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.

After a break from our regularly scheduled programming last week for some top 10 shenanigans, it's back to business today. And there is PLENTY to talk about, with a wave of critics and precursor award announcements having sped through this week. Let's see what's on the docket today...

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association crowned "The Descendants" Best Picture of the year last weekend, so we discuss that and their other winners.

The Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association also declared nominees this week, which offered some dovetailing but mostly different takes on the race. We discuss.

With the embargo lifted on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," we finally talk about the film. Anne is more forgiving than I am.

The embargo for "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" is - kind of? - lifted, so we touch on that one, as well.

Finally, reader questions. We answer queries regarding "Bridesmaids"'s place in the season, surprises so far and what this year means for late-breaking films.

Have a listen to the new podcast below with Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Karen O leading the way. If the file cuts off for you at any time, try the back-up download link at the bottom of this post. And as always, remember to subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.

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"Immigrant Song" courtesy of Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Karen O and The Null Corporation.
Music from "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" courtesy of Alexandre Desplat and Warner Bros. Records.

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 74