<p>Get over it, people.</p>

Get over it, people.

Credit: Miramax Films

Roundup: What's the best worst Oscar moment?

Also: Oscar-nominated screenwriters get political, and a look at two VFX hopefuls

"No mass cultural event has the capacity to infuriate like the Oscars." A truer line was never written, and so Grantland writer Mark Lisanti launches a "tournament" to determine the most egregious Oscar travesty of all time, rounding up any number of supposed outrages from past Academy Awards ceremonies that people still love to bitch about, and pitting them against each other for you to vote on. Nominees range from contentious winners to infamous onstage moments, many of which I still don't understand the fuss about. I, for one, think it's nice that Angelina Jolie is close to her brother. And I'll never get why it must be a cast-iron fact that "Saving Private Ryan" is a better film than the perfectly delightful "Shakespeare in Love." Then again, I still feel less than sanguine about "Crash": everyone has their Oscar sore points. Perhaps the better question would be: what Oscar "travesties" are you totally okay with? [Grantland]

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<p>Jeremy Irons in &quot;Night Train to Lisbon.&quot;</p>

Jeremy Irons in "Night Train to Lisbon."

Credit: Berlin Film Festival

Berlinale: Jeremy Irons derailed in 'Night Train to Lisbon,' but Arvin Chen charms again

Chen's 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' a worthy follow-up to 'Au Revoir, Taipei'

BERLIN - Looking at the list of seen films I have yet to write up out of the Berlinale, I'm finding it harder than usual to forge connections between them that would make for a satisfying review roundup. Some have been good. More have been bad. That's about the extent of the narrative at a festival that, while enjoyable as ever, hasn't so far maintained the standard of last year's "Tabu"-"Sister"-"Barbara"-"War Witch"-"A Royal Affair" mini-feast. Only Sebastian Lelio's wonderful "Gloria," meanwhile, seems to have buyers buzzing along with the critics; it'll be a major shock if it doesn't take a significant prize from Wong Kar-wai's jury on Saturday.

So forgive this rather randomly paired duo of reviews, which have little in common beyond their presence in lineup and... well, they're both vaguely Valentine's Day-friendly. I thought I'd at least couch bad news with good, which wouldn't have been the case if I'd opted to pair up two former Best Foreign Language Film winners instead. (More on Danis Tanovic's drab Competition entry "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker" -- surely a candidate for the most parodic-sounding arthouse movie title of all time -- at a later stage.)

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

Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph Waltz square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

For the first time in Oscar history, we have an acting category composed entirely of past winners. Seth MacFarlane noted this is a “breath of fresh air.” He has a tendency to use sarcasm. Not only are the nominees all past winners, the race for the nominations was terribly predictable, notwithstanding occasional precursor support for Javier Bardem (“Skyfall”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”) and Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike”).

And like Best Supporting Actress, I found this year's supporting actor nominees largely underwhelming. In my view, two of the nominees are giving slightly different takes on the characters that already won them an Oscar. Two veterans are very good but fall short of greatness in my opinion. And the one truly great performance in the lot is a leading role masquerading as supporting. This is, nevertheless, by far the most exciting acting category when it comes to the race for the win. Indeed, plausible cases can be made for every contender.

The nominees are…

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The top 10 shots of 2012: part two

The top 10 shots of 2012: part two

Wrapping up the year in individual film images

If you missed yesterday's lead-in to this year's shots column, go catch up. In it you'll find my somewhat unique criteria and reasoning for choosing this year's assortment.

Before diving into part two today, some thoughts on the year in cinematography on the whole. It's worth remembering that, often enough, a great year of cinematography won't yield a high volume of still images that speak to the purposes of a column such as this. Just as often, a poor year for the form might actually yield an incredible array of inspired frames. We're boiling down to the base elements of cinema here, and the combination always turns out something unique each and every year.

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<p>Amy&nbsp;Adams in &quot;The&nbsp;Master&quot;</p>

Amy Adams in "The Master"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt and Jacki Weaver square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

I’ve loved this Oscar season. Most categories are genuine races. Even in some where there is not much of a race (Best Actor, Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects), the frontrunner is so exceptional and/or it's such a delight to see the other nominees there that the category is a delight to watch nonetheless. As for Best Supporting Actress? Wake me up when this is over. There is no category about which I care less this year.

The nominations stage was mildly interesting. A frontrunner emerged. As the race went on, it became apparent that the “second and third” (my ranking -- it might not have panned out like this) contenders were former winners who in the recent past everyone assumed would never be nominated again. In fourth, we have an actress who has had a remarkable run in recent years while the last slot was taken by a likable actress who managed to work another difficult-to-come-by Oscar nod from two years ago into a lovable part in a beloved film. The resulting lineup of five previous nominees is a first in this category. The race now becomes quite boring as we wait for the inevitable crowning of a princess.

