<p>Ben&nbsp;Stiller in &quot;The Secret Life of Walter Mitty&quot;</p>

Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Second trailer for 'Walter Mitty' has a little more Ben Stiller flavor

The fantastical romance received mixed reviews at NYFF

There's a reason why teaser trailers are called just that -- they tease our imaginations with suggested possibilities, but tend to withhold the full picture. The initial teaser for Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" did a great job in that regard -- intriguing in its choice of sound and image, it provided several conflicting hints of where the romantic fantasy could go tonally. Now, with a complete trailer revealing more of the film to us -- well, those of us who haven't yet seen the whole thing at the New York Film Festival -- it would appear that "Walter Mitty" is slightly more straightforward than it initially appeared to be.

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<p>A scene from &quot;To the Wonder.&quot;</p>

A scene from "To the Wonder."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Roundup: On the mastery of Emmanuel Lubezki

Also: Why Timberlake needs to give acting a rest, and Oscar doc overload

Right up there with Roger Deakins, Mexican master Emmanuel Lubezki is surely among the cinematographers most due for Oscar recognition: he'll surely get his sixth Oscar nomination for "Gravity," and this looks increasingly likely to be the year he finally takes the gold. Today's must-read is a Vulture "master class" with Lubezki, in which he talks us through five dazzling shots from his career, focusing exclusively on his partnerships with Alfonso Cuaron and Terrence Malick, including this year's gorgeous twofer of "Gravity" and "To the Wonder." Take note, Academy. [Vulture]

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<p>Martin&nbsp;Scorsese's &quot;The Wolf of Wall Street&quot;&nbsp;was a good bet for a secret screening at NYFF&nbsp;until its release date woes.</p>

Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" was a good bet for a secret screening at NYFF until its release date woes.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

No (high profile) secret screening for NYFF this year?

The recently established tradition looks to be forgone in 2013

While films like "Hugo" and "Lincoln" may have received their first looks at the annual New York Film Festival via "secret screenings" in recent years, attendees can probably stop holding their breath for another surprise at the on-going 51st annual.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Stop comparing 'Gravity' to 'Avatar' when it comes to Oscar

Not all apples and oranges are the same

After a film strikes a chord with moviegoers like "Gravity" did last weekend, it's easy to try and find analogies for it among previous Best Picture nominees or winners. One comparison that continues to be made is to James Cameron's 2009 game changer, "Avatar." Before we judge the merits of that argument, let's jog your brain and revisit some movie history, shall we?

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Watch: Judi Dench searches for her long-lost son in tearjerking 'Philomena' trailer
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Watch: Judi Dench searches for her long-lost son in tearjerking 'Philomena' trailer

Bonus: Hear the Oscar-winning actress break down 'Big Momma's House'

Always wanted to hear Judi Dench break down the plot of "Big Momma's House" but never thought you'd see the day? Well friends, the wait is over.

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<p>Chad has entered Cannes competitor &quot;Grigris&quot; in the Oscar race.&nbsp;</p>

Chad has entered Cannes competitor "Grigris" in the Oscar race. 

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Firsts and disqualifications as a record 76 countries enter foreign Oscar race

Chad enters, but Agnieszka Holland won't compete for the Czech Republic

Well, no sooner had I updated the category than the Academy announced the final, official slate of submissions for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar -- and a bumper slate it is. Last year's race featured 71 films, then a record number; this year, that record has been broken by a significant margin, with 76 territories vying for the award

Among them are a couple of nations entering the race for the first time, including Saudi Arabia (a favorite for a nomination, and possibly the win, with the feminist heartwarmer "Wadjda"), Moldova and Montenegro.

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<p>Sophie N&eacute;lisse in &quot;The Book Thief&quot;</p>

Sophie Nélisse in "The Book Thief"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Off the Carpet: Fox enters the Oscar season with 'The Book Thief' and 'Walter Mitty'

Can they register in what is already a crowded season?

This weekend, 20th Century Fox arrived to the 2013 film awards season with a pair of hopefuls that couldn't be more different from the outside. Nevertheless, Brian Percival's "The Book Thief" and Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," both of which will be viewed as cloying in some circles, are made with an honesty that could stave off some of the cynicism and register. At the end of the day, though, neither is the slam dunk contender the studio may have hoped for a year after "Life of Pi."

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<p>Steven Soderbergh at the 2013 Emmy Awards.</p>

Steven Soderbergh at the 2013 Emmy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

How Steven Soderbergh helped edit Spike Jonze's 'Her'

...and how Chris Cooper got the chop

There are, obviously, many reasons to look forward to Spike Jonze's "Her," which premieres at the New York Film Festival later this week -- beginning, of course, with the fact that it's a Spike Jonze movie, and his first since 2009's "Where the Wild Things Are" (much loved round these parts). But news of another major filmmaker's indirect input just makes the whole project that much more intriguing.

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<p>Adrien Brody in &quot;Back to 1942.&quot;</p>

Adrien Brody in "Back to 1942."

Credit: China Lion Film Distribution

Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins prop up China’s Oscar hopes in ‘Back to 1942’

Will the Hollywood connection pay off this time?

When the deadline for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submissions passed last week, it seemed odd that China – the last major filmmaking nation not yet in the race – hadn’t submitted a film yet. As it turns out, they’d entered one on September 29; national holidays had simply prevented the announcement. And for the second time in three years, China has looked to Hollywood names to give them a boost in the race: this year’s selection, “Back to 1942,” which was released Stateside last year, features Oscar-winning actors Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins in its otherwise Chinese ensemble.

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<p>Ben Stiller in &quot;The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.&quot;</p>

Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Roundup: A moderate start for 'Mitty'

Also: Mark Harris meets Spike Jonze, and Tarantino's best of 2013

The big reveal of the weekend was Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which was unveiled at the New York Film Festival to a mixed reception. Audiences seemed to respond to the whimsical romantic fantasy; perhaps unsurprisingly, critics were, on balance, a little cooler. David Hudson, as usual, does a good job of rounding up reactions to the film so far, which include warm (if not ecstatic) reviews from the trades, while the likes of IndieWire, Slant and Film.com are less convinced. (HitFix's own Drew McWeeny offered muted approval.) Too early and inconclusive, then, to draw any conclusions about its awards-season future; it may well come down to how it plays with the public. [Fandor]

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