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Good Morning Oscar, October 7: Two’s a Crowd

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore wonder if the Best Actress category is big enough for the both of ‘em

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore wonder if the Best Actress category is big enough for the both of ‘em.

Annette Bening and Julianne MooreIt’s a crowded field for Best Actress nominees this year, and “The Kids Are All Right” has two strong candidates who might split the vote between them … so what’s a studio to do? Scott Feinberg stands firm and says that if you’re Focus Features, you do the right thing: you campaign equally for Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, and you hope that voters have enough affection for the movie to nominate both women in the Best Actress category. Conventional wisdom says that Bening has the better shot because she’s an Academy governor with lots of friends among the voters, but I agree with Feinberg that it’s simply not an option for Focus to campaign for one actress harder than the other, or to push for one of them in the supporting category (a call that’s made by the individual voters, not the studio).  He uses historical examples to show that two actresses can be nominated for the same film, though he lists more examples of films for which one was nominated and the other snubbed.  In other words: it’s difficult, but not impossible. (ScottFeinberg.com)

As other people discuss the proposed Oscar move from February to January, Sean P. Means poses an interesting question: what will it do to Sundance? Considering that the festival takes place in late January and attracts an enormous chunk of the industry, including lots of indie folks who hope to be at the Kodak Theater the following year, he might have a point. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

David Poland, though, thinks moving the Oscars to January “makes perfect sense,” and he offers 10 reasons why. Among his reasons: digital delivery of screeners is the wave of the future, and it’s time to embrace it now; the vast majority of contending films screen before Thanksgiving now anyway; and the move will help counter “the culture of over-familiarity [that] is the Oscars’ biggest foe,” because seeing Sandra Bullock all dressed up isn’t as exciting the fifth time around as it was the first. (What he doesn’t explain is how the Oscar move will keep those first four fancy-dress events from happening just the same, only on a tighter schedule.) A move to January, by the way, will cost Poland’s site “a lot of money,” but he really believes it’s “the only way to save the dominance of the show and the kind of contract the Academy has had with ABC for all these years.” (The Hot Blog)

Here’s a new theory: Mila Kunis is going to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Black Swan.” Guy Lodge hears that scenario from a filmmaker, and uses it as the launching point for an essay about longshots and the place of wishful thinking in Oscar prognosticating. “Every now and again,” he says, “it pays to have a little faith.” (In Contention)