Gold Derby Nuggets: January 3

Michael Cieply revisits the speculation about the Oscars moving forward to January. Among those in favor of the idea is Bill Mechanic, a co-producer of last year’s Oscarcast, who told Cieply, “You don’t want to be trailing every other show.” When this idea was first publicized last fall, academy president Tom Sherak said, “We’d have to be assured that nothing could go wrong that could in any way hurt the integrity of those awards.” NEW YORK TIMES

Sasha Stone has penned a must-read piece examining the decade when the academy had 10 best picture nominees but only five contenders for best director. AWARDS DAILY

“Toy Story 3” rates as the best picture of the year according to Academy Award champ Quentin Tarantino. His eclectic list, which extends to 20 entries, also includes Oscar frontrunners “The Social Network” (No. 2) and “The King’s Speech” (No. 15). In between are such diverse films as “Animal Kingdom” (No. 3) and “Kick Ass” (No. 11). TARANTINO.INFO

While the New York Times bars their reviewers from taking part in the deliberations of the New York Film Critics Circle, three of them — Manohla Dargis, Stephen Holden and A.O. Scott — have printed their Oscar wish lists. Only “Carlos” makes the best picture picks of all three while Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) is the only best actress nominee on which they all agree. NEW YORK TIMES

“Boardwalk Empire” was rife with striking images many of which were supplied by special effects firm Brainstorm Digital. The Brooklyn-based company has posted a video revealing the secrets of some of their more dazzling handiwork. TV BLEND

Emmy-winning drama “24” signed off last year after seven seasons. Back then, there was much talk of a film version of the real-time drama starring Emmy champ Keifer Sutherland. Now comes word via Lynette Rice that the clock has stopped ticking on that as well. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Her upcoming starring role in “August: Osage County” will finally win Meryl Streep her third Oscar says Jeff Wells. Whether that is in one or two years time depends on the production schedule for John Wells‘ film version of Tracy Letts‘ Pulitzer and Tony-winning play. However, as Jeff notes, Streep could still be a nominee at this time next year for portraying Maggie Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”  HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Actors Equity president Nick Wyman defends the union against nay-sayers who question why “Turn Off the Dark” has been allowed to continue preview performances in the wake of injuries to four of the actors in this new tuner. PLAYBILL

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