Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't, on Jay Leno, ''The Men Who Stare at Goats,'' and more
  • Screen Gems
  • Most of my socks are older than the movie stars on the cover of EW. It was a pleasure to see Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep — a great-looking, vibrant, middle-aged couple — gracing your Holiday Movie Preview.
  • Tracy Leverton
  • Vienna, Va.

Can you please explain to me how a movie that hasn’t been released yet gets on your Best Picture Oscar Odds list? Invictus isn’t due in the theaters until Dec. 11, yet Dave Karger justifies his selection of it by saying, ”Judging by its strong trailer…”
Ken Switnicki
Rochester, N.Y.

Senior writer Dave Karger responds: As the Academy Awards writer for EW, I’m in charge of identifying which films are most likely to appeal to the Academy based on their subject matter, tone, and cast. When I wrote this same story last year, two of the films at the top of my list were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon, which also hadn’t been released yet but — wouldn’t you know it? — ended up getting nominated for Best Picture.

  • Interesting article about the making and selling of Precious. Pieces like that are why I started subscribing to your magazine years ago. However, I would have liked a photo of director Lee Daniels. We know what Tyler Perry and Oprah look like, and we’ve already seen photos of Mariah Carey as a social worker.
  • Jean Stein
  • Muskegon, Mich.

No Joke
In ”Leno: Not Funny for NBC,” Jay Leno says, ”Would I have preferred to stay at 11:30? Yeah, sure.” How is airing 90 minutes earlier to blame for his new show being unfunny? By that logic, Last Call With Carson Daly should be the funniest thing on NBC!
Patrick Francis Dodson
Woodland Hills, Calif.

Making the Grade Having just seen The Men Who Stare at Goats, I must say how dissatisfied I am with the F it received (Movies section). By no means an Oscar contender, but an F? That should be reserved for horrible movies like The Master of Disguise and When a Stranger Calls.
Benjamin Miller
Clarence, N.Y.

  • A Favorite Scrooge
  • Like critic Owen Gleiberman, I grew up with the 1938 and 1951 film versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Movies section), both of which Gleiberman mentions in his review of the latest Disney digital effort. But he must have missed the terrific 1984 CBS version starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. It is, by far, the best of the bunch thanks to its lively period settings.
  • James Millard
  • Lexington, Ky.

Multiple Personalities
Readers had plenty of additions to our Movies-section sidebar ”One Actor, Many Roles,” which showcased multicharacter champs like Alec Guinness, Tom Hanks, and Mike Myers.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
”You forgot Tony Randall’s seven-character bravura performance in 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. This film received an honorary Oscar for Outstanding Makeup.” —Rebekah Pearson

Soft Beds, Hard Battles (1974)
”Peter Sellers played six characters in this movie — a French general, a British major, a Gestapo officer, the French president, Adolf Hitler, and a Japanese prince.” —Joseph W. Smith III

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
”The master of multiple roles is Michael Palin, who regaled us with 11 characters in Life of Brian. Anyone who has not seen this film should do so immediately.” —Martha Landers

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)
”Michael Palin portrayed 16 characters in Life — more roles than your top two champs (Alec Guinness, Eddie Murphy) combined. And neither of them played a fish on screen!” —Brian Montgomery