<p>Emayatzy Corinealdi and David Oyelowo scored nods for &quot;Middle of Nowhere,&quot; but where is the film in the Best Picture field?</p>

Emayatzy Corinealdi and David Oyelowo scored nods for "Middle of Nowhere," but where is the film in the Best Picture field?

Credit: AAFRM

'Beasts,' 'Flight,' 'Django' lead NAACP Image Award nominees, 'Middle of Nowhere' sidelined

The only ceremony where you'll see Tyler Perry competing with Suraj Sharma

I must confess I don't really get the NAACP Image Awards. On the one hand, the idea of an awards show dedicated specifically to honoring non-white achievements in popular culture seems uncomfortably self-marginalizing in this day and age. On the other, the unhappy truth is that non-white artists and stories are still marginalized in Hollywood, so there's something to be said for a ceremony that celebrates the finest talent the community has to offer.

Why, then, does the NAACP routinely do such a poor job of recognizing that very talent for themselves? This year's list of Image nominees is led by three crossover features with substantial African-American leads (all, incidentally, from white filmmakers): "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained" and "Flight" nabbed four nominations each. Where, however, is "Middle of Nowhere?"

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<p>Young actress Isabelle Allen received one of 12 nominations for "Les Mis&eacute;rables."

Young actress Isabelle Allen received one of 12 nominations for "Les Misérables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Les Misérables' leads Phoenix critics' nods

'The Avengers' manages a Best Picture nomination

Another hour, another list of critics' award nominations.The Phoenix Film Critics Society is the latest group to toss their picks into the hat, and they've largely favored the Oscar-season favorites -- "Les Misérables" comfortably leads the way with 12 nominations. The Phoenix folk vote in more categories than most such groups, which is all well and good, though I'm not sure how well-equipped most critics are to judge the year's best stunt work. Novelties in the list include a Best Picture nod for "The Avengers" and, in a less populist vein, a mention for Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a Best Actress category that, oddly, only finds room for four names. Check out the full list after the jump, and at The Circuit.   

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Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Short

Adele's 'Skyfall,' Florence + the Machine's 'Breath of Life' among 75 original songs up for Oscar

And no 'Holy Motors' -- Booooo!

The Academy has announced that a whopping 75 tunes are in play for the Best Original Song Oscar this year, and among them were tracks by Adele, Florence + the Machine and The Arcade Fire. I imagine that makes the Oscarcast's producers very happy, that top ticket acts are in play, but they have to be nominated first, folks. So don't go carving out a spot in the show's rundown for these numbers just yet.

Also in play are other popular artists like Keith Urban, Karen O and Katy Perry. I'm personally hopeful that Ennio Morricone's beautiful track "Ancora Qui" gets into the category, and I have a hunch it might. But what a bummer that "Who We Were" from "Holy Motors" didn't make the cut. I have no idea why. Also, the Weinsteins' push for Willie Nelson's "Midnight Run" from "Lawless" bore no fruit, I see. Though The Bootleggers and Emmylou Harris's "Cosmonaut" did.

Check out the full list of qualifying contenders below. We'll have the Best Original Song Contenders page updated in due time. For now, what do you expect will be nominated from the category?

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<p>&quot;Lincoln&quot;&nbsp;broke the nominations record previously held by &quot;Black&nbsp;Swan.&quot;</p>

"Lincoln" broke the nominations record previously held by "Black Swan."

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'Lincoln' leads nominations for the 18th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards

And the BFCA adds a slew of new categories this year, but why?

Not that this is something to be particularly proud of, but the Broadcast Film Critics Association has done its annual duty of distilling the Oscar race to what we think it is now (now, NOW!). There's nothing of passionate note in its overall picks, nothing of unique flavor. But as I have explained in the past, that's the result of a vaster group than these other, smaller 20- and 30-member critics groups. A bigger spread tends to yield consensus and, well, boring choices across the board.

The Academy can sometimes offer more refined selections throughout its many categories, focused on the work of peers, knowledgeable in it, even. But here you'll find what seems like auto-pilot selections, some of them even traceable to various publicity campaigns around this or that contender (nice work in the Best Song category, "Act of Valor" pushers). I don't claim them, though I certainly voted in them (full disclosure: I am a member). I don't see my identity here. Indeed, I don't see much of an identity at all.

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<p>&quot;Django Unchained&quot;</p>

"Django Unchained"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Django Unchained' lands eight St. Louis film critics nods

'Moonrise Kingdom' also picked up quite a few

As we wait for the BFCA news to drop, the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association has tossed its hat into the ring with a list of nominations as well. It's nice to see that Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" registered so well, landing eight nominations. Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" was also a favorite from the group, as well as fellow indie "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Check out the full list below and, well, you know -- The Circuit.

