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Oscars: The Mominees are lighting up Twitter

February 17, 2011 | 12:30 pm

Franco 

It seemed like one of the sillier ideas from the Oscar producers when they announced during the nominees luncheon that they were encouraging the mothers of all the Oscar nominees to tweet about their children's Oscar experiences. (Amy Adams seemed quite amused at the thought of her mother taking up the tweeting game.) But it seems to be catching on.

As the New York Times' Carpetbagger pointed out Wednesday, James Franco's mother (FrancosMom) and grandmother (GrandmaMitz) are all a Twitter, as is Lee Unkrich's ("Toy Story 3" director) mother Emilie Unkrich (emilieunkrich), tweeting from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and David O. Russell's mother, Theresa O. Russell (ORussellsMom), who writes from Boca Raton, Fla.

Unkrich's mom seems to have been a Twitter fan since September 2009, when she wrote about Cornish game hens, painting her house and, of course, her son's film career. And though she commented on the Super Bowl ads from the 2010 game, she began tweeting in earnest on Feb. 9, two days after Unkrich was encouraged to get his mom tweeting. Some of her gems: "12th grade: Lee said, Mom, I know you always wanted me to be a Dr, but i want to be a film director like Steven Spielberg," and "Lee is a wonderful film Director as he has the ability to see the big picture as well as the smallest detail."

ORussellsMom seemed to get started tweeting a couple days after the luncheon too, "Was a great elation and validated all our feelings about the possibilities of his career in movies when we heard the news," referring back to his nomination. She's reached out to Unkrich's mom as well as the mother of Paul Tamasy, one of the writers on "The Fighter."

As for the ubiquitous Franco, we can now all tell where he got that multi-tasking gene -- straight from mom, Betsy. Just looking at her bio we see that she is a writer of novels ("Metamorphosis"), picture books ("Pond Circle"), poetry ("Dazzling Display of Dogs"), plays and screenplays, in addition to acting in films, TV and sketch comedy. She also readily acknowledges that it's always been hard to keep up with her interesting son. "When James was young, he was as adventurous as he is now. It was hard to keep up with him and that's an understatement." She adds that Franco, in addition to his many Hollywood duties, is directing a documentary on the making of her play, which is based on her novel.

The tweets are all worth following, if only for the reminder that celebrities are real people too, and that, well, everyone stands a little taller when Mom's doing the cheerleading.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: James Franco. Credit: Getty Images

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