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In spite of Hugo garnering 11 Academy Award nominations, I spent most of yesterday in a crankier than usual state. Movies have endowed me with an incredible sense of time, so much so that I never arrive late to the cinema. (Better two hours early than one minute late!) My body clock is such that I am never in need of an alarm to rouse me out of bed, except once a year when the Oscar nominees are announced.

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Patrick Goldstein, the L.A. Times' indispensable movie analyst, is right when he says, "It’s hard to believe that in an era when nearly every media event imaginable is presented on prime-time TV that the Oscar nominations — which in many ways offer far more snubs and surprises than the actual awards — are still being announced at 5:30 a.m. before a sleep-deprived scrum of wisecracking reporters and anxiety-ridden publicists in a presentation that had all the pizazz of a middle school assembly."

I'm not sure if a prime time television extravaganza to announce the noms is what America needs. It is difficult enough to sit through 3 1/2 hours worth of showbiz glitz come Oscar night. An extra hour of gratuitous self-congratulatory back-patting could turn potential viewers off the main event altogether. It would probably resemble something akin to Americans Idle, where they'd keep audiences in suspense until the nominations are finally revealed during the last two minutes of the show. Keep it short and sweet, but at least have the decency to do it when the sun is up on the West Coast.

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