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Award season catch-up PLUS Wolverine’s hosting the Oscars!

This time of of year I'm usually all a flutter over end-of-the-year lists and award nominations, but for some reason I'm late to the game. First I missed the Spirit Award nominations (formerly known as the Independent Spirit Awards). Scrolling through the categories, I was pleased to see local filmmaker Lynn Shelton has been nominated for the "Someone To Watch" award for My Effortless Brilliance. Congratulations, Lynn! We'll be cheering for you when the awards are given out on Feb. 21st (Oscar Eve!). Then yesterday I woke up and discovered the Golden Globe nominations had been announced. I know I'm not the only one surprised by lack of a Best Picture-Drama nod for The Dark Knight. Of the films nominated in that category: Frost/Nixon, Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, only two are currently in theaters (Slumdog and Frost/Nixon, which just opened today). I haven't seen any of them yet so I have nothing to get truly mad about--maybe in their own ways they're all just as enthralling as DK. Heath Ledger was as expected nominated for Best Supporting Actor--and I'm hoping he'll win out over Ralph Fiennes (The Dutchess), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt), Robert Downey Jr. and, yes, Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. While it pains me to root against PSH or RDJ, Heath truly is the most deserving. And yeah, Tom Cruise? All he does is yell, wear a fat suit and dance around. Well, the Hollywood Foreign Press did nominated Eddie Murphy for Best Actor in a Comedy for Nutty Professor so I guess it's not that much of a stretch. Thinking about the Globes got me thinking about the Oscars and how there wasn't any word on who would be hosting the show. This morning I got an email from a fellow award show enthusiast with these links. My heart sank a bit with the first one--I mean, I know the Oscars are desperate for ratings and he's an amazing SNL host, but Justin Timberlake? Huh? The second made more sense, especially after I returned from a meeting and the first thing I heard was, "Hey, did you hear who's hosting the Oscars?" Much to my relief, my co-worker informed me it was indeed Hugh Jackman. Nikke Finke's article says the show will likely be restructured without a lot fluff like a big monologue full of Hollywood inside jokes that apparently turns off viewers. I'm a big fan of the Oscars the way they've been the last few years (I'm a sucker for montages) but definitely look forward to seeing how the retooling works. My only advice to the Academy is to stop naming movies like Crash as Best Picture. So as the big contenders start opening in theaters, now's the time for catch up. Slumdog Millionaire and Milk are already playing (at the Harvard Exit and Egyptian, respectively), Frost/Nixon opens today, and in the next week or two we'll hopefully be part of the limited releases of Doubt and The Wrestler. Some films like Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, Wendy and Lucy and The Reader are only in NY and LA now but as the accolades pile up they may get wider releases. I'm most looking forward to Benjamin Button, which opens Christmas Day. Scarecrow already has The Visitor, In Bruges, Happy-Go-Lucky (a PAL import), WALL-E, Man on Wire, Up The Yangtze, Encounters at the End of the World, Savage Grace, Kung Fu Panda, Tropic Thunder, and The Dark Knight on DVD. Mamma Mia! will be out on Tuesday; Burn After Reading arrives on the 23rd. Pineapple Express, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Wackness will be out in January. Whew! That was a long post. I must now get back to my extremely important reading. Please post back and let us know your thoughts on how the award season is going so far...