PIXAR VS. THE PENGUINS: After critical raves and $100 million at the box office, Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet” seems to stand a good chance against Pixar’s “Cars” for the best animated feature Oscar.
ANY WHICH WAY HE CAN: Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima” is getting better buzz than his “Flags of Our Fathers.” It’s also being released by another studio. It could be a Clint vs. Clint face-off.
ADMIRABLE ‘NELSON': “Half Nelson” picked up five Independent Spirit Award nominations. Will it follow in the tracks of other Spirit faves like “Monster” and “Capote” and garner an Oscar spot for its star, Ryan Gosling?
AT BASE CAMP
A ‘DREAMGIRL’ DEFERRED: Oops! Is it true that Jennifer Hudson’s name has been left off “Dreamgirls” billboards?
‘THE GOOD GERMAN SHEPHERD': “The Good German” is the George Clooney pic. “The Good Shepherd” is the Matt Damon pic. But even those who’ve seen both films are having trouble remembering which is which. Why not simplify?
GORY ROAD: In the Oscar race, does Mad Mel’s genius trump a big mouth and human sacrifice?
LOOKING FOR A SHERPA
ALL BOOZE, NO SNOOZE: Quick! Call your accountant. The swag/awards/holiday season (or as we like to call it: the freebies, heebie-jeebies and gimmes) is in full swing.
WILL THEY REALLY LIKE HER? In what may be the first Oscar campaign to draft off a TV show, MGM is releasing “Two Weeks,” starring Sally Field, for an academy run to capitalize on her part in ABC’s popular “Brothers & Sisters.”
LIFE IMITATES ART IMITATING LIFE: Catherine O’Hara gets an Independent Spirit nomination for playing an actress who is suddenly pulled into the awards machine.