“This is a very odd year. The East Coasters love it because it’s so arty, and the Left Coasters hate it because it’s so arty. Here, it’s considered a year for the ‘classics’ divisions of studios, which exist for prestige, to attract filmmakers, and for the occasional breakthrough hit. On that score, Brokeback Mountain has been the subject of many a wager. As in, ‘No way this movie will ever do over $40 million, no matter what.’ (It’s taken in more than $100 million worldwide.) They’re not races at this point so much as duels: the golden girl (Reese) versus the she-man (Felicity), the political martyr (Rachel W.) versus the domestic martyr (Michelle W.). It is not a big year for the studios. The huge campaign by Sony for Memoirs of a Geisha backfired, and all the Geisha perfume and merchandising sits in stores collecting dust. Meanwhile, their picked-up-by-accident-from-a-fire-sale- at-MGM/UA Capote collects kudos. In many ways, it is the Battle of the Tinies. This is the year the Oscars turned into the Independent Spirit Awards, when no one can really learn or generalize from anything that happens so everyone is sort of depressed and disengaged, because it’s not like they can go back to their studios after the ball and make Capote. They are depressed and disengaged because, of course, they fear their audience is disappearing or their studio head is disappearing or their job is disappearing and they may not be wrong.” — Producer Lynda Obst in her back-and-forth Oscar chit-chat with critic David Edelstein in New York magazine. There have been two postings from each so far — the next posting happens Sunday afternoon (3.5).