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Oscar Talk: Ep. 88 -- Academy changes dates while Searchlight adds a new contender

Oscar Talk: Ep. 88 -- Academy changes dates while Searchlight adds a new contender

Also: This weekend's releases and a quick look at Best Foreign Language Film

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

This week there have been a number of shake-ups, from significant scheduling shifts to new movies for the season to festival premiere announcements. And there are even a few movies to discuss, too. Let's see what's on the docket...

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<p>Marion Cotillard in &quot;Rust and Bone,&quot; one of the 47 titles vying for this year's European Film Awards.</p>

Marion Cotillard in "Rust and Bone," one of the 47 titles vying for this year's European Film Awards.

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

47 films longlisted for 2012 European Film Awards

Entries range from 'Amour' to 'Iron Sky'... but where's 'Holy Motors?'

Unless I'm very much mistaken, this might qualify as the first official longlist of the awards season. (Don't get too excited -- you might not have any energy left by January.) The nominations for the European Film Awards -- effectively the Oscars of European cinema -- won't be announced until November 3, but we now know exactly what pool of eligible films they'll be drawn from.

Since voting from the vast selection of European films to play in theaters and at festivals over the past year would be impractical -- especially given that no two country's release schedules are alike -- the European Film Academy instead narrows the field using a system in some ways similar to that of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The 20 countries with the most EFA members each elect one film to represent their country in the awards. Then, over 20 further films -- some from other countries, some overlooked by the national committees -- are added to the list by a panel of EFA board members and invited industry experts.

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<p>&quot;Louie.&quot;</p>

"Louie."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Late Show (Part 3)'

Louie goes for it in the beautiful conclusion to the 'Late Show' trilogy

A review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I tune in every night for "The Crying Cleaning Lady Show"...

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"Mob Doctor"

 "Mob Doctor"

Credit: Fox

HitFix Exclusive: Watch the 'Mob Doctor' lose her cool in this clip

Grace is getting a little sick of her brother Nate's complaining

Brothers and sisters don't always get along, but on the new episode of "Mob Doctor" (Fox, Mondays at 9:00 p.m.; episodes also available on iTunes, Hulu and Fox on Demand for free), we see one pair who have slightly weightier problems than who ate the last Pop-Tart.

Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) is a promising surgeon who finds herself pulling bullets out of mobsters to pay off the dangerous debt of her brother Nate (Jesse Lee Soffer). In this clip, Grace puts Nate squarely in his place -- and we're pretty sure he won't be popping by her work to vent his spleen (unless he literally needs to vent his spleen -- she is a doctor, after all) for a while.

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Exclusive: 2012 Fantastic Fest debates to feature blogger, twins and a 'Miami Connection'

Exclusive: 2012 Fantastic Fest debates to feature blogger, twins and a 'Miami Connection'

Joe Swanberg puts his game face on

AUSTIN -- It's only right that Fantastic Fest's signature event is the potent combination of intellectual discourse, visual culture and blood sport. The Fantastic Fest Debates have become more prominent with each passing year and according to Carrie Matherly, Assistant Director of Fantastic Fest, 2012's crop of showdowns will be no exception.

The premise remains the same: two combatants debate on a topic, and then fight -- or "fight" -- in a boxing ring. This year's crop of four debates includes a couple new twists, in that martial arts will replace boxing in some cases, and the opening fight will feature a woman-on-woman scuffle.

As for the latter, they're siblings -- twins, actually. And both are martial arts experts. And co-directors. And they'll be dressed as Kitana and Mileena from "Mortal Kombat."

Jen and Sylvia Soska, the directors of Fest U.S. premiering "American Mary," will literally kick things off on Saturday at the Debates, on the topic of remakes. "They had a hard time coming up with a topic, because they agree on almost everything," Matherly conceded.

Is Exploding Pants Syndrome a thing?

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<p>Elijah Wood in &quot;Wilfred.&quot;</p>

Elijah Wood in "Wilfred."

