I find myself a little mystified by Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," and not just because I haven't seen it yet. Usually, at this late point in the season, we have some idea if previously mooted Oscar bait is in the mix or dead on arrival, if it's closer to "The Artist" or, say, "The Lovely Bones." But with this one, the signals are still all over the place. Reviews are predictably divided, but so are the precursors: the BFCA, always sniffing for potential Oscar hopefuls, placed some stock in it, but SAG and the Globes didn't bite. Michael Cieply investigates the film's curious campaign strategy, revealing that the HFPA was "deeply split" on the film. [New York Times]  

Phil Hoad on the "half-native, half-Hollywood" identity of Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." [The Guardian]

Is "Bridesmaids" on track for a Best Picture nomination? No, but you'd be surprised how many pundits think otherwise. [Gold Derby]

David Poland talks to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" FX wizard Joe Letteri, nominated this morning by the London critics. [The Hot Blog]

Kyle Buchanan wonders if Charlize Theron and "Young Adult" go too far for audiences. [Vulture]

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson talk "The Adventures of Tintin." [Los Angeles Times]

Nathaniel Rogers catches up with some of the year-end releases -- tweet-style. [The Film Experience]

With Woody Allen on everyone's mind at the moment, Geoffrey Macnab revisits the director's work, and counts down his finest. [The Independent]