Richard Roeper

February 20, 2008
Read the transcript from our Wednesday chat with movie critic, Richard Roeper.
Moderator:
Hi everyone! Welcome to atthemoviestv.com and the live Oscar chat with Richard Roeper. Richard will start answering your questions in about 15 minutes...

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Moderator:
5 minutes and counting until the live chat with Richard Roeper. Keep those questions coming!!!

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Richard Roeper:
Hey everybody! Thanks for joining me for the live chat. Just checked, and yes, I AM live. Let's talk movies...

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Stephanie:
What's the craziest thing you've seen at the Oscars?

Richard Roeper:
Probably the biggest surprise was Woody Allen's appearance on the first Oscars after 9/11. Remember, he's been nominated more than 20 times in various categories, but he was almost always a no-show even in the Annie Hall. year. It was pretty cool when he made that appearance in 2002. The craziest thing I've seen and I mean this with all affection is Sally Kirkland.

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Karen:
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the awards?

Richard Roeper:
Julie Christie, George Clooney, Diablo Cody and the valet who has my car at the end of the night.

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Justin:
Based on what you have seen from the trailer and the imax prolouge... i was just wondering what you thought of Heath Ledger's take on the Joker?

Richard Roeper:
I believe, and I hope, it will be a brilliant and chilling performance.

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Chris:
Whatr do you think about Juno in the Oscar race. I for one am in love with the movie and did not see a more groundbreaking preformance than Ellen Page as she gave what could have been a cookie-cutter preformance so much depth and dimensions I did not know were possible behind the character? Also, I know you aren't the biggest fan of Atonement but are you also irked about the snubbing of McAvoy and Knightley. Plus I am anxious to hear your take on Saoirse Ronan as I thought her preformance had so much weight and subtle nuances that she preformed brilliantly. What is your take as I have always highly revered yours and Roger's opinions over most other film critics and I wish Roger a speedy recovery.

Richard Roeper:
Thanks for the good wishes. Roger is recovering after recent surgery and I hope to see him in the screening room soon. I loved Juno almost as much as Roger did. (He selected it as his favorite film of 2007.) And I really liked Ellen Page's performance, though I believe there was even better work this year, including Laura Linneys turn in The Savages and Angelina Jolie's (non-nominated) performance in A Mighty Heart. As for Atonement, it IS rather odd that a film gets all those nominations, but the leads are ignored! I thought McAvoy and Knightly were superb. I wish they had more screen time together but that would have been a different movie, of course.

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Taylor X:
How are the guest critics selected?

Richard Roeper:
By the amount of cash they deposit in a Swiss bank account in my name:) Lately we've been going with Tony Scott of the New York Times and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune two terrific writers who aren't afraid to mix it up on TV.

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fatdudesneedluv2:
My 2 favorite films are "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" and "Into The Wild". i am woundering have you seen these films a 2nd time and has your opinion changed sence you first seen them.

Richard Roeper:
Funny you should ask. My appreciation for both of those films increased after a second viewing.

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Tom:
Has there ever been a perfect year for the Academy Awards?

Richard Roeper:
Not unless they announce a recount one year and take away the Oscars for "Ordinary People" and "Forrest Gump" and give them to "Raging Bull" and "Pulp Fiction."

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Ian - Vancouver, BC:
How do you feel about the Academy neglecting to honor the stunt performers in films each year? Do you think they should be recognized on this stage for their work?

Richard Roeper:
I think that's a great idea!

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Wally:
Do you think Ratatouille should have been nominated for Best Picture? and have you seen the trailers for Pixar's next movie Wall-e?

Richard Roeper:
I liked "Ratatouille," but I don't think it was one of the five best pictures of the year. I haven't seen the trailer for the next Pixar movie. I try to avoid watching trailers and movie ads on TV, so I can have a "pure" experience when I screen the film.

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Grant:
What television shows do you watch?

Richard Roeper:
"Friday Night Lights," "Lost," "Heroes," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," lots of ESPN, "Poker After Dark." Oh and that movie review program with the two jokers in the balcony...

