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Oscars season


Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker", a war drama directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the ex-wife of "Avatar" director James Cameron

3 Feb – The general Malaysian aversion towards Oscar-nominated films continue this year as not even half of the recently announced nominees for Best Motion Picture have played or will play in Malaysian cinemas. This is as opposed to the situation in Singapore where all save one are in release.

Although a decidedly commercial and record-breaking "Avatar" has paved the way for the expanded list this year, highly acclaimed titles in the previous Oscar years have been snubbed by Malaysian exhibitors and distributors alike. The 2009 winner "Slumdog Millionaire" was a late release that played on limited release. Meanwhile the 2007 winner "No Country For Old Men" played late at one screen only nationwide – GSC Mid Valley. Generally, the Oscar-favoured movies that received poor box office collections or limited screen time for the past three years include "There Will Be Blood", "Juno", "Michael Clayton", "Atonement", "Frost/Nixon", "Milk" and "The Reader".

This 82nd Academy Awards, the number of nominations for the Best Motion Picture category has been expanded from five to 10 – however while "Inglourious Basterds", "Avatar", "District 9" and "Up" made Malaysian screens with George Clooney's "Up In The Air" slated for a late 4 March release by United International Pictures, the other five not favoured for these shores are "The Hurt Locker", "A Serious Man", "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire", "The Blind Side" and "An Education".

Commonly referred to and regarded as the most prestigious event in the movie calendar, this year's do, to honour the best in film for 2009, will be held on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, with actors Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosting the ceremony.

A contest for Malaysians to guess Oscar winners and win prizes will be announced soon. Stay tuned to www.cinema.com.my for more updates.



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