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Oscar buzz gets an early start

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Diane Lane, Unfaithful

It’s only been three months since Halle Berry’s tears dried at this year’s Oscars, but studios are already planning new campaigns for next year’s Academy Awards, Variety reports. With the year half-over as of June 30, studios have hired award consultants to try to figure out which of their films have a shot at the golden guy.

”,” ”Insomnia,” and ”Minority Report” are all Best Picture contenders, Variety argues. In the acting categories, the trade paper suggests that Diane Lane (”Unfaithful”), Hugh Grant and Toni Collette (”About A Boy”), Al Pacino (”Insomnia”), Dennis Quaid (”The Rookie”), and Ellen Burstyn (”Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”) have a shot. Meanwhile, ”Spider-Man,” ”Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones,” and ”Minority Report” seem like strong possibilities for the technical categories, Variety says.

And then there’s movies that have yet to hit theaters, such as Tom Hanks’ gangster period piece ”Road to Perdition” (due July 12), which Variety picks as a potential nominee in multiple categories. Later in the year, Eminem’s ”8 Mile,” the Hannibal Lecter prequel ”Red Dragon,” George Clooney’s ”Confession of a Dangerous Mind” and ”Solaris,” and sequels to ”The Lord of the Rings” and ”Harry Potter” are all potential heavy-hitters.

Those horrified to hear such early Oscar talk aren’t alone — some studio execs feel the same way. One anonymous exec complained to Variety: ”Didn’t we just have the Oscars?”

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