Two fascinating articles have emerged about how Stephen Daldry‘s The Reader might (i.e., seriously could) win the Best Picture Oscar with a faint corresponding idea that Slumdog Millionaire has peaked. I don’t believe it for a second.

The most affecting is a thoughtful, wonderfully written piece by Roger Ebert. It is so full of primal truth and righteous reflection, I feel, that reading is more stirring and intriguing than watching The Reader itself.

The other is a total stretcharoonie by Entertainment Weekly‘s Nicole Sperling and Christine Spines. It basically suggests/implies that (a) Harvey Weinstein is on a roll, (b) his luck is back, (c) voting for The Reader is a chance to offer a goodbye hug for the the late, much beloved Reader producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, and (d) the Academy’s old Jews are voting en masse for it.

“In truth, The Reader remains a long shot in the Best Picture race,” Sperling and Spiones admit, “but if there’s one thing Hollywood has learned over the past two decades, it’s never to underestimate Harvey Weinstein. Love him or hate him (or both), he made the Oscar races exciting. Now Weinstein has another chance to relive his glory days, to slap the backs, to point the fingers, to be the P.T. Barnum of the Academy circus one more time. ‘

”It’s the sportsman in me,’ he says. ‘I like the fight.’ We’ve noticed.”