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

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'The Hobbit,' 'Lincoln' surprise with Cinema Audio Society nominations

'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises' are denied

Every year there are discrepancies between guild/industry nominations and their Academy counterparts. And the Cinema Audio Society is no exception. Just last year, "Hanna," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Super 8" all yielded to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "War Horse" with the Academy. And only twice in the Society's history have their nods and the sound branch's nominees for Best Sound Mixing (or Best Sound, as the category used to be called) matched up.

This year? Well, this year, who knows? It's a strange season in that a number of people have missed a number of movies. So something like "Django Unchained" misses here. Then again, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did find a place. The two perceived frontrunners in the category, "Les Misérables" and "Skyfall," are there, but missing are summer blockbusters like "The Avengers" (which seemed all systems go for Oscar), "The Dark Knight Rises" (no surprise given the criticisms) and "Prometheus" (which boasts a heck of a track).

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<p>Jamie Foxx in &quot;Django Unchained.&quot;</p>

Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Did the Academy spill one of their nominees early?

Also: The Globes get a theme song, and why there's still hope for 'Les Mis' fans

In these final heated days before the Oscar nominations, even the most minor kerfuffle can become a story, and so it's been with the Academy's supposedearly announcement a few days ago of one nominee: "Django Unchained" costume designer Sharen Davis. A test page announcing Davis's third nomination was accidentally published on the Academy's official site a few days ago. Scott Feinberg was among those pointing out that the "leak" can't have been legit, given that votes were still being counted, and was indeed nothing more than a randomly chosen example to test the format, but that hasn't stopped the story from spreading. In any case, Davis's nod for "Django"'s dynamic duds already looked a pretty sure thing, with or without the Academy's "confirmation." [Vanity Fair

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<p>A scene from &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

A scene from "Lincoln"

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

'Lincoln' dominates North Texas film critics awards

Awards for 'Life of Pi,' 'The Intouchables' and 'Wreck-It Ralph,' too

The North Texas Film Critics Association has thrown another log on the fire for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the film's second critics Best Picture prize of the season. The film also won Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress) and Claudio Miranda (Best Cinematography) kept it from being a clean sweep. Check out the full list of winners below. As always, dig the season at The Circuit.

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"Zero Dark Thirty"

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty' wins big with Vancouver critics

'War Witch' does well in Canadian spotlight awards

Just as "Argo" had pulled it to a tie, "Zero Dark Thirty" takes another step out ahead of the critics awards haul with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay honors from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams won awards for their performances in "The Master." Check out the full list below and, as always, you know: The Circuit.

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

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'The Hobbit,' 'Avengers' and 'Life of Pi' lead Visual Effects Society nominations

Four of the Academy's bake-off finalists shut out

Last week the visual effects branch of the Academy held its annual bake-off. The seven films in competition were "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers," "Cloud Atlas," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "John Carter," "Life of Pi," "Prometheus," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Of those 10, "Cloud Atlas," "John Carter," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" were shut out of today's Visual Effects Society nominations. So take that as you will for Oscar prospects.

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<p>John&nbsp;Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben&nbsp;Affleck in &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Online Film Critics Society goes with 'Argo,' PTA

Day-Lewis, Chastain, Hoffman and Hathaway make good again

The Online Film Critics have jumped on the increasingly-strong "Argo" bandwagon and handed the film its Best Picture prize for 2012. Paul Thomas Anderson nabbed Best Director after his film, "The Master," led the way with nominations. Philip Seymour Hoffman was also recognized for his work in the film. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain won top acting honors and Anne Hathaway picked up yet another prize for her performance in "Les Misérables." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of it all at The Circuit.

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<p>Alicia Vikander in &quot;Anna Karenina.&quot;</p>

Alicia Vikander in "Anna Karenina."

Elizabeth Olsen and Alicia Vikander feature on BAFTA's female-heavy Rising Star list

'Life of Pi' newcomer Suraj Sharma is the lone male nominee

The BAFTA Rising Star Award, the one prize subjected to a public vote at the UK's answer to the Oscars, can be a frustrating business. More often than not, it pits a host of gifted young actors against one contender with a higher profile among Britain's youthful texting masses, rendering the competition a bit flat -- and the outcome often a bit iffy. Noel Clarke over Michael Fassbender? Adam Deacon over anyone? We may routinely complain about awards bodies' decisions, but it still beats hearing the people sing.

This year, however, the BAFTA jury charged with compiling the nominees appears to have safeguarded against that problem with a discerning, evenly matched shortlist of names, most of whom will be unfamiliar to multiplex crowds.

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<p>Lea Seydoux in &quot;Sister.&quot;</p>

Lea Seydoux in "Sister."

Credit: Adopt Films

Roundup: Is the foreign-language category still broken?

Also: Haneke out of home awards, and an Oscar for the director of 'Contraband?'

The Best Foreign Language Film race so far has proceeded with a minimum of the usual controversy: most countries' selections were met with approval, and the Academy's eventual shortlist is a credible one. Still, dissatisfaction lingers, whether it's with the overwhelmingly European slant of this year's shortlist, or the one-film-per-country rule. Mark Olsen speaks to the directors and distributors of this year's shortlisted films to get their take on the fundamentally flawed award. Jeff Lipsky, head of "Sister" distributor Adopt Films has this to say: "The category is called best foreign language film, not best foreign language film as selected by an overly politicized committee in every nation of the world." (He also describes the widespread presumption that "Amour" is going to win an "inexplicable manifest avalanche.") [LA Times

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<p>Emma Stone at last year's Academy Awards ceremony.</p>

Emma Stone at last year's Academy Awards ceremony.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane to announce Oscar nominees

A break from the usual tradition - should we expect some banter?

I'm not aware of this news breaking in any other format, so I guess it fell to Seth MacFarlane's Twitter feed to announce that he and Emma Stone will be announcing the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards at 5am PST on Thursday.

This marks a break from tradition in a few ways. As long I've been watching the Oscars, it has been the president of the Academy who has delivered the crack-of-dawn news, joined by a former Oscar winner or nominee. (Recently, Jennifer Lawrence, Mo'Nique, Anne Hathaway and Forest Whitaker have all had the bleary-eyed pleasure.)

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<p>Alan&nbsp;Arkin and Ben&nbsp;Affleck in &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Argo' wins with Houston film critics

Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence win top acting honors

After "Lincoln" led the way with nominations from the Houston Film Critics Society last month, it was "Argo" that took the prizes for Best Picture and Best Director. Steven Spielberg's film did win Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay, while most other awards followed established canon. This is the seventh Best Film prize for "Argo" on the critics circuit so far, bringing it ever closer to the "Zero Dark Thirty" tally of eight. Check out the full list of winners below and as always, keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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