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.

The penultimate podcast of the precursor season is here. With just a little over a week to go before the Oscars finally put a definitive bow on 2011, we're feeling the end upon us. But there are things to address in the final build-up, so let's see what's on the docket today...

Sunday night brought this year's BAFTA Awards, which showed more strength than ever behind Best Picture frontrunner "The Artist."

One of the BAFTA winners was Meryl Streep, which, after the Globe win, has many wondering if it's a real horse race between her and Viola Davis. But is it really?

We buckle down and address a few categories in detail today. First off, we analyze the live action shorts, which we agree boil down to two distinct possibilities.

We also look into the documentary shorts, which, boringly enough, we also agree is down to two distinct possibilities.

And finally, reader questions. We address queries regarding a potentially positive residual effect of the expanded Best Picture field and personal favorite Oscar wins over the last decade.

Have a listen to the new podcast below. 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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"Queen of the Night" courtesy of Whitney Houston and Arista.
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" courtesy of Whitney Houston and Arista.

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 82