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<p>Helena Bonham Carter at last week's &quot;Les Mis&eacute;rables&quot; premiere in London.&nbsp;</p>

Helena Bonham Carter at last week's "Les Misérables" premiere in London. 

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Helena Bonham Carter to be honored by the London Film Critics' Circle

The actress will receive the Dilys Powell Award for contribution to British cinema

I'm the first to admit that I don't tend to take great interest in press releases announcing the umpteenth honorary award winner of the season -- while frequently deserved and hard-earned, such honors can seem like unspecific garnish beside their tangier competitive counterparts.

Still, having now served for two years on the awards committee of the London Film Critics' Circle, I'm well aware of the extensive consultation and organization that goes into such seemingly simple awards. As we tried to decide on a recipient for next year's Dilys Powell Award -- recognizing outstanding contribution to British cinema -- a lengthy list of candidates was considered and debated over several meetings and countless emails, until one outstanding name was roundly agreed upon: Helena Bonham Carter.

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<p>Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in &quot;Take This Waltz&quot;</p>

Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in "Take This Waltz"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'Take This Waltz' stand out in Detroit Film Critics Society nods

'Argo' and 'The Impossible' also favorites

The Detroit Film Critics Society has announced its list of nominees, and they refreshingly go their own way in a number of areas. "Silver Linings Playbook" led the way with seven nominations and Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" was a favorite, too. Other unique picks include Bill Murray in the Best Actor line-up for "Hyde Park on Hudson" and Greta Gerwig in Best Actress for "Damsels in Distress." Check out the full list below and remember to keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Anna Kendrick in &quot;Pitch Perfect.&quot;</p>

Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Roundup: Why 2012 has been a good year for movie heroines

Also: Inside the LAFCA vote, and examining BAFTA's rule changes

I somehow missed this when it appeared a few day ago, but A.O. Scott's essay on the year in movie heroines is essential reading. While noting the commercial and/or critical success of female-powered narratives ranging from "The Hunger Games" to "Brave" to "Beasts of the Southern Wild" to "Pitch Perfect" -- while noting the potential for "Zero Dark Thirty" to rule an otherwise male-dominated Oscar slate -- he's not so naive or patronising as to label 2012 any kind of Year of the Woman. Still, he does sense a recent uptick in studios' consideration of the intelligent female audience. "It should not, after all, be a big deal that movies like 'Bridesmaids' or 'The Hunger Games' exist," he writes, "perhaps because it should have been a bigger deal when such movies didn’t." [New York Times]

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<p>Emmanuelle Riva has already won several critics' awards for &quot;Amour.&quot;</p>

Emmanuelle Riva has already won several critics' awards for "Amour."

Credit: AP Photo/Michel Euler

Emmanuelle Riva on playing part of a Michael Haneke symphony in 'Amour'

We talk to the Boston and Los Angeles critics' choice for Best Actress

The first thing Emmanuelle Riva wants me to know – before any mention of movies, careers or awards, before the word “Amour” even enters our conversation – is that she's feeling fine. 

Admittedly, it's not an entirely unprompted statement. She's merely responding to my opening greeting, in which I mention how sorry I was to hear of her recent ill health – words which immediately draw a good-natured but puzzled laugh. “I'm sorry, illness?” she asks over the phone, via a translator, from her home in Paris. “I don't know what you mean.” 

Nervous that I've kicked off an eagerly-awaited interview with an immediate faux pas, I sheepishly explain that her absence at the previous weekend's European Film Awards in Malta – where she was a popular winner of the Best Actress prize – had been explained by the presenter as the result of flu season. Happily, Riva cheerfully confirms, there must have been a misunderstanding. “I'm perfectly fine,” she says. “I was just tired. I've been doing interviews since Cannes!” 

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<p>Amy Adams will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month.</p>

Amy Adams will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month.

Credit: Kenneth Wilardt

Amy Adams to receive Vanguard Award at Santa Barbara fest

The actress is aiming for her fourth Oscar nod this season

Though the category remains highly flexible, Amy Adams's position in the Best Supporting Actress race had been looking the tiniest bit precarious until recently. Though critically beloved, "The Master" is clearly not a consensus favorite, while her excellent work in it risks getting sidelined -- not just because of her more prominently featured male co-stars, but because the chilly tenor of her performance as a slyly controlling kewpie-doll wife doesn't invite the same emotional response as some of her chief rivals.

Things are looking up, though. A win from the Los Angeles critics, who came through for "The Master" in a big way, is a major boost, and today it was announced that Adams will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at next month's Santa Barbara International Film Festival -- which, like Palm Springs, is a useful stop on the Oscar campaign trail.

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