Memoirs of a Geisha star Ziyi Zhang “looks like a virtual shoo-in for a [Best Actress] nomination, and the early leader for the statuette,” writes Tom O’Neill on the L.A. Times-funded site, “The Envelope.” Really? On the basis of what? It can’t be her acting, so this must be about Academy members believing that giving “Zi” a nomination would inject an element of graciousness and good manners in the relationship between Hollywood and the Chinese film industry. I like to show love as much as O’Neill does, but Zhang’s performance ranges the gamut of emotions from A to B…she’s stiff, constrained, and awkward with the English dialogue. O’Neill also claims that the buzz on Geisha “says a best pic bid looks inevitable.” Like I said in my 11.21 piece, Geisha might get lucky because of the undeniable quality of below-the-line contributions, but all over town people burdened with a sense of taste are rendering the same verdict: pretty images, but no real soul or fire or poetry generated from within.