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The absurdity of the Oscar season has begun.  Thanks to Philip Martin for the shout out in his observant column in Friday's Arkansas Democrat Gazette.  It's way too early to begin predicting Oscars, but if the LA Times is doing it, what the hell . . .right?  Tom O'Neil, who manages Gold Derby, has gone way out there and predicted that "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen will win Best Picture.  Here's the kicker: he hasn't even seen the film!  O'Neil, best known for his overwhelming affection for "Dreamgirls" last year (O'Neil predicted "Dreamgirls" would take the Best Picture statue; it wasn't even nominated).  However, he's bolstered by a gushing review from Harry Knowles at Ain't It Cool News. 

So, for all of you Oscar enthusiasts, let the horse race begin.  Sure, there are at least 20 other films that no one has seen that will play a big part in the FEBRUARY awards ceremony.  But don't let that stand in your way.  Pick your winners now.  After all, seeing them first doesn't seem to be all that important! 

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