The Prez's plans
Taking a chance

And the nomination goes to

I’ve finally discovered how to make blog posting short and sweet: Be very busy all day so you don’t have time to get to it!

Oscar_book I couldn’t, however, let the Oscar nominations pass without a few comments. I know, you’re thinking I’m heading a bit too far afield this time. Am not! Check out this story on the financial lessons I’ve learned from the movies. And yes, there is a tax tutorial in there!

Now back to the current crop of praise-worthy flicks. The hubby and I have seen most of the films up for the gold guy and overall I was pleased with the nominations.

My personal faves: Matt Dillon for his conflicted cop in “Crash;” Amy Adams as a sweetly smart country girl in “Junebug;” Catherine Keener as Tru’s personal touchstone in “Capote;” David Strathairn, who managed to capture rather than copy Edward R. Murrow in “Good Night, and Good Luck;” and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who just flat out became “Capote.”

Most of these actors have spent their careers doing good work and getting overlooked, a lot of times simply because such stellar work has come to be expected from them. Most people didn’t think the Flamingo Kid had it in him. Few can name any pre-2005 Catherine Keener flick. And only a handful of us remember and still love Strathairn’s geeky Moss Goodman from “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

I haven’t yet seen “Hustle and Flow” yet (it’s on the gotta-rent before March 5 list), but I’m happy for Terrence Howard, who was so good in “Crash.” And although I’m definitely not the tune’s target demographic, I hope "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" from “H&F” wins; it is so catchy!

Finally, a quick “way to go” to Texas writer Larry McMurtry who, along with Diana Ossana, got a nod for adapting “Brokeback Mountain” from short story to screenplay and cinematographer Wally Pfister, who managed to make the darkness of “Batman Begins” gorgeous.

All in all, a not-too-shabby 2005 at the movies.

Roll the credits: For the last few years, the big nomination controversy has been that a movie gets tapped for best picture, but its director is snubbed (or vice versa). Not in 2006. Sharing nominations this year are “Brokeback Mountain”/Ang Lee, “Capote”/Bennett Miller, “Crash”/Paul Haggis, “Good Night, and Good Luck”/George Clooney and “Munich”/Steven Spielberg.

The last time the film/director nods lined up was in 1982 with “Atlantic City,” “On Golden Pond,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” best-picture winner “Chariots of Fire” and “Reds,” which earned Warren Beatty a best director statue.

Do you know the connection between Clooney and Haggis? Hint: They worked on the same mid-80s television show. USAToday’s Oscar blog has the scoop.

And in the short film category: Did you miss W’s speech last night? Here’s a political parody that’s making the Internet rounds. It won’t garner any awards, but it’s more tightly edited than the real version.

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