Good Morning Oscar, February 2: Brainwashing Oscar

Franco in drag, Banksy on the wall, Beethoven in the winner’s circle …

Franco in drag, Banksy on the wall, Beethoven in the winner's circle …

Banksy muralGreg Ellwood spotlights the artwork that appeared recently in Los Angeles depicting a hoodie-wearing Oscar, a clear nod to the nominated documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." "Banksy has no official PR firm working on his awards campaign, but an impressive mural pushing his film's candidacy went up near La Brea and San Vicente," he writes. I'll give him a break on the second part of the sentence — impressive  perhaps being in the eye of the beholder – but the first part is just plain wrong: Acme PR, a well-known firm that handles numerous documentaries, has been working on the "Exit Through the Gift Shop" Oscar campaign quite actively since last summer. A spokesperson from that firm says that the mural is entirely unauthorized and is on a building owned by Thierry Guetta, the "artist" known as "Mr. Brainwash" who appears in the film. (Awards Campaign)

The co-chiefs of Sony Pictures Classics talk Oscars – and more – with Jay A. Fernandez .. and admit that as great as it is to have landed seven nominations, including ones for Jacki Weaver (Best Supporting Actress for "Animal Kingdom") and "The Illusionist" (Best Animated Feature), they kept thinking about how Robert Duvall and Lesley Manville didn't  get nominated for "Get Low" and "Another Year," respectively. (The Hollywood Reporter)

"If you're looking for a cliff-hanger on Feb. 27, you may as well watch 'Big Love' on HBO," writes Richard Corliss, "because there won't be much suspense over at the [Academy Awards] … In all likelihood, the Oscar race is over." He understands why "The King's Speech" is now the frontrunner over "The Social Network": the film "followed virtually every rule of a Best Picture winner," voters go for films they love over films they respect, and "sentiment trumps sense and love conquers all." He does not, by the way, think that's a good thing. (Time)

The Oscar show writers are always more open about sharing what's not  going to be on the show than what is, and Bruce Vilanch does just that with Bennett Marcus. Quizzed backstage at the 2011 Nightlife Awards in New York City, Vilanch says that a plan to have co-host James Franco come onstage dressed like Cher, only to be interrupted by the real Cher, was cancelled when the diva declined to attend after her Diane Warren song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" failed to receive a nomination. It would have been great, he swears. (Vulture)

All those critics awards for "The Social Network" didn't do the trick. The attacks on "The King's Speech" for being inaccurate haven't stuck. So Lisa Schwarzbaum is taking a new approach in denigrating Tom Hooper's film: she say the director owes his awards – and the fact that people are moved by his film – to Mozart and Beethoven, whose music is used at crucial points in the film. Nice try – but considering that you could say the same thing about, say "Amadeus" and "A Clockwork Orange" as well, I don't think this one is going to stick, either. (Entertainment Weekly)