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Aaron:
In the past decade or so, are there any movies you didn't like after the first time you saw it, but grew to like with repeated viewings? And vice versa?

Richard Roeper:
Yes. My appreciation for the first "Lord of the Rings" film increased when I saw it a second time (after I'd seen the second and third chapters). On the other hand, I plead temporarily insanity for giving thumbs up to the sequels to "Men in Black" and "Legally Blonde." Jeez.

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Jack_E:
How come you don't wear your glasses or comb your hair for the show anymore?

Richard Roeper:
The glasses were part of my "Clark Kent" phase, which is now over. (Actually, I had Lasik surgery a few years ago.) I never combed my own hair, but we did have a camera operator a few years ago who used to attack me with a comb before tapings. We dealt with him accordingly.

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Chris:
Seeing all the heavy hitters that came up for Oscars this year, why did you choose Michael Clayton as your pick for Best Pick for 2007? You explained why you liked it, but not why you picked it over No Country for Old Men.

Richard Roeper:
As my friend Roger Ebert pointed out, there's very little difference between the "best" movie of any given year and the fourth- or seventh-best. I just enjoyed "Michael Clayton" a little bit more than "No Country For Old Men." It's like picking the Beatles as your favorite band, and U2 as your second favorite.

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James:
Am I the only one who has the sneaking feeling that Tilda Swinton may come out of left field and win Best Supporting Actress? I just think the vote will split between Blanchett and Dee, and either Ryan or Swinton will come out ahead, but that Swinton will ultimately win. Get that feeling too?

Richard Roeper:
You might have a point! Cate Blanchett was everyone's pick early on--but how many people actually saw "I'm Not There"? Also, Cate has a Best Supporting Actress win for "The Aviator," so the feeling might be that it's time to recognize the great work of Tilda Swinton. I have great admiration for Ruby Dee, but her role in "American Gangster" was tiny and not all that memorable, other than the one scene where the cracks Denzel...

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Jon:
Hi Richard I just wanted to tell you that I really liked your picks a lot for who you thought should win, especially Laura Linney and Tommy Lee Jones. I just wanted to ask you do you think if The Lookout or Breach hadn't come out so early last year that Chris Cooper and Jeff Daniels would have had a better chance at getting nominated I thought they were so good and did tremendous work!! :)

Richard Roeper:
Chris Cooper and Jeff Daniels both deserved nominations. And yes, I believe if their films had been released later in the year, their names would have at least been mentioned. The same thing will happen this year with "In Bruges." It's a terrific film with a great screenplay and amazing performances, but by the fall, how many people will remember it?

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Shane:
Who is your favorite baseball team?
Who is your favorite football team?

Richard Roeper:
Baseball team: CHicago White Sox! ("Sox and the City," by Richard Roeper, available now on amazon.com, LOL.) Football team: The Dillon Panthers!

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Ron:
If you could omit one movie from the Best Picture category this year, what would it be and what would you replace it with? I agree with you that Atonement shouldn't be there.

Richard Roeper:
It's not that I didn't recommend "Atonement"; I did. I just thought there were better films, including" "Gone Baby Gone," "Zodiac," "American Gangster" and even "Superbad."

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Jake:
Do you think "Superbad" should have gotten this year's oscar nomminations for supporting actor (Cera) or original screenplay? If so, do you think the Academy is not ready for these kind of teen comedys?

Richard Roeper:
See above.

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tyler:
do u think chirs tucker should have gotten millions just to do rush hour 3

Richard Roeper:
I don't know, but I think I should have received millions to sit through "Rush Hour 3."

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Amy:
Who do you feel, is the best working actress right now?

Richard Roeper:
It's impossible to pick just one, but my list of the most brilliant film actresses in the world right now would include Laura Linney, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet.

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woof:
Is it true that if your name is said 3 times backwards, you will be sent back to another dimension?

Richard Roeper:
Let's find out: Drahcir Repeor, Drahcir Repeor Drachcir Repeor----YEAAAHHHHHHHHHAAAHHHH!!

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Moderator:
We'll have to take a brief pause here. Richard has disappeared... Just like Hayden Christensen in "Jumper."

