The Weinstein Oscar Playbook continues today as David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper meet with Joe Biden to discuss mental health.  They have nothing to lose so why not? It’s not like they have to defend their frontrunner status – they get to be scrappy underdog coming up from behind. But the time to do all of this and be taken seriously was BEFORE the Oscar campaign. Now it just kind of looks like shameless campaigning.  But hey – that’s what you could call Oscars 2012: shameless.

Beautiful pictures of Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman, Sally Field, Naomi Watts, Lil’ Q, Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz and Jessica Chastain — more at TIME Magazine’s Great Performances.

Vulture lays out Six Reasons Argo is going probably win Best Picture — 1. Hollywood finds itself fascinating. (because it’s a town built on narcissism – the catch: they have to portray Hollywood is a positive light, as in NOT The Player), 2. It’s like a Rocky for actors. (Except even Rocky had a Best Director nomination but, yeah).  3. It’s a Rocky for producers too. (I thought Silver Linings was the Rocky in the woodpile).  ETC.

Life of Pi and Brave ruled the Visual Effects Society awards — Kris Tapley has the rundown.  

Meanwhile, Gold Derby has five reasons Life of Pi can win Best Director at the Oscars

Lincoln hits $171 million, stays in or close to the top ten for 13 weeks.  Aren’t they reading the memos from Hollywood? It was supposed to be a flop.

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“Hey Ben, it’s Joe.”
“Joe….?”
“Yeah, you remember, you campaigned for me once to get the democratic seat in congress?”
“Right.  You were the guy who kept asking me about my hair. Right.  I remember.”
“Your hat.”
“My HAT. Right.”
“So anyway, I think I can finally blow the lid off this Lincoln/Spielberg thing, you know, firm up the old Oscar for you.”
“That’s okay, Joe, I really don’t need–”
“Spielberg must be stopped, Ben.  He is a megalomaniac bribing President Clinton to shill for his movie – he owns half of Hollywood and he has a whole mafia behind him. He paid off all of those critics and I swear he sent his own money to theaters to puff up the box office. NO way the Academy’s gonna go for ‘that movie.’  But there’s something much, much worse.  I’m just going to say it outright: He’s out to ruin Connecticut’s good name.”
“Good name? I don’t follow.”
“We voted yes on the amendment to abolish slavery.”
“You mean, like, 150 years ago?”
“Yeah, I know you, Ben. You made sure every single scene in Argo was right — by history!”
“You have to take certain license — I’m sure that Kushner and Spielberg made a mistake there – there are always going to be mistakes in movies, especially movies about real live events.”
“But — but haven’t you been reading the news? Spielberg isn’t only blackmailing Clinton but he’s out to commit racism – no black people in Lincoln! How about that? You should fear him, Ben. We all should. He deliberately tried to paint Connecticut as racist like those shitkickers in Alabama got nothing on our proud state.”
“Yeah, Joe, you know – in the grand scheme of things does it really matter that much?”
“Well, because Oscar.”
“I gotta go, Joe. BAFTAs are coming up soon.”
“Oh and Argo will sweep! They love Argo too!  Like a lot, a lot! Hey hey, wait a minute Ben! You remember how we hung out, ate chicken tacos? You remember that? I’m gonna fix it for you, Ben. I’m gonna fix the Oscar and it’ll be just like old times! I’m going to force Spielberg out in public to change that fact before Lincoln goes to DVD. I will publicly humiliate him before Oscar ballots go out. And when you win that Oscar Ben, thank me.  Okay? You gonna do it, right Ben? Ben? Hello? Hello?”