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It's not often you see a studio pushing hard for Oscar wins in the less-prized technical categories, but that's exactly what Paramount is doing for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Despite the film being pointedly snubbed in the Best Picture category, its handlers are spending money on hefty TV promotion for the film's nominations in the Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects races. What's interesting, of course, is that Paramount's prestige baby "Hugo" is competing in the same categories, but according to Pete Hammond, the Michael Bay blockbuster's ongoing franchise status and super-producer connections, make it a priority. The sound awards, in particular, seem up for grabs -- though the Academy tends to favor more critically approved action fare for those. [Deadline]
Could next year's switch to online balloting make the Oscar race vulnerable to foul cyber-play? [The Guardian]
Ric Robertson interviews AMPAS president Tom Sherak about the online vote, potentially moving the Oscar date forward, and why the hell this year's Best Picture nominees were announced in random order. [The Odds]
Patrick Goldstein asks: do Oscar pundits know too much? No, but we certainly think too much about the Oscars. [Los Angeles Times]
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