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The Newsdesk 12.19.08 – Vegas Warms to Frost/Nixon, Studios Spending Big on Oscar Campaigns

Governor Granholm would prefer you make your movie in Michigan. The state has a 42 percent tax credit to win your business — but if you must shoot in Paris, France now has a rebate program of its own.

A record snowfall didn’t stop Vegas critics from applauding Frost/Nixon. The drama won six of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society’s Sierra Awards including Best Picture.

Scarlett Johansson’s used tissue can be sold for charity; Mary Pickford’s Oscars cannot. It looks like you won’t see any Academy Awards on EBay. A jury recently upheld the Academy’s contract with Oscar winners that gives it the right to buy back Oscars for up to $10 before any statuette can be sold.

• Good news if you like your biopics long and uninterrupted. The full
four-hour-plus version of Soderbergh’s Che is getting an extended run
in New York and Los Angeles
. For those with shorter attention spans it
will be showing in January as two separate films, the Cuba-focused
The Argentine and Bolivia-based The Guerrilla.

• It’s time for Oscar campaign finance reform. Despite layoffs,
studios are sparing no expense when it comes to wooing a handful of
Academy voters. “So a $675,000 insert is falling out of newspapers sent to 1 in 10 homes in foreclosure,” one insider complained to Nikki Finke. That’s just for WALL-E.

In case you can’t get enough Tom Cruise: Valkyrie co-writer Christopher McQuarrie
is working on three more projects designed as star vehicles for the UA
co-owner: Flying Tigers, The Champions and The Tourist.

Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat,” passed away this morning at age
. The FBI associate director’s truth-telling led to Hollywood’s
retelling in movies like All the King’s Men and Frost/Nixon.

• UPDATE: As disappointed fans return their tickets (Speed-the-Plow
producers have already had to issue $20,000 in refunds to disappointed
theatergoers), Jeremy Piven fights back with ‘The Sushi Defense’. Mamet
regular William H. Macy will be taking over his role.

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