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Good Morning Oscar, October 1: Too Old, Too White?

David Fincher is ready for his AMPAS closeup … and so are a lot of other white people

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, David Fincher is ready for his AMPAS closeup … and so are a lot of other white people.

Tom O’Neil looks ahead to Saturday’s to a key Oscar event this weekend: Saturday night’s official AMPAS screening of “The Social Network.” On Wednesday, he’d wondered aloud about whether the movie would skew too young for Academy members, and on Thursday he solicited opinion from a variety of Oscar bloggers as to how the screening might go. Most were confident that Academy members would get it and love it (“I see no reason why the Academy won’t fall under the movie’s spell,” said Dave Karger), and Jeff Wells went so far as to recommend that any AMPAS member who doesn’t see that the film is brilliant (“Citizen Kane”-level, no less) be immediately expelled from the Academy. I’m sure that idea will get thorough and thoughtful consideration in the corridors of power. (Gold Derby

Mo'NiqueGregg Kilday and Matthew Belloni have a prediction: the 83rd Academy Awards will be the whitest Oscars in a decade. “[T]here's a real possibility that for the first time since the 73rd Oscars 10 years ago,” they write, “there will be no black nominees in any of the acting categories at the February ceremony.” Putting aside the fact that it’s crazy to make sweeping predictions this early, the possible scarcity of non-white nominees feels more like an accident of timing than a trend, particularly after a year in which “Precious” helped put black nominees in three of the four acting categories (including Supporting Actress winner Mo’Nique, left). As Kilday and Belloni point out, Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” remains a wildcard, and it only takes one or two films “to change … the face of the noms dramatically.” (The Hollywood Reporter) Oh, and David Poland thinks that Kilday and Belloni are engaging in “muckraking crap.” (The Hot Blog)

Poland, meanwhile, also examines the landscape “22 Weeks to Oscar,” and decides that this is the Oscar season for “Really Good” movies, but not for “GREAT” movies, and that all the heat around “The Social Network” these days puts it in a position nobody wants to be in at this stage of the race. He also figures that only seven potential Best Picture nominees have yet to be widely screened for the press: “True Grit,” “Due Date,” “How Do You Know,” “Love & Other Drugs,” “Morning Glory,” “The Fighter” and “For Colored Girls.” (The Hot Blog)

The screeners have landed. The season’s first shipment of DVDs arrived in the homes of AMPAS members (and some press) on Thursday, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. Kris Tapley reports on the shipment, which consisted of “Animal Kingdom” and “Mother and Child” – but he’s more interested in the promo item that accompanied press copies (but not Academy copies – that’d be illegal). The bag included a white t-shirt bearing a photo of “Animal Kingdom” actress Jacki Weaver, with a quote from the film: “You’ve done some bad things, sweetie.” Weaver is richly deserving of a nomination (so is the film, for that matter), so the big question is whether the campaign that started with this t-shirt will get any traction with voters who won’t be getting the swag. (In Contention)  

Pete Hammond takes note of the SPC screeners as well, then moves on to recent Disney and Fox showcases, and then to the Foreign-Language Film race. Though indieWIRE’s Peter Knegt has pointed out that this is the least-controversial batch of submissions in years, Hammond finds some fuss about Italy’s selection of “La Prima Cosa Bella” (“The First Beautiful Thing”) over the surprise Tilda Swinton hit “I Am Love,” which played well in the United States but is reportedly not particularly well-liked in its home country. Magnolia’s Eamonn Bowles says it’s “galling” to have his film overlooked, since “any reasonable person” would assume that “I Am Love” was going to be chosen. Funny, I can think of two reasonable people – Guy Lodge and Nathaniel Rogers – who’ve been predicting all along that “I Am Love” would not be Italy’s choice. (Deadline)

(Photo by Darren Decker/AMPAS)