Credit: FX

Season finale review: 'Wilfred' - 'Secrets'

An old picture causes major complications at Jenna and Ryan's wedding

A review of the "Wilfred" season finale coming up just as soon as I hear you with a French accent...

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Heather Morris on 'Glee'

Why can't Heather Morris have a major story on every episode of 'Glee'?

Credit: Fox

'Glee' recap: 'Britney 2.0' lets Heather Morris shine

Remember when 'Glee' was funny? Let's get back to that

Now, that was better. After last week's lackluster introduction to the multiple new characters on "Glee," it's a relief to get a second episode more focused on old favorites.

The newbies were all still around (even Marley's lunch lady mom had an encore), but "Britney 2.0" worked better as a showcase for Heather Morris, a reminder the writers really should be using Chord Overstreet more, and a tiny glimpse of what might have been if Kurt and Rachel actually got that New York spinoff. Plus, we saw a real Puckerman back in action.

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<p>John McCain and Amy Poehler goofing around between takes on the &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot; season premiere.</p>

John McCain and Amy Poehler goofing around between takes on the "Parks and Recreation" season premiere.

Credit: NBC

Season premiere review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ms. Knope Goes to Washington'

A trip to our nation's capital proves unexpectedly disappointing for Leslie, but fun for us

"Parks and Recreation" is back for a new season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I'm mistaken for Beverly D'Angelo by a Japanese tourist...

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<p>Rainn Wilson and Clark Duke in &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Rainn Wilson and Clark Duke in "The Office" season premiere.

Credit: NBC

Season premiere review: 'The Office' - 'New Guys'

Dunder Mifflin says some hellos and goodbyes as the final season begins

"The Office" has begun its final season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I take a course at the Weintraub Memory Academy...

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'I Get a Kick Out of Fashion'

The designers must create a costume for the Rockettes

Judging from last week's promo, the theme for this week is the word "bitch." It's like "Sesame Street," but a little naughty! Oh, and there will be Rockettes. I can't get too excited about a challenge focused on dressing Rockettes, because that seems to have as much to do with sophisticated fashion as drag or NASCAR.

Anyway, given that Ven is still in the competition, "bitch" is probably the nicest word I can come up with for a theme this week. Weren't you more than a little disappointed he didn't get booted out last week? I'm fairly certain that his crappy attitude has cemented his place in the final three, however, as he gives us all a reason to watch simply to root against him. I hate the idea that "Project Runway" is becoming so conditioned in these ratings-grabbing ways. Remember when it used to be about talent? But let's get to the show. I'm going to try live blogging this week, so bear with me!

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<p>Fantastic Fest is a face-meltingly good time: my personal favorite as a 100 Best Kills contender (&quot;Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark&quot;)</p>

Fantastic Fest is a face-meltingly good time: my personal favorite as a 100 Best Kills contender ("Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark")

Fantastic Fest: 5 Great Events That Aren't Movies

Haunted houses, the boxing ring debates and fantastical sex

The undead in slow-motion; gore-stained flesh; firearmed robots; foreign language throw-downs; webby animated fictions; and a documentary about penises. I'm not saying Fantastic Fest attendees can get sick of such things. I'm saying there's something more in case you want it.

Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League and his team have locked down a schedule of genre-driven extra-curriculars from seasonally appropriate hauntings to the famed Debates to having sex with air in a public formum.

And this year, I'm not only soaking in Fantatstic Fest for the first time, but attending the fest for the first time as a newly transplanted Austinite. The upshot to this is that my comfort zone isn't challenged to heartily: the various events essentially take place in the same block at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and League's own Highball lounge and bar, the epicenter of post-film playtime in Austin.

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<p>Kalvin McManigle of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Kalvin McManigle of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Thursday - Auditions #4

Yup. More 'X Factor' auditions with Simon, Britney, Demi and L.A.

After Wednesday's 5-ish hours of recapping and live-blogging, it's almost a relief to only have one hour of "The X Factor" looming in front of me tonight.

So with that burgeoning excitement...

ALL ABOARD THE PANDA EXPRESS...

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