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Mt. Osccar

December 12, 2007|Jim Brooks, John Horn, Susan King, Gina Piccalo and Robert W. Welkos.

MT. OSCAR: To grab the brass ring -- or in this case the Golden O -- wrap yourself in raves and pack lots of buzz. This week's altitude readings are by Times staff writers Jim Brooks, John Horn, Susan King, Gina Piccalo and Robert Welkos.

Peaking

BUT NOT PEEKING: Tom Hanks wins major points for his portrayal in "Charlie Wilson's War," in which he fights for U.S. funds to aid Afghanistan in its war with the Soviet Union. But as he's a playboy congressman, we also are exposed to his naked fanny. Two demerits.

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Climbing

SHOW STOPPER: Angelina Jolie in a recent interview about "A Mighty Heart" dispelled any notions that her animated self in "Beowulf" was a body double. "I'm not somebody who people aren't quite aware of what my body looks like. So, it's clearly an enhanced version of me."

A LITTLE HELP? "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" screened strongly for a small turnout of Oscar voters, but does tiny indie ThinkFilm have the clout and $$$ to get filmmaker Sidney Lumet's dark crime drama onto the best picture and director short lists?

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At Base Camp

BEST AS A BRIT: If Johnny Depp snags a nomination for his role as Sweeney Todd, it will mark the U.S.-born, Paris-residing actor's third nod for playing a Brit, following turns as Capt. Jack Sparrow and "Finding Neverland's" James Barrie. Cheers, mate.

WESTERN WISHES: The last western to win a best picture Oscar was Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven." Could "3:10 to Yuma" or "The Assassination of Jesse James" carry the mantle? Not likely, but supporting actors Ben Foster and Casey Affleck, respectively, could step up to the podium.

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Looking for a Sherpa

FULL CIRCLE: Did anyone catch that a screening of "There Will Be Blood," a film based on a book based on the life of 1920s oil tycoon Edward Doheny, was held on Doheny Drive?

AMY WHO? We finally got the Sarah Jessica Parker/Mary Stuart Masterson/Mary-Louise Parker triptych figured out, and along comes the Amy Conundrum. Fair-haired beauties Amy Adams ("Enchanted") and Amy Ryan ("Gone Baby Gone") are further confusing matters by simultaneously creating Oscar buzz. Simple rule of thumb: Come awards night, Adams will be the one surrounded by chirpy little creatures (and we don't mean the red-carpet handlers).

BEST SWAG HONORS: If only there were such a category, the team behind "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" would surely snag the prize with its complicated promotional kit shaped like an amp and full of double-entendres.

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