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The history of write-in votes -- which is to say, votes for a name not on the official list of nominees -- at the Academy Awards is a short but interesting one. In 1934, the fuss over Bette Davis's omission from the Best Actress lineup (for "Of Human Bondage") was enough to land her in third place on write-in votes; the next year, unnominated cinematographer Hal Mohr actually won for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." "Write-in voting has been banned almost ever since," notes Scott Feinberg. "It would require not only a signoff by the Academy’s board of governors, but also a major revamping of the already troubled online voting system." Feinberg argues that, in light of Ben Affleck's surprising non-nomination (determined by only 6% of the Academy membership) and subsequent precursor success, this would be the perfect year to reintroduce the process. [The Race]
A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis survey the cinematic landscape in the age of Obama, with examples ranging from "Magic Mike" to a number of this year's Best Picture nominees. [New York Times]
So, because "Life of Pi" has no acting nods, that means actors aren't voting for it? False. Jon Weisman finds Twitter evidence of the film's starry fan club, ranging from Russell Crowe to Mia Farrow. [The Vote]
As we're gearing up for Sundance, Jason Guerrasio offers an interesting investigation into the less reputable side of the festival circuit. [IndieWire]
Steve Pond wonders whether more voters in the foreign-language and documentary categories will be guided by their hearts or their heads. [The Wrap]
David D'Arcy likens many films in the Sundance lineup to "expensive blogs": independent, potentially very worthwhile, but who's going to find them? [The Guardian]
Gary Goldstein looks for beyond the obvious for a list of deserving contenders overlooked by the Academy this year. For your belated consideration: Mira Sorvino for Best Actress. [LA Times]
Rumor has it the principal cast of "Les Mis" is set to take the stage at the Oscars for a group musical number. (UK tabloid the Daily Mail broke the news, though, so let's see.) [Broadway]
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