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THE ENVELOPE

Mt. Oscar

To scale the heights of celluloid glory, wrap yourself in raves and pack lots of buzz. This week's altitude readings are by Elena Howe, Susan King and Tom Tapp.

January 31, 2007|Elena Howe, Susan King and Tom Tapp

PEAKING

OPEN SEASON: With the death of front-runner "Dreamgirls," the best picture race is wide open.

CLIMBING

TOWERING: With four Golden Globes parties in seven days, the Sunset Tower Hotel has become the place for award season fetes such as those thrown by CAA, Showtime, Premiere magazine and AMC. In fact, Diddy was turned away from the door at CAA's soiree.

WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION: Longtime friends, left to right, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu scored six nominations among them and don't compete in a single race.

AT BASE CAMP

MIXED MESSAGE: Paramount mailed out "Dreamgirls" soundtrack CDs in an apparent effort to encourage original song voting. But the package was covered with five huge postage stamps touting "Flags of Our Fathers" ... can you say, "Hedging their bets"?

U-TURN: After a lavish campaign, Universal did the seemingly impossible and landed a best director nom for "United 93's" Paul Greengrass.

WHERE THERE'S A WILL ... : Not only did Will Smith quietly score his second Oscar nomination, but the rock-solid actor has driven the emotionally wrenching "The Pursuit of Happyness" to $146 million at the box office.

LOOKING FOR A SHERPA

SUBLIMINAL CLINT: Voice-over on ads for Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima" tout it as "winner of the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards for best picture of the year." In fact, the film won best foreign language film honors from each. The ads' on-screen text reveals this, but if you're only listening ...

'BORAT' RECYCLED: With all the awards shows, Sacha Baron Cohen is running out of material. He told audiences at both the Golden Globes and the Broadcast Film Critics' Assn. Awards that he'd "like to thank everybody in America who decided not to sue us."

AN OSCAR AND A FAT SUIT? With an Oscar nomination for DreamWorks' "Dreamgirls," Eddie Murphy is finally being taken seriously. Yet, he hasn't ditched the fat suit. Next month he stars in DreamWorks' "Norbit." The film's catchphrase: "Have you ever made a really big mistake?"

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