Oscar Watch: 'Capote,' 'TransAmerica,' 'Hustle & Flow'
-While the Oscar-nominated performance of Catherine Keener as Harper Lee in Capote (pictured at right, with Philip Seymour Hoffman) has sparked renewed interest in the To Kill a Mockingbird author, it’s also sparked renewed rumors that Truman Capote himself (Lee’s childhood pal) was the real author of her only published book. Lee herself isn’t talking (much), but a newly unearthed letter written by Capote should debunk those rumors once and for all.
-Awards show odds maven Tom O’Neil says at his Gold Derby blog that the most predictable event in this year’s fairly predictable Oscar race is that there’ll be at least one upset. He thinks it’ll come in the Best Actress race, where he expects Felicity Huffman to speed past Reese Witherspoon in the home stretch. O’Neil cites as precedents some past upsets he says no one predicted, though I think he’s wrong to mention Halle Berry, who was on the radar for her Monster’s Ball performance from the very beginning of awards season that year, thanks to her prize from the very first awards group, the National Board of Review.
Still, O’Neil is right that it’s harder to predict late surges this year (like the Crash-over-Brokeback Mountain surge a lot of pundits claim to see) because it’s been a month since the Screen Actors Guild awards, the last of the major tea-leaf events, which all came early this year. PopWatchers who feel confident in their own crystal-ball skills should put them to work in EW’s World’s Biggest Oscar Pool.
-Wondering how Three 6 Mafia can perform ”It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” on the Oscar telecast without running afoul of the FCC? Variety’s Army Archerd learns that the rappers are working on a more TV-friendly version of the Hustle & Flow song’s lyrics. Apparently, ”bitch” and ”ho” are okay because they’re already heard in primetime, but other harsher expletives and epithets are not. Kudos to the octogenarian Archerd for listing the disapproved words without flinching or grumbling Andy Rooney-style about how the younger generation is going to hell in a handbasket. Archerd leaves that task to fellow senior Tony Bennett.