There are underdogs, and then there’s ”Scooby-Doo.” Yet Warner Bros. boldly placed a ”For Your Consideration” ad in the Hollywood trades trumpeting shaggy Matthew Lillard for best actor in a comedy or musical — a Golden Globe category in which he was snubbed. Roo are they kidding? But Warner (a division of EW parent AOL Time Warner) isn’t alone in wildly optimistic campaigning at Oscar time.
BEST EXERCISE IN FUTILITY Paramount is pushing Ben Affleck as Best Actor in the critically panned ”Sum of All Fears,” while Universal touts ”Red Dragon” director Brett Ratner. Weirder yet is Warner’s mention of 14 supporting players from ”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” including Dursley parents Fiona Shaw and Richard Griffiths, who are on screen for less than six minutes.
BEST DISPLAY OF HUMILITY If ”The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” can be a candidate for Best Picture, why not Vin Diesel’s ”XXX”? Revolution Studios’ ad mentions producer Neal H. Moritz but sensibly omits his category: Best Picture.
BEST SHOW OF CHUTZPAH Director Henry Jaglom took out review-filled ads for Zack Norman’s supporting role in Paramount Classics’ little-seen ”Festival” in Cannes. ”To be called ‘a human oil slick’ is a wonderful thing,” says Norman of his notices. ”Plus, I’ve never had any consideration before!”