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Moderator:
Oh good. He's back! Keep the questions coming...

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tyler:
whats better pulp fiction or resvoir dogs

Richard Roeper:
What's better, Stella Artois or Guinness? I'd put both films on my Best 100 list.

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Charlie:
Do you expect to see a worse film this year than "The Hottie and the Nottie"? Or even a worse film in your life?

Richard Roeper:
God I hope not.

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Taylor:
Could this possibly be Johnny Depp's year to win the award?

Richard Roeper:
Frankly, I don't think he has a chance. Daniel Day-Lewis is the odds-on favorite, with Clooney the dark horse. Depp will win an Oscar some year soon, but not this year. (I still think his best performance was in "Donnie Brasco.")

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Zachary:
Which movie, more than other in 2007, do you think was unfairly snubbed by the Academy? Does the phrase "Academy-Award nominee Norbit" make you sick or what?

Richard Roeper:
For Best Picture: I liked "The Lookout," "Gone Baby Gone" and "Zodiac" more than "Atonement." For Best Actress, Angelina Jolie deserved a nod for "A Mighty Heart." As for "Norbit" -- true, it was an execrable affair, but you know what, the makeup really was first-rate...

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Matt:
Have you seen "Vantage Point" yet? How was it? I really want to see it.

Richard Roeper:
Tune in to "At the Movies" this weekend for your answer! (Sorry.) In the meantime, have you seen "In Bruges"? If it's playing in your town, you have to check it out.

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Shaun:
What do you call an Oscar winning actor in a bad film? i.e. Cuba Gooding Jr in Daddy Day Camp. Personally I say they're "abusing their Oscars"...

Richard Roeper:
I'll try to be generous and say they're, "Paying the mortgage," or, "Doing the best they can with the roles offered to them."

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Rob:
Do you approve of your moderator referencing "Jumper?"

Richard Roeper:
The moderator is Rachel Bilson, she can reference anything she likes.

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Brandon:
What's one movie that could watch over and over again and never get bored of?

Richard Roeper:
There are several: "The Godfather I and II" The aforementioned "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" The original "Miracle on 34th Street" "The Maltese Falcon" "Goodfellas" "True Romance" "National Lampoon's Animal House" And many more!

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tyler:
do u think there will be a sorpanos movie

Richard Roeper:
I think we have a better chance of seeing James Gandolfini on Broadway in a revival of "Hairspray." Honestly, I hope there isn't a "Sopranos" movie. I thought the ending was pure genius.

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Moderator:
Great questions everyone! 10 more minutes left in the live chat with Richard Roeper on atthemoviestv.com.

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Zade:
Do you think Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) can pull a surprise victory over the Coens (No Country) in either directing or screenwriting categories on Sunday?

Richard Roeper:
Probably not. However, I do think that in 20 or 30 or 50 years, some film scholars and fans will be proclaiming "There Will Be Blood" as THE true masterpiece of 2007. I'm not saying I agree with that, but I can understand how it could happen. It's a truly daring work.

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randy:
Why do you think Angelina-Jolie wasn't nominated?

Richard Roeper:
Mainly because "A Mighty Heart" was released in the summer and never stood a chance with viewers. But it is a powerful and authentic performance that reminds us of why Angelina became a star in the first place--she's a fine actress.

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Wade:
I think it is a travesty "American Gangster" did not get more Academy recognition. Do you think "The Departed" had anything to do with it?

Richard Roeper:
That might have been a factor. In any case, I share your sentiments. I thought Denzel Washington's performance in "Gangster" was more complex and interesting than his Oscar turn in "Training Day."

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Thom:
Richard, why do you think "Into the Wild" got stiffed in so many categories? Was that because of Sean Penn's unpopular political activity or something else?

Richard Roeper:
I'm not so sure Penn's political activities are that unpopular with his Hollywood peers. And let's not forget, he was popular enough to win Best Actor not long ago. With "Into the Wild," my guess is some voters thought it was a little too worshipful of the main character. (That was my main problem with the film. But I still think it was one of the better movies of 2007.)

