Hey, remember "Blackthorn?" It wouldn't surprise me if you don't. Mateo Gil's western, starring Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy, came and went in the fall with nary a sound, and certainly hasn't been part of any awards conversation. But every dog has its day, and the film just scooped 11 nominations for the Goya Awards, otherwise known as the Spanish Oscars. The film may not seem terribly Spanish to you, but it qualifies thanks to the beauty of international funding -- which is also why that noted Basque auteur Woody Allen nabbed a screenplay nomination (though nothing else) for "Midnight in Madrid Paris." Curiouser and curiouser. More predictably, Pedro Almodóvar's emphatically Spanish "The Skin I Live In" leads the field with 16 nominations. [THR]

Mike Goodridge on why Meryl Streep deserves the Oscar for "giving -- categorically -- the best performance of the year." Categorically or otherwise, I don't quite agree. [Screen Daily]

UK Prime Minister and noted aesthete David Cameron urges the country's filmmakers to make more mainstream films. Come back, Maggie, all is forgiven. [The Guardian]

Stephanie Zacharek sticks up for "War Horse," particularly its lensing and score: it's not corn or kitsch, but "pure movieness." [Slate

Jeff Wells, meanwhile, could scarcely be more delighted about the tumble the film has taken in the Oscar race if he threw a ticker-tape parade, and puts its demise down to one (misquoted) line in the script. [Hollywood Elsewhere

To coincide with (presumably) as ASC nomination today -- what happened yesterday? -- an interview with "The Artist" cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman. [Blow the Line]

On the abundance of highly-strung female characters in this year's Best Actress race, from Keira Knightley's Sabina Spielrein to Elizabeth Olsen's Martha/Marcy May/Marlene. [LA Times]

Andrew O'Hehir offers an excellent explanation of why the Academy's new documentary rules are a move in the right direction. [Salon]

David Poland talks to the man to beat for the Best Original Song Oscar, "The Muppets" music man Bret McKenzie. [Hot Blog

Finally, a delicious round-up by Glenn Dunks of the best and worst in 2011's movie posters. That "Shame" newspaper ad is a stroke of genius. [Stale Popcorn]