The nominees are…

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<p>&quot;Beasts of the Southern Wild&quot;</p>

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Roundup: Michelle Obama hosts the 'Beasts' team at the White House

Also: 'Chicago' cast to present at Oscars, and the Academy's archive of speeches

"Lincoln" may have unexpectedly received the in-person endorsement of Bill Clinton at the Golden Globes this year, but it's not the only Best Picture getting some First Family support. Today at the White House, Michelle Obama will be hosting an interactive workshop with the cast and crew of "Beasts of the Southern Wild." A selection of 80 school students from Washington D.C. and New Orleans has been invited to participate in a discussion -- in the State Dining Room, no less -- about "the film, its production, and the inspirational themes within it that students can apply to their own lives." It's a nice gesture, not to mention a neat bit of publicity for the film in the thick of final Oscar voting, but it underlines just how many of this year's Best Picture nominees feel relevant to American audiences right now. [Politico]  

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<p>Benh Zeitlin and Quvenzhan&eacute; Wallis on the set of &quot;Beasts of the Southern Wild.&quot;</p>

Benh Zeitlin and Quvenzhané Wallis on the set of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Director

Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg, David O. Russell and Benh Zeitlin square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

Though it's the second most prestigious award in the Oscar race, Best Director all too often feels, oddly, like an afterthought -- it's generally so tied into the Best Picture race that it's come to be regarded as half of a two-part award. Any director of a Best Picture winner who doesn't get his own award is liable to feel somewhat slighted, and vice versa -- blame the advent of auteur theory, if you will.

This year, however, the Academy's directors' branch made a stunning statement of independence, albeit one that may have been enabled by an unusually compressed voting calendar. For the first time since 1965, the DGA -- traditionally the most reliably Oscar-aligned of all precursors -- agreed on only two of the eventual Oscar nominees, as Tom Hooper, Kathryn Bigelow and, most surprisingly, Ben Affleck all missed the Academy's cut. You know the rest: Affleck, who had arguably ascended to frontrunner status before the nominations were announced, has since won everything in sight, including the all-important DGA prize. It's It's an exciting twist that leaves the Oscar race almost unprecedentedly free of bellwethers, as the five men in the running have won scarcely any major precursor awards between them.

The nominees are...

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<p>Christoph Waltz in &quot;Django Unchained&quot;</p>

Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Tech Support: Wylie Stateman on experiencing sound in a Quentin Tarantino movie

The sound editing nominee picked up his sixth Oscar notice for 'Django Unchained'

Supervising sound editor Wylie Stateman earned his sixth Oscar nomination this year for “Django Unchained.” The soft-spoken industry veteran has now managed to earn a nomination in four decades – the 1980s (“Born on the Fourth of July”), the 1990s (“Cliffhanger”), the 2000s (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Wanted,” “Inglourious Basterds”) and now the 2010s.

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The top 10 shots of 2012: part one

The top 10 shots of 2012: part one

Celebrating the year in individual film images

I decided to do something a little different with the shots column for this, its sixth year (and finally imitated -- we're flattered). I thought I'd go with a metric of instinct rather than analysis.

First let me introduce the overall concept for those perhaps unfamiliar. Every year I recap the year in my own unique way. Film is, after all, about the image first, and so what better way to put 12 cinematic months in a time capsule than to feature the most striking single images of the year? But what is striking to one is always not so much to the next. Like all of this, it's in the eye of the beholder.

For my part I would always try to give my perspective on shots that might seem, well, unexpected to others. I would posit that an Eric Gautier shot of an eagle picking away at a carcass in "Into the Wild" says something about a country weighing on the soul; or that an unassuming Anthony Dod Mantle shot crammed into a frenetic "Slumdog Millionaire" montage better sums up character motivations than any other frame; or that the simplicity of Anna Kendrick riding slowly away on an airport people-mover as seen through Eric Steelberg's lens in "Up in the Air" speaks elegant volumes.

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<p>Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater at last night's Berlinale premiere of &quot;Before Midnight.&quot;</p>

Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater at last night's Berlinale premiere of "Before Midnight."

Credit: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Roundup: Richard Linklater honored with surprise award at Berlinale

Also: The Academy's quirky Best Picture gallery, and R.I.P. Gerry Hambling

With the roundly acclaimed "Before Midnight" playing out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival, Richard Linklater wasn't expecting to leave with any prizes, but he received one anyway before the film's European premiere last night, as he was honored with the Berlinale Camera, traditionally presented to "film personalities or institutions to which [the festival] feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks." It's especially sweet that he should receive it in conjunction with this film, given that "Before Sunrise" won him the fest's Best Director prize way back in 1995. It also leads me to wonder how many other institutions will pick up the meme of acknowledging Linklater's long, diverse career this year, particularly if "Midnight" gathers the awards steam I suspect it will. [Berlinale]

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