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Gold Bust

Charlize Theron received one Oscar, while Peter Jackson and company received 11 Oscars and the distinction of being the first director-producer to win Best Picture with a fantasy movie in the history of the Academy Awards. I think Peter Jackson warranted more than a lousy inset picture on your Oscar issue cover. I guess looks outweigh talent and historic achievement. I would have expected this from other magazines, but not EW. SASCHA FINK rowansterling@aol.com Allentown, Pa.

Great issue on the Oscars, as usual. But what's the deal with Ken Tucker? His review of this year's ceremony was seriously off the map. This year's Oscars were tedious and full of recycled jokes, and the show seemed to last forever. And how could you not love Adrien Brody spraying breath freshener in his mouth? That was one of the brightest moments of the show. KIP MOONEY russandpat@comcast.net Garland, Tex.

Instead of being dissed for her Annie Hall -- meets -- Henry Higgins Oscar attire, Diane Keaton should be praised for having the chutzpah to forgo convention and attend the ceremony fully clothed. Also, her choice of duds gave her the distinction of being the only actress on the red carpet who was flashing a smile -- as opposed to cleavage. TRACEY BUSH LUVDIOR@aol.com Williamstown, W. Va.

Are you kidding me? You skipped Jennifer Garner on your best-dressed list? She was elegant, gorgeous, and glamorous in vintage Valentino. How did you miss this one? Nicole? Yes. Renee? Absolutely. Scarlett? Okay. Julia? Maybe. Angelina? Give me a break. But no Jennifer? In the midst of all the white and the awful one-color-from-head-to-toe trend, Garner stood out as a striking exception, and you ignored her. You goofed, EW. MARY BETH MARION jmbmarion@comcast.net Atlanta

I'd like to comment on one of the entries in Burning Questions, in which you comment on the use of the Scottish word ain and on ''how many Civil War-era Southerners would have used it in conversation.'' Probably quite a few. The region in which Cold Mountain is set was heavily populated by people of Scottish and Irish heritage, many of whom were descended from immigrants who settled there after the Highland Clearances. The word was likely very popular among them, and they would surely have known the meaning of it even if they didn't use it in daily conversation. LINDA RAINES maruaten@yahoo.com Minneapolis

Keeping the Faith

In reference to ''Scripture Doctoring'' (News & Notes) by Jeff Jensen, the Gospels did not occur in a vacuum. They reflect prophecies from throughout the Old Testament. The visual of Jesus stomping on the snake is inspired by Genesis 3:14 -- 15 after the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Mel's visualization was spot-on, and one of my favorite moments in the film. ELAYNE BARNETT elaynebarnett@hotmail.com Valencia, Calif.

I enjoyed reading the insight into the ''will he survive?'' argument aimed at Mel Gibson in Chris Nashawaty's ''Crossover Hit.'' The one paragraph that stood out in particular said, ''Some Hollywood insiders claim he's damaged his reputation among industry peers.'' In a world where Scientologists and Kabbalah worshipers are very vocal about their faith, I find it humorous that Hollywood insiders would turn on one of their own because he is brave enough to put his faith out there for all to see. Now that Gibson has proven himself by making loads of money from a risk that he felt compelled to take, he is suddenly worthy of Hollywood's respect again. MELANIE DONOHO melaniedonoho98@yahoo.com Mount Vernon, Ill.

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