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OSCARS: Countdown to Nominations

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Movie fans, start your engines. The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday morning at 5:30 a.m. L.A. time. Count on “A Beautiful Mind” monopolizing the categories, especially those at the top, including shoo-in Russell Crowe. DreamWorks’s computer-animated “Shrek” will probably show its strength, too, with some token nominations for Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” according to current conventional wisdom. Should Baz Luhrmann’s audacious “Moulin Rouge” be nominated for Best Picture, it will be the first live-action musical in that category since Bob Fosse’s 1979 dance of death, “All That Jazz.” (The Disney animated musical “Beauty and the Beast” grabbed a Best Picture nomination in 1991.) The last musical to win was the Dickensian “Oliver!” in 1968, the same year that “Funny Girl,” Barbra Streisand’s screen debut, was also in the running. As for this year’s exclusion of “Gosford Park” director Robert Altman from the list of Directors Guild of America nominees for best director (despite his grabbing most of the critics’ prizes for his stylish ’30s British mystery), an insider working on the film’s Oscar campaign told over the weekend that an Altman Oscar nomination remains “a distinct possibility.” She cited the fact more than 1,000 Directors Guild members nominate their candidates, while the number of qualified Oscar nominators is in the hundreds. Tuesday will tell. Meanwhile, as of today and running right up until the big night March 24, the Daily will feature Oscar news every day. Talk about going for the gold.