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Hammond: Can GOP Help One Oscar Hopeful?

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Can Presidential politics actually boost the profile of an under-the-radar Oscar hopeful? That could be a scenario the multitudes of awards consultants working on Summit’s summer indie, A Better Life, might consider as they try to draw voters’ attention to this well-reviewed June release. The film deals with the hot button issue of illegal immigration. But at its heart this is really a touching father-son story about an undocumented Los Angeles laborer trying to forge a better life for his kid while keeping him away from gangs. At what was billed as a DVD release party this week, but which really served as an awards season campaign kickoff, I noticed several Academy members in attendance. The packed event at Culina in Beverly Hills had lots of political talk, much of it about the GOP presidential debates where candidates are engaged in tough ‘kick em out of the country’ rhetoric on the subject of illegal immigrants in America. Tuesday night, Texas Governor Rick Perry wagged his finger and accused Mitt Romney of hiring illegal gardeners at his home several years ago. Perry was striking back after his conservative challengers and other right-wing GOP groups ganged up on him at a previous debate for signing a bill allowing children of illegal immigrants to have their tuition paid in the Texas educational system. The hard right politico of a border state had explained he thought it was the proper thing to do.

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