Linked in today's round-up is a story from The Guardian newspaper in London in which Ryan Gibey bemoans the loss of microbudget American independent cinema. Of course, there isn't really a loss there, as shoe-string budgets are alive and well, namely in movements like Mumblecore (dirty word, I know) cinema, where filmmakers like Joe Swanberg and Aaron Katz have made a name for themselves. But I feel his pain. I often think back to the independent burst of the early-1990s and how that fury just hasn't been matched. In particular Gibey singles out Richard Linklater's "Slacker," which I confess I never saw until recently, and I was rather blown away by it. The film, which pre-dated indie titan filmmaking from the likes of Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell (who are well-covered in Sharon Waxman's book "Rebels on the Backlot"), is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year if you can believe it. It was recently remade by a troupe of filmmakers for the occasion and premiered at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, where the film is set (and where Fantastic Fest rages on currently). Now, let's see what's going on in the Oscarweb today...

Ryan Gibey longs for the microbudget cinema of the early 1990s. [The Guardian]

Allison Loring talks to composer Cliff Martinez about the synth pulse he gave to Nicholas Winding Refn's "Drive." [Film School Rejects]

Patrick Goldstein finds "Moneyball" to be about "how being an outsider encourages innovation." [The Big Picture]

David Poland catches up with the film's director, Bennett Miller. [The Hot Blog]

Anne Thompson talks "50/50" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. [Thompson on Hollywood]

After already having picked up its first English-language film in "The Deep Blue Sea," Music Box grabs the rights to Canada's Oscar entry "Monsieur Lazhar." [Deadline]

Thelma Adams, Sasha Stone and Susan Wloszczyna talk about the Best Actor race. I'll be digging into that field in Monday's Off the Carpet column. [ThelmaAdams.com]

Speaking of which, for whatever reason, Jeff Wells wants to put the brakes on Leonardo DiCaprio getting a nomination in the category for "J. Edgar" despite all systems looking go. [Hollywood Elsewhere]

Also, Liam Neeson could pop up as a contender too, because Open Road Pictures has been toying with the idea of a qualifying run for Joe Carnahan's "The Grey." Greg Ellwood has the trailer. [Awards Campaign]

Drew McWeeny kicks off his Fantastic Fest coverage with a review of "Michael." No, not that adorable John Travolta angel movie. [Motion/Captured]