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When it comes to the Best Picture race, it's fair to say that below-the-line support from the crafts branches can be a bit of a deal-breaker: you have to go all the way back to "Ordinary People" in 1980 to find a film that won the top prize after receiving no technical nominations whatsoever. Fox Searchlight is aware of that, as well as the fact that nobody's really singing the praises of "The Descendants" in any technical capacity. Their plan of action: a featurette focusing specifically on the film's cinematography and editing, exclusively debuted on Scott Feinberg's site. (The score -- thankfully, if you ask me -- is ineligible.) It's a clever attempt to cover a blind spot, but they'll likely have a tough time convincing branch voters in either category. [THR]
Emma Stone, Johnny Depp and "Harry Potter" were the big winners at the People's Choice Awards, but the real news, I'm sure you'll agree, is that R.Pattz got a buzzcut. [MTV]
You read Mark Harris's Oscar column every week, don't you? If not, why not? Here here is on the "known unknowns" in the wake of some surprising Guild trends. [Grantland]
Steven Spielberg talks to Tom Huddleston about "War Horse," his 2013 project "Robocalypse" and paying his kids to watch black-and-white films. [Time Out]
Peter Bradshaw says what needs to be said about Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for the UK film industry: basically, back the hell off. [The Guardian]
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" director Stephen Daldry tries not to think about awards. Which, this year, is just as well. [Variety]
Nathaniel Rogers celebrates the 102nd birthday Luise Rainer with a countdown of the oldest living Oscar nominees. Proud to say I met #2 only a few weeks ago. [The Film Experience]
Between some other off-consensus predictions, Nick Davis puts forth a compelling case for Kristen Wiig nabbing a surprise Best Actress nod. [Nick's Flick Picks]
This was posted last month, but seems appropriate now: a profile of yesterday's deserving surprise ASC nominee, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" DP Hoyte van Hoytema. [Below the Line]
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