I'm finally going to catch Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" this afternoon, and I can't wait. I've been a huge fan of the director's recent work, particularly "Dogville" and "Antichrist," the former coming in rather high on my personal list of the 10 best films of the last decade. But I've been bracing myself for an old story to rear its ugly head again, namely Von Trier's controversial Nazi comments made at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Von Trier is partly to blame for their resurgence, as he recently retracted the apology he gave after the fest declared him persona non grata, but lost in all of this obsession on provocative statements made during a press conference is the work itself, and linked in today's round-up is Manohla Dargis's voice of reason on the matter. Who knows how far "Melancholia" -- which is receiving some of the most favorable reviews Von Trier has seen in his career -- might have gone had the controversy not overshadowed the work? But at least the Cannes jury saw fit to take its own council and give the film an award (for Kirsten Dunst's performance), and at least there are people like Dargis arguing strongly in favor of considering the art rather than the artist.

Manohla Dargis on taking filmmakers like Roman Polanski and Lars Von Trier at their work, not their words or actions. [New York Times]

Charting Best Picture predictions, Brad Brevet has "Moneyball" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" on the move. [Rope of Silicon]

There's Albert Brooks again, this time talking "Drive" with Susan Wloszczyna from the Toronto Film Festival. [USA Today]

Speaking of which, costume designer Erin Benach answers all your questions about the shiny satin jacket Ryan Gosling wears in the film. [Grantland]

Anne Thompson offers up a big, fat, massive Toronto fest wrap-up for anyone looking for a thorough recap. [Thompson on Hollywood]

Steve Martin humbly offers some Oscar hosting advice for his "Bowfinger" co-star Eddie Murphy. [SteveMartin.com]

The Weinstein Company picks up Sean Penn-starrer "This Must Be the Place." [Deadline]

And they're off! Movieline launches it's annual Oscar Index. [Movieline]

Steven Zeitchik on the well-covered "will there be minority representation at the Oscars" talking point. [24 Frames]

Russia's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film race is met with considerable controversy. [The Guardian]