Good Morning, Oscar: Tuesday

The festivals showcase Oscar contenders, from Matt Damon and Abbie Cornish to Mariah Carey and Marvin Hamlisch.

Today’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web …


Yes, Venice and Telluride have taught us more than that everybody loves “Up in the Air.” Guy Lodge and Todd McCarthy, for instance, both like Steven Soderberg’s “The Informant!” Kirk Honeycutt thinks it “never quite succeeds as a comedy.” And everybody mentions Marvin Hamlisch’s old-fashioned score. The guy owned the ‘70s in the Oscar music categories (eight nominations, three wins), but has only one nod in the last 20 years. (In Contention, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter)


Dave Karger and Missy Schwartz at Oscar Watch launch their Toronto preview by sending big props to a bunch of women in “Precious” (Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique and, believe it or not, Mariah Carey), “Bright Star” (Abbie Cornish) and “An Education” (Carey Mulligan, Emma Thompson)


Then they talk about best actor contenders Viggo Mortensen (“The Road”), Matt Damon (“The Informant!”) and Clive Owen (“The Boys Are Back”). They like all those guys but don’t really come to any conclusions.


And hey, while we’re watching Oscar Watch, isn’t it a little stubborn of Karger to emblazon “Counting Down to the 2010 Academy Awards” across his main page? I mean, everybody knows that what’s coming up is the 2009 Academy Awards, even if it’s gonna take place in 2010. “The Oscars in 2010” is a phrase you could get away with; “the 2010 Academy Awards” is just thumbing your nose at all that tradition.


The L.A. Times’ John Horn goes to Telluride, looks at the "festival darling"  "The Last Station," and remembers "Slumdog Millionaire."   


Anne Thompson’s look back at Telluride’s "solid if not stellar" year singles out the usual suspects and puts Jane Campion’s "Bright Star" and Michael Haneke’s "White Ribbon" in the "mixed reaction" pile. (Thompson on Hollywood)


Nick Davis takes aim at the “lazy, Hollywood-centric, studio-driven myth” that good movies only come out in the the last four months of the year, and assembles an Oscar ballot just from films that have already been released. It’s an impressive, esoteric exercise, though his lack of affection for “Up” eliminates one of the few already-released films that actually has a shot. (He didn’t care for Meryl, either.) (Nick’s Flick Picks)   


And since we can’t completely leave “Up in the Air” alone, Pete Hammond thinks it has at least five or six nominations in the bag. (Notes on a Season)


From afar, Jeff Wells sums up the lessons of Telluride. “Up in the Air”? Yes. “The Last Station”? Maybe. Nic Cage in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”? Funny. (Hollywood Elsewhere)