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Can Letterman Help Brothers Out at the Oscars?

Oprah has Precious and now Letterman, too, has a horse in this year's awards race, we guess. New York's David Edelstein loves it, but a not-great trailer and earlier pans from both trades caused most prognosticators to discount Oscar hopes for Jim Sheridan's Brothers. Enter Dave, who seems to have invited poor Natalie Portman to last Wednesday's Late Show just to give himself an excuse to rave about her film for ten minutes: "This is a real movie. It couldn't be more timely. There's just not a false note in the entire thing. You must be thrilled to be a part of it," he said, barely letting an increasingly uncomfortable Portman get a word in. "I don't remember when I saw a movie that I was this impressed with ... It's the finest movie made in the last twelve, twenty years." He also asks why he was not asked to star in it.