Round-up: 'Introducing' VF's Class of 2012
Also: A detractor defends 'The Artist,' and Bond is unshaven, not stirred
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I always look forward to Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood Issue, an unofficial but essential ritual of the Oscar season -- mostly because I'm a sucker for pretty pictures of movie stars, but partly because they're an interesting, not wholly reliable, time capsule of where the magazine editors think the industry is at, and where it's going. This year's newly unveiled cover is adorned by four of the brightest young actresses of the moment -- three of them already Oscar-nominated, while the fourth surely will be soon -- and it's a typically beautiful effort, but my eyebrows rose slightly at the headline: "Introducing the fresh young stars of 2012." Is Vanity Fair really introducing us to 2010 Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence? Or Mia Wasikowska, whom I believe was featured on the Hollywood cover two years ago? Give us some credit, VF. [Vanity Fair]
One of those detractors, Mark Harris, makes a case for three films to beat "The Artist," but concludes with near-certainty that none of them will. [Grantland]
Still with "The Artist," it may be the supposed foreign invader, but Richard Verrier points out that it's the only Best Picture nominee filmed entirely in Los Angeles. [LA Times]
The first official still from the latest James Bond flick "Skyfall" has been unveiled and ZOMG HE HAS A BIT OF STUBBLE. Calm yourselves. [The Telegraph]
With Christopher Plummer's Oscar all but engraved already, Tom O'Neil rehashes that old theory about playing a gay man who dies being an easy route to an Oscar. Tell that to Jake Gyllenhaal. [Gold Derby]
Matt Zoller Seitz and other contributors discuss their favorites among this year's Oscar nominees. [Press Play]
Mark London Williams talks to Matthew Butler, a first-time Visual Effects nominee for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." [Below the Line]
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