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Good Morning, Oscar: Jan. 19, Mulligan Fans Stew

The Globes go populist, and Carey Mulligan goes missing

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, the Globes go populist, and Carey Mulligan goes missing.

Betsy Sharkey celebrates the Golden Globes show, and congratulates its voters, for choosing populist movies like “The Hangover” in the spirit of Cecil B. DeMille, without getting bogged down too much by worrying about voting for, you know, things like quality. (For the record, she makes her living as a film critic.) Then she admits that the Oscars probably won’t follow suit, since they persist in “making the proper, rather than the popular, choice.” Stick-in-the-muds. (Los Angeles Times)

Carey MulliganS.T. Van Airsdale wants to know what happened to Carey Mulligan, who once seemed a likely Oscar winner (or at least Meryl Streep’s most formidable competition) for her role in “An Education.” Damn good question, I’d say. He blames a variety of factors, “from Mulligan’s personal reluctance to play the game … to [Sony Pictures Classics’] institutional thriftiness to simply taking an awards nod for granted, thus planning to regroup in February — after the Oscar nominations are announced — for a legitimate campaign.” Considering that there is no reasonable argument to be made for the proposition that Sandra Bullock is better in “The Blind Side” than Mulligan is in “An Education,” I hope Van Airsdale’s conclusion – that her Oscar chances are “not unsalvageable” – holds true. (Movieline)

A word from Jeff Wells to those who place too much credence in the Golden Globes win for James Cameron: “The Golden Globes are a bellwether of nothing except ethereal mood and easy-lay emotionality expressed by a group of pseudo-journalist whores for the most part, so chill down and take a breather and a sip of water.” He concedes that Cameron might win the Best Director Oscar – though he thinks Kathryn Bigelow is still the favorite – but takes issue with the idea that the Globes gave him any real momentum. (Hollywood Elsewhere)

The Independent says that top Globe wins for films as dramatically different as “Avatar” and “Crazy Heart” underline the absurdity of awards season. Geoffrey Macnab’s sympathies clearly lie with the latter film, though he says it’s hard to begrudge “Avatar” (“closer to the world of video games than it is to what we used to regard as cinema”) its success. But he also characterizes the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as an organization of critics who make bolder choices than the Academy, which strikes me as terribly wrong on both counts. (The Independent)

Keith Cowing of SpaceRef.com calls “Avatar” “a stunning new world that NASA continues to ignore.” No, he’s not calling for the space agency to announce a mission to Pandora – he just thinks they should use the popularity of the movie to fuel some cross-promotional initiatives and stir up interest in “the wonders of extrasolar planets, astrobiology, and what may lay out there as we explore space.” Yeah, but in real life it isn’t nearly as exciting as it is in “Avatar.” I mean, where are the banshees? (SpaceRef)

NASA’s reticence aside, Sasha Stone rounds up the many ways in which “Avatar” now rules the known universe. Can a backlash be far behind? (Awards Daily)