The Weinstein Co. did indeed come out on top last night. It bought Tom Ford’s “A Single Man,” and will release it before the end of the year.

a single man 341x182 300x160 Weinsteins Make Oscar Move: CheckmateNot only did Harvey love it, Bob did, too. I’ve rarely seen him so effusive about a straight-ahead feature. (Bob makes all the great genre films at Dimension.)

But this means the Weinsteins have made a decisive move in the Oscar race. They already have the hot “Nine,” directed by Rob Marshall, as a very strong yet still unseen candidate for one of the 10 best picture slots. “A Single Man” most assuredly will get one of those berths. (You never know, “Inglourious Basterds” could be a third.)

But with Colin Firth a shoo-in for best actor nominations, and Julianne Moore in best supporting actress, this means the Weinsteins are playing their best Oscar game again. Add those names to Daniel Day-Lewis in best actor for “Nine,” Christoph Waltz as supporting from “Basterds,” and one of several actresses from “Nine” in supporting — I’m told it’s Marion Cotillard or Penelope Cruz — the red carpets are going to be full of Weinstein nominees.

With “A Single Man,” TWC also gets a very strong musical score, a fantastic adapted screenplay. and several tech nominations. This pic, as dressed by Tom Ford, looks like a million more bucks than it cost.

And, unlike some other movies of the recent past, this is a “gay” film that’s not so gay — gay-ish, as someone observed last night!

So add Julianne’s name to the list of supporting actresses: Patricia Clarkson from “Whatever Works,” maybe Mo’Nique from “Precious” (and maybe not for reasons I will explain soon), the “Nine” ladies, Vera Farmiga from “Up in the Air” (who could go into Lead), Kerry Washington from “Mother and Child,” and’ handful more still to be revealed.

Now, kids, we have some Oscar races!

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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