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Oscar Updates

Vanity Fair, and The Envelope, both have Oscar predictions apps for the iphone — because, you know, you can’t really ever have enough apps. Mashable. Unless you’re me. And then you want less, not more.

Variety’s Oscar oddities has a lot of facts about the race.

  • This is the first year that 3D films were taken seriously by Academy voters, with “Up,” “Coraline” and “Avatar” in contention.
  • Despite a flurry of Iraq war-themed films in past years, “Hurt Locker” is the first to draw a best-pic bid.
  • Meryl Streep keeps breaking her own record, with her 16th nomination. Acting runners-up are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, with 12 each. And Streep’s 13th bid as lead actress means she’s now the champ in that category, after being tied with Hepburn (who’d never received a supporting bid).

  • Jason Reitman and James Cameron scored triple noms. Reitman was cited as a producer, writer and the helmer of “Up in the Air.” Cameron earned bids as a producer, editor and the director of “Avatar.” (Cameron has the distinction of those same three noms for “Titanic.”) Double contenders include Lee Daniels (producer and director of “Precious”), Joel and Ethan Coen (“Serious” producers and writers), Quentin Tarantino (“Basterds” writer and helmer), Pete Docter (a writer of “Up,” also nommed for animated feature), Randy Newman (two songs from “The Princess and the Frog”), Gary Summers (“Avatar” and “Transformers” in sound mixing), plus Christopher Boyes (“Avatar”) and Paul N.J. Ottosson (“Hurt Locker”) each earned bids in both sound editing and sound mixing. And, in a sense, Ryan Bingham is a double nominee: The real Mr. B co-wrote the theme for “Crazy Heart,” while George Clooney was cited for playing the fictional Ryan Bingham in “Up in the Air.”
  • Of the 10 best pic contenders, six were released in the fourth quarter. “Up” launched in May, “Hurt Locker” in June, “District” and “Inglourious” in August.

Austria is excited about The White Ribbon and about Christoph Waltz.

Finally, someone addresses what has long been bugging us over here at Award Daily – did the name Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air have relation whatsoever to the songwriter Ryan Bingham who sings The Weary Kind? The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Caro finally gets to the bottom of it.

“It’s stranger than it even might seem at first,” he said on the phone while visiting Los Angeles. “I named the character Ryan Bingham because Bingham is a last name common among Mormons, and I grew up a Mormon, and it was the last name of my first girlfriend. I gave him what is a typically Western name, and the novel was staged out of Denver airport.