FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
The Oscar buzz has begun. Spielberg's Schindler's List, after months of downbeat rumour, has emerged as the film to beat (though it's yet to open). Despite winning the National Board of Review and Los Angeles and New York Film Critics awards for Best Picture, industry insiders suspect that the film, three-and-a-half hours long and mostly set in the Nazi labour camps, may prove too gruelling for mass taste, leaving the film with respectable box office and the kind of prestige the Academy loves (see Ghandi).

List is already predicted to scoop the major Oscars (Film, Actor etc), though Best Director may be in doubt - all of the above organisations snubbed Spielberg - and votes could split in the Supporting Actor category if both Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley are nominated.

Whatever, British actors and actresses should dominate proceedings. Anthony Hopkins (Remains of the Day, Shadowlands), Daniel Day Lewis (Age of Innocence, In the Name of the Father) and Emma Thompson (Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father) can confidently expect their names to go forward. Word is that the competition for the men is between Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in the Aids opus Philadelphia, for whom another split vote looms.

Whoopi's Goldberg's contribution to a charity recipe book: 'Jewish American Princess Fried Chicken' - 'Send a chauffeur to your favourite butcher shop for the chicken. Do your nails. Have cook prepare the rest of the meal while you fix your make-up.'

Her reaction to the inevitable controversy: 'It pisses me off . . . I am a Jewish American Princess. I am.'

The demise of Palace Pictures and the phoenix-like rise of producers Steve Woolley and Nik Powell has exercised the emotions of media Soho for many months. For the inside story catch Moving Pictures, 19 December on BBC 2.