News Nuggets: 282 films eligible for Academy Awards

The cast of “Les Miserables” serenades Oscar voters at awards lunch: “Monday, I told you about last Friday’s ‘Argo‘ lunch, where Ben Affleck defended his film against charges of inaccuracy and stressed its relevance to geopolitics. The cheery cast of ‘Les Miserablés’ took an altogether different approach at Tuesday’s swanky lunch at the Four Seasons Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. In place of a planned Q&A, they took a cue from jazz singer Peter Cincotti — who’d just sat down at the grand piano and bravely whacked out a jaunty version of ‘Master of the House’ mere inches from the bemused gaze of ‘Les Mis’ producer Cameron Mackintosh — and decided to sing for their supper.” HUFFINGTON POST

Oscarologist Dave Karger hosts “Frontrunners” video series on Fandango: “Fandango on Wednesday plans to unveil an original video series called ‘The Frontrunners’ in which Oscar hopefuls discuss their artistic choices. The idea is that then viewers will use Fandango to immediately buy a ticket. Three installments will be available on Wednesday, and Fandango will post new episodes through February. (Clips from ‘Frontrunners’ episodes may also run on local NBC stations.) Fandango’s Oscar expert, Dave Karger, will host the series – part of an effort by the Comcast-owned Web site to expand its brand.” NEW YORK TIMES

282 films officially eligible for consideration at the Oscars: “Two hundred eighty-two feature films are eligible for the 2012 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today. To be eligible for 85th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days. Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format. Feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category.” DEADLINE

Seth MacFarlane insists Oscars won’t be “‘Family Guy‘ meets the Oscars”: “However, just because MacFarlane will not be relying on ‘Family Guy’ humor at the Oscars does not mean that the V.F. New Establishment member will not be relying on ‘Family Guy’ metaphors to describe the Oscars. ‘There’s a moment on “Family Guy” that’s just Gene Kelly dancing with Stewie,’ MacFarlane explains. ‘That’s what we have to achieve, a dance between the traditional and the new.’ That being said, the 2013 Academy Awards—which we hope may still open with Stewie attempting the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift with Bradley Cooper in a Billy Crystal–style spoof of ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘—will be presented on February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.” VANITY FAIR

Oscars have yet to begin voting, but critics are already in agreement over what should win: “‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ will win Best Picture and Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow). Two-time Academy Award-winner Daniel Day-Lewis will be named Best Actor for ‘Lincoln,’ which will also earn Tommy Lee Jones his second Supporting Actor Oscar. Best Actress will go to either Jessica Chastain for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ or Emmanuelle Riva for ‘Amour‘ … How do we know? We don’t. In William Goldman’s never-too-often quoted maxim about Hollywood, ‘Nobody knows anything’ … But in early December, various groups of film critics begin announcing their year’s best.” TIME

Justin Bieber bummed by his Grammy snub: “Justin Bieber’s name was nowhere to be found when the nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards were announced. And Bieber admits in an interview airing tomorrow on ‘Ellen’ that not being nominated at all despite the critical and commercial success of his latest album, ‘Believe,’ was definitely ‘a big bummer.’ ‘I was looking forward to [possible Grammy noms], but I know it will happen one day,’ says the platinum-selling heartthrob, who was up for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album two years ago but lost out to jazz artist Esperanza Spalding and Lady Gaga, respectively.” E!

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