In this morning's roundup of Oscar news 'n' notes from around the web, the Academy offers a history lesson, and the 'Toon Wars heat up.
Here's an authorized history of the Academy Awards in 83 days: beginning Tuesday, the Academy will count down to February 27's Oscar show by featuring a different past show each day. The first one has a big picture of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Blossom Room during the first Oscar show, a roundup of the winners, assorted facts and trivia, and the show's program and menu. Guests, you might be interested to know, snacked on celery, olives, nuts and rolls, then had filet of sole sauté au beurre and half broiled chicken on toast. Dessert was vanilla and chocolate ice cream, plus "cakes." (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
The Santa Barbara Film Festival has added another likely Oscar nominee to its list of honorees: "The King's Speech" actor Geoffrey Rush will receive the Montecito Award, which goes to "a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances in his/her career." Annette Bening, Javier Bardem and Julianne Moore are past winners. (Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
Ryan Adams posts a new "Black Swan" poster. It's pretty great. (Left) It's bigger at Awards Daily.
Cartoon Brew writes a straightforward recap of the Annie Award nominations, then turns things over to its readers for comment. And that's when the fun starts and the fur flies. Pixar and Disney fans point out that DreamWorks dominated the nominations to a ridiculous degree, and say it's the fault of ASIFA-Hollywood, the group that nominates and is filled with a large proportion of DreamWorks-employed members… others say it's Disney/Pixar's fault for withdrawing from ASIFA and not submitting their work for consideration … and this launches a new argument about why Disney/Pixar withdrew, and whether they were trying to "control" the vote, or just make it fairer. Bottom line: Disney/Pixar asked for changes, and ASIFA made some changes but declined to make others – including, crucially, an advisory board made up of reps from all the studios. Disney/Pixar pulled out, and only got nominations in the categories where it would have been ludicrous to omit them. Aren't cartoons fun? (Cartoon Brew)
After vigorously but fruitlessly campaigning all last awards season on the anybody-but-Mo'Nique ticket, Jeff Wells evaluates this year's reluctant contender, Christian Bale, to see if his aversion to campaigning is more forgivable than hers. His answer: yes, because Bale is a serious actor who values his privacy, whereas Mo'Nique wanted (he claims) to be paid for promoting her movie. But Wells says it a little more colorfully (and crudely) than that. (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Kris Tapley looks at the awards landscape and rounds up the usual suspects: "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" on top, "True Grit" coming up fast, "The Kids Are All Right" and "Toy Story 3" strong as well, and then "The Town," "The Fighter," "Inception" and two open slots. He thinks seven films are in competition for those spots: "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "Winter's Bone," "Another Year," "Blue Valentine," "Shutter Island" and "The Way Back." I'd drop the last of those and substitute "Rabbit Hole" myself. (In Contention)
Tom O'Neil uses the latest round of Oscar predictions as a jumping-off point to "add up the pluses and minuses" of "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network." Mostly, he explains why each of them won't win: the former goes against the recent trend in Best Picture winners and doesn't have a name director, while the latter doesn’t have anybody to root for. Last year at this time, you may remember, O'Neil was toting up the six factors that meant "The Hurt Locker" couldn't win. (Awards Tracker)