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Good Morning Oscar, January 27: The Bloggers Are Coming

The Santa Barbara Fest lines up more ”talent,“ and why ”The King’s Speech“ can’t pick up a split

Jeff Wells hypes what he calls the "hotshot columnist panel" at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It's actually the first-ever Bloggers Panel, which will take place at the Santa Barbara Museum on Sunday afternoon. Wells is one of the hotshots in question. I'm another. Scott Feinberg, Pete Hammond, Sasha Stone and Anne Thompson round out the group. Wells is asking for challenging and/or rude questions. I'll settle for people in the audience. (Hollywood Elsewhere)

Andrew GarfieldThe Santa Barbara Fest also announced other panels that will include people who make movies as panelists: the writers panel will feature Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), David Seidler ("The King's Speech") and Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network"), among others, while the producers panel will include Todd Lieberman of "The Fighter" and Jamie Patricof of "Blue Valentine." And Andrew Garfield of "The Social Network" (left) has been added to the previously announced lineup (Lesley Manville, John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld and Jacki Weaver) for the Virtuosos Award. (Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Sasha Stone assembles a chart, a history lesson and a lot of words to explain why Tom Hooper needs to win the DGA Award for Best Director if "The King's Speech" hopes to win the Oscar for Best Picture. But she does this not to predict a "Social Network" win, but to predict a Hooper DGA upset. The reasoning, in part: whoever wins DGA will win the directing Oscar, and whoever wins the director Oscar will also win Best Picture. I'm not sure: I think we entered an era of more frequent splits last year when the Best Picture race went to a preferential final ballot and the Best Director category stuck with the old "who's got the most votes" method. Last year, the non-divisive, consensus fave that won Best Picture happened to be the same as the passion fave that won Best Director – but I don't think it'll always be that way. (Awards Daily)

A.O. Scott complains about what he says is "the peculiar and growing irrelevance of world cinema in American movie culture," and says that the Academy Awards are part of the problem because they only allow one film per country and ignore "accessible and entertaining movies from other countries." Hmm. In the past, AMPAS has been blasted for failing to nominate the likes of "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and "Gomorrah," neither of which were particularly accessible and entertaining; now they're under fire for not choosing friendlier fare. Sounds like a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario to me. (The New York Times)

Why did "Waiting for 'Superman'" fail to get a Documentary Feature nomination? AJ Schnack sums up the prevailing theories as "liberal bias, accuracy and that quirky, old retired documentary branch," and then neatly dismantles them and substitutes his own common-sense theories, like "people didn’t love it" and "it was not a good Oscar campaign." ("In political terms," he says, "they ran a general election campaign while thinking that they could ignore the primary.") (All These Wonderful Things)