‘It’s Oscar war!’: Michael Musto & Tom O’Neil on Woody, Dylan & Cate

“I think Cate Blanchett should lock herself in the house for the next month — just to make sure nobody else asks her about Woody Allen again,” Michael Musto says in our podcast chat below. “Just let it blow over.”

But it’s not going to blow over, no. This is Oscar war and Dylan and Mia Farrow will keep up their assault throughout the derby ahead. The cliffhanger is: Will Cate Blanchett be a casualty of that war?

The Farrows framed their attack on Woody in an awards context from the start – ever since Mia blasted off a few nasty tweets during the Golden Globes tribute to her ex-lover. Referring to Dylan’s interview with Vanity Fair, Mia Tweeted, “A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen’s molestation of her at age 7. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors.”

More recently, Dylan wrote the allegations herself in an open letter to the New York Times, which, curiously, took aim at “Blue Jasmine‘s” lead star: “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett?”

What does Blanchett have to do with this? Nothing. When Jeff Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere) asked her about this sex scandal at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, she handled the matter deftly by saying she hopes the “family finds resolution and peace,” but she successfully avoided the topic earlier. Now there’s only one reason Dylan would widen her scope: she’s taking aim at “Blue Jasmine’s” Oscar status in an effort to wound its creator.

“Believe it or not, this has impacted Cate Blanchett’s campaign,” Musto says and he’s right. “Cate Blanchett was the biggest lock since Colin Firth when he won for ‘King’s Speech.’ …. Suddenly, it’s not cool right now to vote for Woody Allen. Do I think Cate Blanchett will win? I do because her performance is so strong and why would you hold it against her? This has nothing to do with Cate Blanchett, but I think it’s throwing a big wrench into the whole thing. (On Oscar night) if they say the winner is not Cate Blanchett, we’re going to know why she didn’t win.”

I remind Musto that this scandal is very similar to one 11 years ago when allegations about the rape of a girl returned to haunt Roman Polanski during his Oscar push for “The Pianist.” But that didn’t hurt Polanski one bit. Instead, the opposite was true. Rob Marshall had been considered the frontrunner to win Best Director for “Chicago,” which went on to prevail as Best Picture, but Hollywood rallied behind Polanksi and gave him the helmer’s trophy.

“That was a different situation,” Musto says. “The woman had kind of forgiven, or kind of downplayed the situation at that point. She seems to have let go in certain ways. This is a fresh wound being opened by Dylan who is angrier than ever.”

What will Dylan do next? My guess is that she’s lying in wait for Woody to reply in full to her letter to the Times. And, of course, his retort will be a doozy. Instead of dealing with Dylan’s accusations with diplomacy and calm, he blasted them as “disgraceful” in his preliminary comment.

Whatever he says next will probably provoke Dylan to step into the public eye in person this time – to a star TV reporter like Oprah or Piers Morgan. That’s my guess.

“Or Judge Judy,” Musto says cheekily, but then gets serious, acknowledging that she’ll probably choose a more “dignified” option.

At what point  on the calendar will it be? Oscar voting begins on Feb. 14 – just in time for this scandal to erupt into all-out war?

BELOW: Listen to our podcast chat and then cast your prediction for who’ll win the Oscar for Best Actress. Listen to more Gold Derby Oscar podcasts at iTunes.




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