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Published: Sunday, 2/24/2008

Everyman versus Oscar: '08 coverage of academy awards show

<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> VIEW: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO39822221.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Everyman versus Oscar</b></a> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> VIEW: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO39822221.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Everyman versus Oscar</b></a>
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Come on, admit it.

Every year the big, important movies come out and the critics lavish praise on them. Oscar time rolls around and the nominations pile up for those same serious films and you think: Wow, I ought to see those.

And then you don t.

Instead, the weekend comes around and you find yourself more interested in a green ogre named Shrek or an animated rat who cooks or Johnny Depp with dreadlocks.

Don t feel bad. The numbers make it obvious that you re not alone. Every year there are movies we should see i.e. the Academy Award nominees and movies we do see.

Last year, the biggest of the box office smashes was Spider-Man 3, bringing in more than $336 million but no Oscar nods. Compare that to those nominated for Best Picture. Only one has managed to top $100 million so far, and most have made less than half that.

That s not a judgment, just a fact. George Clooney may be great in Michael Clayton, but you wouldn t know because you were busy watching the latest Harry Potter movie.

So in this year when the Oscars were threatened by a writer s strike and all the big nominees are relentless in their weight even the lightest of the top picks, Juno, features teen pregnancy The Blade is here to offer some last-minute help.

Stop worrying that you still haven t seen Atonement or There Will Be Blood. Features editor Rod Lockwood watched all five Best Picture nominees for you over the course of a week (like you, he was too busy watching Alvin and the Chipmunks before then) and picked out all the important parts for you.

And for those of you who only care about the movies you did see, staff writer Ryan E. Smith rented the top five box office draws of 2007 and offers his observations on the films that would likely be nominated if the Oscars really were a popularity contest.

Optimus Prime versus Shrek for best actor? Now that s a toughie!

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The 80th Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC WTVG-TV, Channel 13, tonight beginning at 8, with comedian Jon Stewart as host.



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