newspaper’s actual reporters snagged him a walk-around ticket to the GovernorsBall after the Oscars.Who knows, maybe he’ll even capture the Holy Grail for a Minneapolis boy like theBagger: an invitation to the after-party at the Los Angeles abode of HisPurpleness, Prince.A Critic’s CriticPaul Thomas Anderson, apart from being the holy vessel of hope and aspiration forcritics and cineastes, is known in the industry as both a straight shooter and abarrel of monkeys — someone who takes the work seriously, but not himself. OnThursday night at STK, he did not disappoint.He was in full cry with his mates, staying late and talking with all comers. TheBagger, who has admitted here that he finds “There Will Be Blood” more admirablethan convincing, introduced himself. Mr. Anderson laughed for a while. And then helaughed a bunch more.“You know you don’t know a thing about movies,” he said.Um, gee, the Bagger thought, maybe this is the point where he should change thetopic to “Punch-Drunk Love,” another movie by Mr. Anderson, one of his favoritefilms of all time? But the filmmaker just kept laughing.“ ‘There Will Be Blood’ was the best movie of the year,” Mr. Anderson said.“Except for maybe ‘Juno.’ And ‘Clayton.’ And ‘Atonement.’ Other than that, it wasthe best movie of the year.”Um, there seems to be one omission in that gracious tick-tock, the Bagger noted.The one that sent the Bagger into fan-boy convulsions. The Coen brothers’ “NoCountry for Old Men.”“You really think that movie was better than ours!” Mr. Anderson said, scoffing.“C’mon, do you really believe that?” Mr. Anderson laughed one more time, clappedthe Bagger on his back and wished him on his merry, misguided way.The White and the GoldThe University of Southern California released a study Thursday about thepreferences of the academy and found that in almost in any given year of bestpicture nominations, the roles in the nominated films for people who are not whiteand male are few and far between.After looking at 30 years of such nominations, the study said, “The data showthere are almost three speaking males for every one female and more than fourwhite speaking characters for every one nonwhite character.”“Unfortunately, females are grossly underrepresented in these prestigious films,”said Stacy Smith, a communications professor at U.S.C. Annenberg and the study’sprincipal researcher. “The gender-imbalance findings are a microcosm of a muchbigger representational phenomenon in American film and television.”That imbalance will be on remarkable display Sunday night, when only one of the 20nominated actors, Ruby Dee, is black. At a time when it’s actors like Will Smithand Denzel Washington who are actually bringing people into the multiplex, itseems as if Oscar has a chronic problem with color preference.