Ronni Chasen gets a (misspelled) tribute, and "12 Angry Men" gets recast with Oscar bloggers.
One more tidbit from the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Awards Gala on Saturday night: as Merle Ginsberg points out, songwriter Diane Warren used part of her acceptance speech to introduce a tribute to the late Ronni Chasen, who represented both Warren and the gala for years. Ginsberg, though, leaves out one salient fact that you can see in the photo at left: on the giant video screen behind the stage, they misspelled Chasen's first name as "Ronnie," not "Ronni." That's a pretty serious oops for a festival that stepped up and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Chasen's murderer. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Pete Hammond wants to know if Natalie Portman is overexposed – or, more to the point, if Portman's Oscar chances for "Black Swan" could be hurt by the fact that she appears with Ashton Kutcher in the January 21 comedy "No Strings Attached," and the April comedy "Your Highness," and the May superhero flick "Thor" and the current video-on-demand release "The Other Woman." His answer: Portman is not Eddie Murphy, and "No Strings Attached" isn't "Norbit," which was credited in some circles with derailing Murphy's Oscar campaign for "Dreamgirls." "It’s definitely nota 'Norbit,'" he writes, "but Portman's other movies do provide a distraction at a time when some Oscar watchers I spoke with think it might be better just to have a laser-like focus on … 'Black Swan.'" You could work up a nice conspiracy theory here, if only Paramount (the distributor of "No Strings Attached") or Universal (distrib of "Your Highness") had viable Best Actress candidates of their own. (Deadline)
Jeff Wells has an analogy he'd like to pass along, and it makes me out to be either Edward Binns or "the Latino guy with the moustache" from "12 Angry Men." Wells' theory is that the slow movement of some Oscar pundits from predicting that "The King's Speech" would win to changing our votes to "The Social Network" is like Henry Fonda persuading all those jurors to vote not guilty in Sidney Lumet's film. In his recasting of the film, the role of Fonda will apparently be played by the triumvirate of Wells, Sasha Stone and Scott Feinberg – though as Kris Tapley points out, it's not exactly Wells' argument (which essentially boils down to "'Social Network' is the best movie, damnit") that has caused some of us to change our minds, so much as it is the fact that the Facebook movie is showing such strength in the Hollywood guild nominations. I will, however, admit to being partially swayed by Stone's point that Oscar voters have tended to agree with the critics over the past four years – so maybe one part of Wells' three-headed Henry Fonda does get some of the credit. (Hollywood Elsewhere)
(Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)