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Oscar is trying everything this year from expanding the best picture category to going to a new two host format, all in the name of trying to stay relevant and, in fact, stay on the air as a commercial success. So I thought maybe this award season would be a little more interesting, if not more accessible, to the average movie goer. Instead, the nominations for Oscar have pretty much duplicated the other award shows leading up to the Academy Awards and have been filled with several limited release films from “The Hurt Locker” to “An Education” and ” A Serious Man.” All strong films to be sure, but not many folks have had the chance to see them.
The only major exceptions are James Cameron’s groundbreaking, runaway hit “Avatar” and the Pixar movie “Up”, both of which received best picture nods. And while I have already posted on the best actor and actress categories having a few popular, sentimental favorites including Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges, I don’t know if that is enough to draw in large numbers of viewers this year.
What might shake up Oscar and not make it the cultural dinosaur it is rapidly becoming?Well, if reality show star Monique won for her role in “Precious”, that would be very interesting, and if the animated “Up” won in best picture that would be positively earthshattering.
But none of that is going to happen. Once again I predict that, much like last year, we have already seen the Oscars in the form of the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards,which leaves the average movie buff feeling no sense of urgency to tune in.

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