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Feb 24, 2008

WHERE HAS ALL THE OSCAR EXCITEMENT GONE?

Tonight is the presentation of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (broadcast live at 5pm pt/8pm et on ABC) but somehow, somewhere this year's Oscar Furor just hasn't been there. Perhaps it's the Hollywood Writer's Strike, or the depressed economy, or the exciting Presidential Primaries (at least on the Democrat side) or perhaps it's just me, but it seems that this is one year where nobody seems to be talking Oscar. In fact, I almost keep having to remind myself that they are on tonight, and for me (and I know for numerous others), Oscar night might as well be a holiday.

Not to say that this year's race is not going to be exciting. On the contrary, many of the big awards do not have clear cut winners, including Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture. Months ago, I would have said that ATONEMENT would be a cynch, but the critics seem to be split among THERE WILL BE BLOOD, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and even MICHAEL CLAYTON! Even JUNO could come from left field to take the coveted prize. That having been said, I'd be very surprised if Daniel Day Lewis and Javier Bardem lose Actor and Supporting Actor (respectively) but things are not at all clear on the female side.

But again that brings me to the initial question, why does no one seem to be discussing this year's awards? The lack of a Golden Globes ceremony could have something to do with it, but maybe it's just that people don't care right now, they are worried about bigger (and seemingly) more important things.

I still love the Oscars, and am looking forward to tonight's broadcast, but think that for once in a very long time, it could be a night filled with surprises.