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Charlie:
I thought Bardem portrayed that killer outsandingly in "Country" but I don't think it is on the same level as Parkins as "Norman Bates" or Flechter as "Nurse Ratched". How do you think this performance is going to be remembered in the future?

Richard Roeper:
Right up there with the performances you mentioned; not quite in the same league as Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. (But then again, what is?)

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Alex:
Who are some actors or actresses that you would like to see win an Oscar? For me, I'd say: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey, Scarlett Johansson, Will Ferrell (in the right role), and Leonardo DiCaprio. What would you say, and what do you think of mine?

Richard Roeper:
I believe all the actors you mentioned above could win Oscars at some point. Of course, Johnny Depp comes to mind. And how about this—Robert Redford has been nominated only once in his career as an actor! His only win came for directing "Ordinary People."

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Johnny:
I'm predicting for "Atonement" to win Best Picture on Sunday. I don't think "Michael Clayton" has the buzz or the advertising, and I think "There Will Be Blood" is too dark and more ambitious then what Oscar voters usually go for. "Juno" could win, although Ellen Page would have to win Best Actress (since nowadays I think you need 3 Oscars to win Best Picture, like "Crash" or "Rocky"), and although "No Country For Old Men" is the front-runner, I wonder if Academy voters will go for it. After all, last year another gritty, violent, bloody action movie won, and the Academy doesn't like to repeat themselves very often. A Best Picture upset on Oscar night?

Richard Roeper:
That's a very astute observation. "Juno" has an outside chance, but I still think "No Country" will win.

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Daniel:
In your opinion, what was the worst winner in recent Oscar history - in any category?

Richard Roeper:
I like Nicole Kidman, but I wasn't a huge fan of "The Hours," and she was in the movie maybe a third of the time. She was much better in "The Others" and "Moulin Rouge."

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Michel:
What is your least favorite movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars?

Richard Roeper:
I don't "How Green Was My Valley" was a bad film, but how did it beat "The Maltese Falcon" and "Citizen Kane"?

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anthony:
What do you think is the best movie based off a comic book.

Richard Roeper:
There are so many. I thought the first two "Spider-Man" movies were stellar, and I liked the "X-Men" movies as well. Christopher Nolan is breathing new life into the "Batman" franchise.

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June:
What's with all this Daniel Day-Lewis milkshake controversy? I keep hearing on the news about how a line in "There Will Be Blood" is one that everyone mocks - when he says "I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!" What's the story behind that?

Richard Roeper:
Have you seen the film? It's a quote from one of the more audacious moments in a brilliant but insanely over-the-top performance from DDL. "I drink your milkshake, I drink it up!" is the new "Tonight we dine in hell!" There's even a hilarious video mashup on YouTube, set to that "Milkshake" song from a few years ago.

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Bob:
I'm a little sad that Sondre Lerche wasn't recognized for his wonderful music for "Dan in Real Life." To me he deserved a spot over any of the "Enchanted" songs and that one from "August Rush." Thoughts?

Richard Roeper:
It's ridiculous that THREE songs from "Enchanted" were nominated. Shows a total lack of imagination on the part of the Academy.

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Michael:
There was some controversy over the song "Falling Slowly" after some thought it was ineligible for Best Original Song because Glen and Marketa were thought to have written the song for one of their albums and not for "Once." It's still nominated (thankfully), but if it wasn't eligible, then why would it have gotten nominated? Is this another stupid mistake from the Academy?

Richard Roeper:
It WOULD have been another stupid mistake from the Academy.

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Don:
I have a funny feeling that "Persepolis" will get Best Animated Feature over "Ratatouille," since Pixar has already won twice, and I think that the Academy may go for something different. It would mark the first PG-13 movie to win Animated Feature. I'm probably wrong, but is this scenario possible?

Richard Roeper:
Yes. I believe "Ratatouille" will win, but in many ways "Persepolis" is the more daring, more challenging, more memorable animated film.

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Marcus:
Do you sometimes have to watch a movie more that once to fully analyze it for a review?

