Readers respond to Dave Karger's OscarWatch and the decline of Soap Operas

Comic Genius
Thank you so much for featuring the stars of Up in the Air. Though the film seems like a throwback to classic comedies, I found myself incredibly moved by its depiction of the realities of the world today. If it isn’t Jeff Bridges‘ year for Crazy Heart, I predict George Clooney will take home the Best Actor Oscar. I think I would pay $10 to watch him read the phone book.
James T. Sheridan

  • Life‘s Been Good
  • Rather than writing about the rumored demise of ABC’s One Life to Live, why not help the show out by celebrating its talented cast of actors and writers, and talking about its bravery and skill in handling a gay relationship better than prime time ever has?
  • Larry Moore
  • New York City

It’s unfortunate that soaps are teetering on the brink just as they are becoming more popular overseas. Thanks to the Internet, fans across the world are enjoying and discussing soap story lines, particularly those featuring gay couples such as Luke and Noah from As the World Turns and Kyle and Oliver from One Life to Live. Perhaps the powers that be should focus on finding a way to tap into audiences.
Kate Davies
Olympia, Wash.

  • A Year in Her Life
  • Just had to let you know I got a kick out of the box about crazy things authors did for a year. I just started my own experiment: coming up with 365 reasons Jason Segel and I should be friends!
  • Sarah Threlkeld
  • Renton, Wash.

Our Resident Oscar Expert Gets Mail — Lots Of It
Readers had plenty of questions for Dave Karger after reading ”Dave Karger Predicts the Nominees.”

Alan Levine of Ewing, N.J., wanted to know, ”How can the Academy nominate Inglourious Basterds for Best Original Screenplay when the movie is based on a 1978 Italian film of the same name?”
That’s an easy one, Karger says: ”Although Tarantino lifted the title, the films were deemed different enough by the Academy’s writers’ branch, who placed the script in the Original Screenplay category.”

There was this from Hal Burnworth of Portland, Ore.: ”You mention the Academy’s ‘ranked’ votes in your piece. What does that mean?”
Karger’s response: ”Here’s a quick primer on the balloting process for the Best Picture nominees: Voters list their 10 favorite films in order, but only one of their votes will actually count per category. If a voter’s No. 1 choice doesn’t have enough overall support to earn a nomination, his or her No. 2 choice is then counted, and so on.”

”I was surprised and disappointed that Tobey Maguire [below] was not on your list,” wrote Michael McGuire of Los Angeles. ”Not only is he a Golden Globe nominee, but his performance in Brothers was startling, full of raw emotional power.”
Karger says: ”For me, the happiest surprise of the Golden Globe nominations was Maguire’s inclusion for his career-best performance in Brothers. But in the end, the film simply may not have enough traction for him to displace Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, or Jeremy Renner.” You can find Karger’s OscarWatch blog at