The story

The first round of voting is over, and the nominations are in. But in this election, there will be no debating between the nominees, and campaigning will be restricted to photo spreads, red-carpet interviews and the Hollywood cocktail party circuit.

It seems a shame. The prospect of Sean Penn as Harvey Milk sharing a platform with Frank Langella as Nixon is fun to think about. Or how about Brad Pitt's Benjamin Button going a round or two with Mickey Rourke as Randy the Ram in "The Wrestler"?

Okay, I'm being silly, but then it is pretty silly to take wonderful performances like these and put them in competition for Academy Awards. Now, if each actor tried his hand at each of the five nominated roles, then we could really pick a winner on merit (and who wouldn't want to see Angelina Jolie as the angry nun played by Meryl Streep in "Doubt"?). Read full article »

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