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GEAR UP FOR OSCARS WITH AT-HOME FILM FESTIVAL

SHARE GEAR UP FOR OSCARS WITH AT-HOME FILM FESTIVAL

The nominations are in, the envelopes are being stuffed and the VCRs are heating up. If you're planning a video Oscar marathon before the statuettes are handed out March 25, get to stores quickly. Many of the nominees are on shelves already or coming soon; several have no release date set.

BEST PICTURE

- "Apollo 13" (PG-13, Universal, in stores now) - None of the flyboys, including Oscar darling Tom Hanks, was nominated, and director Ron Howard also was snubbed. But on the ground, Mission Control linchpin Ed Harris and down-to-earth astronaut wife Kathleen Quinlan earned supporting honors. The box-office champ picked up nine nominations in all, including adapted screenplay (William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert), art direction, editing, dramatic score, sound and visual effects.

- "Braveheart" (R, Paramount, on video March 12) - Mel Gibson's blood-and-guts Scottish epic was the nominations champ with 10, including director (Gibson), original screenplay, cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup, dramatic score, sound and sound effects editing. (Now playing in several Salt Lake theaters.)

- "Babe" (G, MCA/Universal, March 19) - Surprising many with its seven nominations, this sweet kid flick about a talking pig deserves all the attention it gets. Nominations for director Chris Noonan and supporting actor James Cromwell, as well as for art direction, film editing, visual effects and adapted screenplay. (Playing at the Cineplex Odeon Family Center Cinemas in Salt Lake City and the Kaysville Theater in Kaysville.)

- "The Postman" (PG, Miramax, March 26) - Italy didn't enter this gentle story about a poet and his postman in the foreign-film category because its director, Michael Radford, is British. But Radford got the last laugh with nominations for director, actor (Massimo Troisi, who died shortly after the shoot ended), adapted screenplay and original score. (Playing at the Cineplex Odeon Trolley Square Cinemas in Salt Lake City.)

- "Sense and Sensibility" (PG, Columbia TriStar, late June) - This best-picture fave, an adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, earned seven nominations, including dual honors for Emma Thompson - best actress and adapted screenplay. Director Ang Lee wasn't chosen, but other nominations include supporting actress (Kate Winslet), cinematography, costume design and dramatic score. (In several Salt Lake theaters.)

OTHERS IN STORES NOW

- "Batman Forever" (PG-13, Warner) - The big-bucks sequel earned nominations for cinematography, sound and sound effects editing.

- "A Little Princess" (G, Warner) - The stylish children's fantasy is nominated for art direction and cinematography.

- "Rob Roy" (R, MGM/UA) - Tim Roth's up for supporting actor for his role as a ruthless Scottish noble.

- "The Usual Suspects" (R, PolyGram) - Both Kevin Spacey (supporting actor) and Christopher McQuarrie (original screenplay) are considered front-runners.

ON THE WAY

- "Pocahontas" (G, Buena Vista, Feb. 28) - Featuring the voice of Mel Gibson, this summer 'toon is up for musical/comedy score and song ("Colors of the Wind").

- "Toy Story" (G, Buena Vista, Oct. 30) - With a special Oscar for director John Lasseter and nominations for original screenplay, musical/comedy score and original song (Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend"), Disney used the opening of the annual New York Toy Fair to announce the video release date for the computer-generated cartoon, which it calls the largest promotional effort ever for a video.