palm Springs lands Colin and Natalie, but the Gothams can’t get Meryl and Philip.

Natalie PortmanIn the early-year film festival quest to attract Oscar-nominees-to-be, the Palm Springs International Film Festival landed a couple of big ones on Monday with the announcement that Colin Firth and Natalie Portman would receive the Desert Palm Achievement Awards on January 8. Not only are both virtually assured of nominations, at the moment they have to be counted as possible winners for “The King’s Speech” and “Black Swan,” respectively. (Palm Springs International Film Festival)

The Oscars may still be looking for a host (or not; people in the know have been playing coy lately), but the Gotham Independent Film Awards crossed that item off their to-do list on Monday. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson will host the 20th Anniversary Gothams, and the press release announcing their selection also dispelled the notion that they’ll be trotting out their serious indie-actor personas at the November 29 ceremony. “We were delighted to hear that Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman passed on hosting the Gotham Awards this year,” the two “said.” “It encouraged the two of us to launch a massive Twitter and Facebook campaign to get the hosting gig.” (indieWIRE)

Scott Feinberg has lined up an Academy voter – an anonymous Oscar-winning screenwriter – to write regular columns as “Deep Vote,” in which he’ll give his opinion on the movies he’s seen and in the process, says Feinberg, “help to peel back the curtain on the Oscar voting process.” The most recent installment, though, mostly proves that this particular voter probably isn’t very representative of AMPAS in general: I’d guess that his lack of affection for “Alice in Wonderland” is probably typical, but he cavalierly dismisses “Toy Story 3” as having “very little sense of fun or adventure” and says the film “seems intended for kids under seven at the most.” And he seems kind of obsessed with Naomi Watts in “Mother and Child.” (ScottFeinberg.com)

Noah Forrest doesn’t like the practice of Oscar-watchers writing about what they think is going to be nominated – he’d rather they lobby for favorites, instead of trying to discern the proclivities of voters. So he lobbies for a few himself: the movie “Please Give,” John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone,” Rachel Weisz in “Agora,” and Harmony Korine’s “”Trash Humpers,” which somehow reminds him of Godard but with a sense of humor. At least he has the sense to open his discussion of that aggressively off-putting film with this: “Okay, there is no world that exists where a film like Harmony Korine’s ‘Trash Humpers’ would get an Academy Award.”Well, he’s certainly right about that. (Movie City News)