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THE MORNING LINE

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

Entertainment Data also handicapped the 1988 Oscar field as if it were the Breeders’ Cup and published its analyses in an eight-sheet brochure laid out like The Daily Racing Form. The company’s Academy Award Handicap makes “Rain Man” a solid pick as best picture (each of the last six best picture winners led the field in nominations, as “Rain Man” does this year); “Mississippi Burning” cannot win because its screenplay was not nominated (previous nominees in this predicament went 0-for-6); and “Dangerous Liaisons” is out because it has done the least box-office business of the five nominated films (past low grosser nominees have also gone 0-for-6). The handicap also rates Dustin Hoffman the favorite for best actor, and Glenn Close and Jodie Foster nose-to-nose for best actress.


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