<p>Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig on the set of &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig on the set of "Skyfall."

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Argo' and 'Skyfall' tops with UK Regional Critics

Meanwhile, Team Edward makes its vote count

"Argo" may have been ruling the awards roost in the US for a couple of weeks now, but only this week are we going to learn if the Brits are quite as enamored of Ben Affleck's political thriller. It lost all four of its bids at the London Critics' Circle Awards two weeks ago, but this weekend, we'll see if BAFTA adds to its laurels -- I increasingly suspect they will, though it's no sure thing.

Still, "Argo" has received at least one British vote of confidence from the UK Regional Film Awards, representing the country's non-London-based critics. It received their Film of the Year award, though Affleck was pipped by "Skyfall" helmer Sam Mendes to Director of the Year. In their one public-voted award, meanwhile, Robert Pattinson took British Performance of the Year for the last "Twilight" film, which must come as some consolation after being cruelly shut out all season. Winners after the jump, and at The Circuit.   

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<p>Sheila Vand in &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

Sheila Vand in "Argo."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: On the humbler supporting stars of 2012

Also: Guessing the win tally for 'Argo,' and trailer trickery

One of the reasons I get more bothered than some over the admittedly nebulous issue of so-called category fraud is that for every Christoph Waltz or Helen Hunt who gets slotted into the supporting race for a major role, it's harder for lesser-known actors who stand out in far smaller parts to get the recognition they deserve. If Hunt is supporting in "The Sessions," for example, then what is the superb Moon Bloodgood? So I'm glad Lisa Rosen has written this LA Times piece celebrating a number of uncelebrated faces from assorted awards contenders, including Bloodgood, Sheila Vand in "Argo" (not included in SAG's ensemble listing, by the way) and Gina Montana in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I'd add Jesse Plemons in "The Master" and Corinne Masiero in "Rust and Bone," among others. What lesser-spotted supporting stars stood out to you? [LA Times]   

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<p>Sean and Leigh&nbsp;Anne Tuohy in&nbsp;New Orleans for today's big game</p>

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy in New Orleans for today's big game

Credit: AP Photo

Sandra Bullock to attend Super Bowl with 'Blind Side' family

Go Ravens

Believe it or not, there's a bit of an Oscar angle to today's big game. This year's Super Bowl pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, and on the offensive line of the latter, defending Joe Flacco's blind side throughout the game, will be Michael Oher, subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning film "The Blind Side."

The film came on strong at the end of the year that season, crossing $250 million at the domestic box office and landing a surprising Best Picture nomination in the first year that allowed 10 nominees. It also quickly became Sandra Bullock's victory march as the actress charged on through Oscar night to the Best Actress prize for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Memphis socialite who took Oher in when he had nowhere to turn.

The Tuohys, of course, will be attending the big game in New Orleans this year. Not only that, but Bullock, who has kept in touch with the family ever since her experience working on the film, will be there as well, rooting for the purple and black.

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<p>Ben Affleck at the 65th annual&nbsp;DGA&nbsp;Awards</p>

Ben Affleck at the 65th annual DGA Awards

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Ben Affleck, Lena Dunham, Rian Johnson win Directors Guild awards

'Argo' keeps on keepin' on

Check off one more box on the "Argo" industry tour of awards season goodies. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has crowned Ben Affleck with the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, this just a week removed from big wins from the Producers and Screen Actors Guilds. Is it really clear sailing to a Best Picture win at the Oscars from here? Or will the fact that Academy members won't even have ballots in hand until Friday mean there's too much time for "them" to second guess the guild circuit?

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<p>&quot;Life of Pi,&quot;&nbsp;winner for fantasy film</p>

"Life of Pi," winner for fantasy film

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Anna Karenina,' 'Life of Pi' and 'Skyfall' win at the 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards

'Anna' would appear to still be the Oscar favorite -- or is it?

The 17th annual Art Directors Guild awards were also held this evening. On the film side, as always, awards were given in three categories: period, fantasy and contemporary. Check out the nominees here.

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<p>&quot;Wreck-It&nbsp;Ralph&quot;</p>

"Wreck-It Ralph"

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Wreck-It Ralph' wins big at 40th Annie Awards

Is Oscar next?

This year's Annie Awards did a nice job of spreading out the wealth. "Brave," "ParaNorman" and "Rise of the Guardians" all won multiple prizes. Indeed, the one film that seemed snubbed throughout was Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie." But it was "Wreck-It Ralph" that ended up with the most prizes (five), including the award for Best Animated Feature.

Elsewhere, "The Avengers" and "Life of Pi" predictably won awards in the live action races, while both "Head Over Heels" (student film) and "Paperman" (short subject) were recognized as well. On the latter, that certainly does little to clear up their odds of picking up the Best Animated Short Oscar. But more on those when we profile the category in the Oscar Guide next week.

Check out the full list of film winners below, and as always, keep up with all the ups and downs of the 2012-2013 film awards season via The Circuit.

And stick around. There are two other awards shows going on as you read, with more winners to come. Crazy day for the season.

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<p>The Oscar Guide is primed for its spotlight. Three weeks of wall-to-wall analysis!</p>

The Oscar Guide is primed for its spotlight. Three weeks of wall-to-wall analysis!

Credit: AP Photo

Coming next week: the Oscar Guide 2012

Time to dig in...

Just a note that last week's examination of the Best Documentary Short Subject category indeed represented the beginning of this year's Oscar Guide, our annual analysis of each category's nominees with an eye toward guessing the outcome of the Academy Awards. As always, it's possible that we could go back to earlier installments and update this or that prediction, which we'll make note of, but Monday the daily stuff starts in earnest. We'll have at least one per day, sometimes two. So check back for that then.

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<p>&quot;Red Tails&quot;</p>

"Red Tails"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Red Tails' defeats 'Beasts,' 'Django Unchained' and 'Flight' at the NAACP Image Awards

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis win top acting honors

I suppose it's a bit of a surprise that the George Lucas-produced "Red Tails" beat out some stiff Oscar competition in Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and Robert Zemeckis's "Flight," so there it is. But the wealth was spread, as Benh Zeitlin, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington all received prizes. In fact, Washington won three awards on the night, taking Best Actress in a Drama Series ("Scandal") and the President's Award for public service in addition to her supporting prize for "Django." Check out the full list of motion picture winners below, and as always, keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 104 -- 'Argo' steamroller

Oscar Talk: Ep. 104 -- 'Argo' steamroller

How much farther can it go?

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.

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<p>&quot;The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey&quot;</p>

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: How 'The Hobbit' made the VFX shortlist sight unseen

Also: 'Argo' an illegal hit in Iran, and Hackford to relinquish DGA presidency

The shortlisting and ensuing "bakeoff" that results in the Oscar nominees for Best Visual Effects is a notably imperfect process -- all the more so when the Academy compressed its voting calendar by a couple of weeks. David S. Cohen looks into this year's race, and finds that "The Hobbit" made the Academy's 10-film shortlist despite the fact that most of the VFX committee hadn't seen it by November 28, the day they met to draw up the list. Chairman Craig Barron describes the sight-unseen inclusion as a no-brainer, but other members were less happy: "One interest is concerned with having an awards process that is conducted as promptly as possible, and that of course has to vie with the interest that is mainly preoccupied with ensuring the process maintains its integrity," says Jonathan Erland. "It's self-evident that there's a problem." What do you think? [Variety]

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