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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 22, 2009 at 10:30 AM

What happened to Kate and The Boss: Oscar’s rule book

A few of this morning’s results seemed a bit unusual, so I’ve taken a look at the official Oscar regulations — something not to be attempted without copious amounts of Diet Coke. (I had my first one at 7 a.m. today. Judge not.) Here’s the deal:
— The Oscar rule book says, in a special rule for acting awards, that a performer may not be nominated twice in the same category, even if he or she has sufficient votes to do so. So . . . for all we know, Kate Winslet could have been the second-highest-scoring actress in the category for “Revolutionary Road,” and it wouldn’t have mattered a bit.
— So, why didn’t Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler” (from, natch, “The Wrestler”) get nominated? It was on the Academy’s list of eligible songs, and it won the Golden Globe earlier this month. And why were there only three nominated songs? The song category has its own rules, and one is that all songs are voted upon by members of the Academy’s music branch, and all must be given a rating from 1 to 10. A song must average 8.25 or more to be eligible for a nomination. Apparently only three songs scored that high this year — and Springsteen’s wasn’t among them.
In the category of Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Oscar Balloting, this Variety article spells out the process, which involves something called preferential voting and made me really, really want to go have lunch now. Instead, let’s ponder this pretty picture from “The Duchess,” a double nominee for costume design and art direction (and a winner in the much-neglected category of best hats).

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