Oscar nominations chatter, ''Bridesmaids 2'' chatter, and more

By EW Staff
February 10, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

We Need to Talk About Oscar
Reading your Oscar Viewer’s Guide, I had a revelation: Why do we persist with awards along gender lines? Wouldn’t it make more sense to award performances based on genre? In other words, the category Best Actor in a Drama would include both men and women. Shouldn’t Moneyball‘s Brad Pitt be pitted against The Iron Lady‘s Meryl Streep?
Angela Fergason
San Jose, Calif.

”It looks like there’s been some sort of mistake.” No kidding! The Academy’s decision to nominate only two songs this year is just another of its wacky whims. The traditional five Best Picture nominations became 10 two years ago, nine this year, and — who knows! — maybe two next year. But if the Academy would give Doris Day a lifetime achievement award, as so many of us have petitioned for, maybe all can be forgiven.
Bob Canning
Petaluma, Calif.

Oscar’s Legendary Stars
Readers raved about our story on 102-year-old Oscar winner Luise Rainer, who shared her memories of Academy Award ceremonies in the ’30s. ”I have loved and followed Luise Rainer for years, and I’m always wondering why no one ever mentions her,” wrote Tori Chesney. ”It was a wonderful surprise to see a story dedicated to her. I eagerly await the day a movie comes out about her life. Thank you…. I cried!” Sarah Karnes said, ”Very few people my age (24) even know who Rainer is, but ever since I saw her in The Great Ziegfeld, Rainer has been one of my artistic idols.” But David Buning was ”disappointed not to see mentioned two of the other oldest living Oscar winners, Joan Fontaine, now 94, and Olivia de Havilland, 95.”

Bridesmaids 2 Be or Not 2 Be?
Hollywood would do well to pay attention to Kristen Wiig‘s decision not to make a Bridesmaids sequel, as Mark Harris says in his Final Cut column. Though Mr. Harris calls her decision ”audacity,” I suggest ”integrity” would be more apt. I would not blame her if she succumbed to an ungodly amount of money and made Bridesmaids 2. But I hope she sticks to her guns, and I also hope that she keeps writing and acting.
Walter Freeman
Nashua, N.H.

I can’t say I agree with Mark Harris. Although that story arc has ended, the girls haven’t died, you know. Their lives continue, and maybe they will run into each other again. I think that would be fun to see.
Philip Marcuse
Birmingham, Mich.

Cut to the Chase
In ”7 Awesome Car-Chase Movies,” no mention of any of the Bourne movies or The Italian Job?
Bill Anderson-Horecka

Where’s What’s Up, Doc? Slapstick chase all the way, with a Chinese dragon, a vendor’s bicycle, and a floating VW Bug.
Barry Ford
Little Rock, Ark.

Book Smart
Hands down, the best book review I’ve ever read was the one Jeff Giles wrote about Katherine Boo‘s book about the Mumbai slums, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. What made it the best? This line: ”Right now the book is sitting on my shelf making all the other books feel stupid.” I ran to my Nook and preordered it, and now I’m impatiently waiting to read the book that made all his other books doubt their intelligence.
Angee Lewandowski
Chandler, Ariz.

Rihanna’s Got Clothes On!
Thank you for the shot of Rihanna in hot pants with her legs spread last week…and for the one of Rihanna in hot pants the issue before that…and for two more pictures (in one week!) of her in hot pants in your year-end double. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you for the butt shot you ran last fall. Enough!
Kim Isenhart
Winter Park, Fla.
Senior editor Leah Greenblatt responds: We agree, Kim; they just don’t make Amish pop stars like they used to. To make it up to you, we offer this photo — in which only Muppets, not hot pants, were harmed.