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Read this: Oscars 2010 countdown, public apologies, PBS's 'Dolley Madison'

Good afternoon, everyone! We are mere days away from the 2010 Academy Awards (it's this Sunday, March 7, on ABC) and are hunkering down with our Oscar pool ballots. Ann Hornaday and Jen Chaney are here to help with their picks and predictions; above, they discuss leading and supporting actors and actresses.

Meanwhile, some Iraq war veterans are giving Best Picture nominee "The Hurt Locker" two thumbs down for its lack of realism. Screenwriter Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded in Iraq with a military bomb squad in 2004, defends it: "I definitely tried for dramatic effect to make artistic choices, but I hope I made them respectfully and carefully and with the goal of not making a training video or a documentary, but showing just how hellish this war is."

Elsewhere in today's news:

  • Tiger Woods. Akio Toyoda. Howard Kurtz on the imperfect art of the public apology.

  • Hank Stuever previews PBS's new take on the original Washington doyenne: "Dolley Madison: America's First Lady."

  • The Going Out Guide presents the best of This Week in Free Stuff.

    Tips? Sightings? E-mail us: reliablesource@washpost.com. And follow us on Twitter: @ReliableSource.

  • By The Reliable Source  |  March 1, 2010; 12:37 PM ET
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    Next: Quoted: Michael Douglas in Vanity Fair on the sins of the father

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