Dakota Fanning Can Finally Vote ... For the Oscars


We'd say that Dakota Fanning is too young to be a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but as long as she swears she wouldn't have voted for "Crash," it's all good.

Fanning, the 12-year-old star of "War of the Worlds" and Hollywood's most powerful woman, is one of 120 artists from all filmmaking fields invited to join the Academy this year.

As usual the new Academy rolls are full of folks who were Oscar nominees earlier this year. The 2006 nominees added for the Actors branch are Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Felicity Huffman, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz. Joining Fanning in the class of non-nominees invited for membership are Eric Bana, Maria Bello, Hayley Mills, Barry Pepper, Jon Polito, Ving Rhames and Liev Schreiber (perhaps in anticipation of an upcoming nomination for "The Omen"?).

This year, 39 of the invitees were 2005 nominees and eight won Oscars.

"Two years ago the Academy decided to slow membership growth, and to become even more selective in choosing members," says Academy President Sid Ganis. "Instead of inviting every proposed person who has achieved the minimum qualifications for his or her branch, the membership committees are selecting the most exceptionally qualified names from those lists."

Other luminaries added include directors Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away"), Werner Herzog ("Grizzly Man"), Bennett Miller ("Capote")and Mark Waters ("Mean Girls"), singer Dolly Parton, Paramount President Gail Berman and "Judging Amy" co-star Dan Futterman.

While 120 people were invited, bylaws dictate that the Academy can only grow by 30 members a year. That suggests that 90 Academy members either died, resigned or otherwise disgraced themselves this year.

New members will be welcomed into the organization at an invitation-only reception on Wednesday, September 20, at the Academy's Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills.

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