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Inauguration Shifts Key 2009 Oscar Date

The Oscars are a big deal, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences figures the next President of the United States will be a bigger deal.

The AMPAS announced the schedule for 2009's 81st Annual Academy Awards, making one minor accommodation to electoral politics.

The Oscar season, which culminates with the ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, will kick off on Dec. 1, 2008 with the submission of official screen credit forms, followed by the mailing of nomination ballots on Friday, Dec. 26. Nomination polls will close on Monday, Jan. 12.

Oscar nominations are traditionally announced bright and way-too-early on Tuesday morning, but this year's schedule would have put the nominations on Jan. 20, which happens to be the inauguration of whichever candidate wins the November general election. Instead, nominations will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 22.


To date, early Oscar contenders appear to include "21," "10,000 B.C." and "Prom Night," so Hollywood had better be saving the good movies for later in the year.

Last year's best picture winner was the Coen Brothers' "No Country For Old Men."

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