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.

It's been a busy week of announcements and awards shows leading into an even busier week of same as we barrel toward Sundance next week. Plus, ballots are due today (in a few hours, in fact). So let's see what's on the docket today...

Last night brought the first major televised awards show of the season in the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. Both of us were on hand. We give our perspective from the show and our take on the winners.

The DGA announced nominees in both narrative feature and documentary filmmaking this week, including a surprise nomination for David Fincher in the former category.

Speaking of documentaries, there was some major news this week in how the Academy's documentary branch will handle its nominating process. Anne has been dutifully reporting on it throughout the week so she breaks it down for us. The Cinema Eye Honors also happened, recognizing one of the films unfortunately eliminated by the branch's old paradigm.

And finally, reader questions. We address queries regarding the best campaigns of the year, how sewn up the Best Foreign Language Film category is for perceived frontrunner "A Separation" and how critically reviled films get nominated by, um, critics at the Critics' Choice Awards.

Have a listen to the new podcast below with Bob Dylan 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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"Blind Willie McTell" courtesy of Bob Dylan and VH1.
"Jump Into the Fire" courtesy of Harry Nilsson and RCA Victor.

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 77