News Nuggets: ‘The Help’ is no laughing matter, according to the HFPA

The Help” submitted in the musical/comedy races at the Golden Globes, but the HFPA begs to differ: “On Monday, an HFPA committee rejected it in comedy and determined it would compete as a drama, where it will go head-to-head with Disney/DreamWorks’ other big hopeful, ‘War Horse‘ (assuming both get nominated, as seems likely). It’s not surprising: At a recent event I attended, a lot of HFPA members were voicing concerns about having to judge ‘The Help’ as a comedy. The film was indeed initially sold by Disney and DreamWorks with an emphasis on its lighter elements, and past Globe winners in the category such as ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ were similar in tone.” DEADLINE

We Bought a Zoo” will get a Thanksgiving sneak peek: “The film, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, will preview in more than 800 theaters on Nov. 26. The sneak peek is part of a social media campaign that will allow viewers to post their review online in a contest to win a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and will also include a live chat with Cameron Crowe following screenings. It’s an unheard-of display of confidence for 20th Century Fox execs, who believe the Oscar hopeful is strong enough to generate strong word-of-mouth buzz in advance of its Dec. 23 national release date.” EW.COM

Could Ellen Barkin edge out other strong contenders for the fifth Best Actress slot? “Barkin joins [Tilda] Swinton (Oscilloscope’s ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin‘), Kirsten Dunst (Magnolia’s ‘Melancholia‘), Keira Knightley (‘A Dangerous Method‘), Gotham nominees Elizabeth Olsen (Fox Searchlight’s ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene‘) and Felicity Jones (Paramount’s ‘Like Crazy‘), Michelle Yeoh (Cohen Media’s ‘The Lady‘) and Mia Wasikowska (Focus Feature’s ‘Jane Eyre‘) on the list of long-odds dark horse candidates vying for the fifth Best Actress slot. Crucial for these would-be contenders is who will win the New York and Los Angeles critics’ best actress awards. A Gotham win and BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG and Indie Spirit nominations also wouldn’t hurt.” THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Woody Allen shows no interest in campaigning for Oscar: “… in all the screening information and campaign-consideration literature currently being disseminated to voters from Sony Classics, nowhere in the ‘Midnight in Paris‘ section will you find Woody Allen’s name. Not for Director, not for Original Screenplay… nowhere. It’s the most specific statement yet (this year, anyway) of Allen’s disinterest in even being in the conversation about Academy Awards. But who wants his spot? [Martin] Scorsese has the edge in the wake of ‘Hugo’s’ big week, and [Tate] Taylor enjoyed a boost thanks to Oprah, but if I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it a thousand times: Never count out [Stephen] Daldry.” MOVIELINE

Amy Adams offered a role as Clint Eastwood‘s daughter: “Adams has been offered the role of the iconic tough guy’s daughter in the baseball drama ‘Trouble With the Curve,’ according to sources close to the production. The film is about an aging baseball scout who goes on the road one last time with his estranged daughter, who presumably helps him overcome any weakness, such as his diminished eyesight, that might get in the way of finding new recruits … It would be the ‘J. Edgar‘ director’s first screen role since ‘Gran Torino,’ and the first time he worked for a director other than himself since 1993′s ‘In the Line of Fire.'” EW.COM

Leslie Unger resigns as chief Academy publicist: “It would be dishonest to report that the resignation of chief Academy of Motion Pictures Arst and Sciences publicist Leslie Unger has been met with great sadness among each and every LA-based entertainment journalist. She was known for having had a combative relationship with one or two journos in my sphere … Unger’s departure is ‘not surprising,’ says a journalist pal. What he meant was that it’s not unwelcome. ‘As soon we hang up, I’m going to dance a little jig,’ he said.” HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

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