Richard Roeper:
Yes. I recently did just that with a film that was edited quite a bit between the time it was shown at a film festival and its (upcoming) commercial release. Suffice to say with 20 minutes removed from the movie, it was much improved. (I can't reveal the title yet, but it will be on a show in the very near future.)

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Jeremy:
Have you been talking to Roger Ebert about the Oscar season, and if so how do his opinion differ from yours on who will take home an Oscar?

Richard Roeper:
Roger is predicting "Juno" in an upset. I still say it'll be "No Country For Old Men."

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Rosa:
Do you see nominee Ellen Page as being one of the great actresses of this coming century, or do you think she'll fade into obscurity after several years, whether or not she wins this Oscar?

Richard Roeper:
I believe she has a long career ahead of her.

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Timmy:
Hey Rich, what were your thoughts about last year's Oscars? Were you surprised that "The Departed" won? Any other surprises or things you liked about it, or even upsets?

Richard Roeper:
I predicted "The Departed" would win, so I wasn't surprised. I just watched it again recently, and I'm still convinced it was the best movie of the year.

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McKay:
How come you sometimes don't review certain movies, like Next, The Invisible, Ghost Rider, etc.?

Richard Roeper:
It's usually because the studios won't screen them in advance for us.

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Tommy:
What films do you think got unfairly overlooked in the Oscar nominations? I'm happy with the overall nominations, but I feel that "La Vie Rose", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", "Once", "American Gangster", and "In the Valley of Elah" deserved more nominations.

Richard Roeper:
I like your choices. I have no idea why Charlize Theron wasn't even considered for her work on "Elah."

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Clinton:
To what degree did the Academy Awards broadcast, speed up the the writers strike settlement after a failed Golden Globe Award?

Richard Roeper:
I think it was a factor but not THE factor. After the directors reached an agreement, a blueprint was in place for the writers to agree to a settlement.

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Andrew:
Why was "If we picked the winners" online only?

Richard Roeper:
It's a bonus show. We wanted to do a regular review show as well that week, so we put "If We Picked the Winners" online.

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Matthew:
Do you like Jon Stewart as an Oscar host?

Richard Roeper:
I do. But I think Steve Martin was the best host in recent years.

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Matthew:
Considering that the writers strike is over, and had it not been our oscar show would be a half hour long, does it make you wonder if the long, elaborate, process of the unfolding ceremony wastes too much time?

Richard Roeper:
Every year the show is far too long, and every year we in the media talk about how it's far too long, and every year they cram most of the big awards into the last half-hour of the show, and nothing changes from year to year. Sigh.

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Mike:
Since the price of gold has gone up this year, has the value of the golden statue gone up this year? If so, how much do you think it's worth?

Richard Roeper:
I think it's worth its weight in gold.

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Miller:
In your opinion, has Harrison Ford ever given an Oscar worthy performance? If so, for which film?

Richard Roeper:
I think his best performance was in "Witness."

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Mike:
Who do you think gave the best acceptance speech in Oscar history?

Richard Roeper:
Some that immediately come to mind: Louise Fletcher for "Cuckoo's Nest," Tom Hanks for "Gump," Gwyneth for "Shakespeare In Love," Jack Palance doing one-armed pushups and cracking jokes after winning for "City Slickers."

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Mike:
Which one of this years nominees would you be thrilled for if they won?

Richard Roeper:
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for "Falling Slowly" from "Once." Laura Linney for "The Savages."

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Matthew:
Who do you think would be a better host for the Oscars? Conan O'Brien or Steven Colbert?

Richard Roeper:
Colbert.

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Moderator:
That's it for tonight everyone. Thanks for the great questions and to Richard Roeper for the great answers! Although we're no longer taking submissions, Richard will continue to answer some of your questions. Stick around on atthemoviestv.com all weekend for video and text blogs from Richard in Hollywood and to see Richard's and Michael Phillips picks for this weekend's Oscars. Just click on "IF WE PICKED THE WINNERS!"

• • •

Richard Roeper:
Thanks for all the great questions! Let's do this again when it's time to talk about summer blockbusters. Cheers, RR

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