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Around the awards track: Oscar for Meryl as Maggie? | Harvey's comeback | Academy Awards app is out

February 8, 2011 |  5:39 pm

Meryl Streep Maggie Thatcher

● Oscar's "2011 Best Actress race is all but settled," declares Jeffrey Wells upon hearing the news that Meryl Streep is now filming the role of Britain's former Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." "Look at her!" he adds pointing to her photo. "And imagine her Margaret Thatcher accent .... are you kidding? With Academy members being the suckers they are and always will be for lofty-realm British drama?" Wells notes that there is "a slight complication" from the fact that Streep is also tackling "a sure-to-be-knockout performance as the chain-smoking Violet Weston in John Wells' film version of 'August: Osage County,' which the great Harvey Weinstein is distributing." The role earned Deanna Dunagan a Tony Award for the Broadway production in 2008. HOLLYWOOD-ELSEWHERE

● While Oscar pundits paid too much attention to "The Social Network's" winning the film critics' awards early this derby season, Weinstein was hard at work behind the scenes setting up a late ambush by "The King's Speech." If he nabs the top category, it'll be Harvey's first best picture victory since splitting with Disney and Miramax. Delve into the whole back story in "How Harvey Got His Groove Back." VANITY FAIR

● The Screen Actors Guild Awards took place less than two weeks ago and already the date of next year's show has been announced: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. SAG AWARDS


● iPad, iPhone and iPod users can now download the official Oscars app that connects users to a nominees' list, trailers for the top-nominated films and an interactive ballot to predict winners. ITUNES

Caryn James decries the results of the Evening Standard Awards bestowed by a London newspaper with a better reputation for doling out theater prizes than film honors. She says it's "loopy" that Oscar snubbee Andrew Garfield should be voted best actor for his roles in "Never Let Me Go" and "The Social Network" over Oscar front-runner Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"). "It's hard to believe that these awards, determined by a jury of British critics, mean anything when the best actress prize was an even wackier choice. Kristin Scott Thomas was named best actress for 'Leaving,' a ludicrous French film." INDIEWIRE

-- Tom O'Neil

Top photo: Meryl Streep (Pathe)

Bottom photo: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences