News Nuggets:’The Office’s’ Dwight Schrute is off to the farm

Roger Ebert thinks Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin“) or Vera Farmiga (“Higher Ground“) deserved Meryl Streep‘s Best Actress slot: “Streep, of course, is a paragon. Her impersonation of Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady‘ was so uncanny she could have given a speech on the BBC and fooled a lot of people. But it wasn’t a very good film and didn’t make adequate use of her as a resource. In my review, I used a happy turn of phrase: She was all dressed up with nowhere to go. Nominating Miss Streep seems to have become an annual ritual for the Academy, like bringing on the accountants with their briefcases.” ROGER EBERT’S JOURNAL

Can biopics help but glorify their subjects? “When controversy arrives in Phyllida Lloyd’s Thatcher biopic ‘The Iron Lady,’ it comes in the standard form of news footage montages depicting seas of angry protesters clashing with policemen. The actual substance of the issues – massive union strikes, war in the Falkland Islands – is not discussed so much as reframed in the most generic possible terms … The filmmakers would no doubt say that they are focusing on character over unimportant detail, but it has the direct effect of letting Thatcher off the hook for her positions.” THE FILM EXPERIENCE

A Dwight Schrute-centered spinoff to “The Office” is in the works: “I hear that NBC is working on an ‘Office’ spinoff starring Rainn Wilson for a potential midseason 2013 launch. No deals have been closed yet but I’ve learned that the proposed spinoff is a family comedy, which was the brainchild of Wilson and ‘The Office’ executive producer/showrunner Paul Lieberstein. It will have Dwight (Wilson) living at the Schrute family beet farm and bed & breakfast, which have been featured on the show several times, including in an episode where Jim and Pam visited Dwight there.” DEADLINE

Celebrities line up for the Writers Guild Awards: “This year’s New York ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at B.B. King Blues Club … Rachel Dratch of ‘Saturday Night Live‘ fame, has been tapped to host. A number of celebrities and renowned writers will serve as presenters including: ‘Bored to Death‘ creator Jonathan Ames; ‘Late Night’ host Jimmy Fallon; ‘Precious’ screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher; ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Steve Kroft; and ‘SNL’ head writer Seth Meyers. The award ceremony will also be held simultaneously at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.” FISHBOWL NY

Bret McKenzie discusses his Oscar nomination for “The Muppets“: “For the first time in Oscar history the Best Song category is a straight two-ditty race with ‘Man or Muppet‘ facing off against ‘Real in Rio‘ from ‘Rio.’ That also makes it something of a Conchord-versus-Conchord conflict given that McKenzie’s bandmate Jemaine Clement voices a cockatoo in the animated blockbuster. ‘I know, imagine if it had been Jemaine’s song from “Rio,”‘ laughs McKenzie. ‘That would have put real pressure on the band’s politics.'” EW.COM

More presenters added to the SAG Awards roster: “Actor nominees Berenice Bejo, Glenn Close, Bryan Cranston, Viola Davis and Shailene Woodley will be presenters at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.”

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