<p>&quot;Redemption&quot;</p>

"Redemption"

Credit: HBO

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Documentary - Short Subject

Emotion reigns throughout this year's slate

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. New installments will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

This year's Oscar nominees in the Best Documentary, Short Subject category are, as ever, a varied an eye-opening bunch. But emotion reigns throughout, always a key to capturing voters' hearts and securing support.

The doc shorts were not, however, part of the three categories newly opened to the entire membership. It will go at least one more year of providing select screenings of the contenders and therefore all voters will have to prove that they attended the screening in order to vote. Recent winners in the category have included "Saving Face," "Strangers No More," "Music by Prudence" and "Smile Pinki," and there's really no connective tissue there. Sometimes you have to just go with your gut on what might win the day.

The nominees are...

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<p>Steven Spielberg</p>

Steven Spielberg

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Steven Spielberg named Filmmaker of the Year by ACE

The editors' group also included 'Lincoln' among their nominees

As strongly as "Lincoln" has been performing throughout the season, Steven Spielberg has yet to receive much in the way of individual recognition for the film. That could change on Oscar night, of course. Until then, however, the American Cinema Editors have taken it upon themselves to reward the director, naming him the recipient of their annual Golden Eddie Award for Filmmaker of the Year.

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<p>Harvey Weinstein</p>

Harvey Weinstein

Credit: AP Photo/John Carucci

Roundup: Harvey's mea culpa on 'Django' and 'The Master'

Also: Streisand to perform at Oscars, and 'The Sapphires' sweeps Down Under

Harvey Weinstein has had enough success in the Oscar campaigning game -- including twin Best Picture bids this year for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django Unchained" -- that it can't pain him too much to admit to the odd miscalculation. Still, it's interesting to see him do so in an interview with Deadline's Mike Fleming. Weinstein blames Quentin Tarantino's absence from the Best Director category (hardly an easy race to crack this year, as Ben Affleck can tell you) on his own tardiness in sending out DVD screeners. He also claims he mismarketed Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master": "I think the audience had trouble with the movie and needed to be guided and eased into it ... My attachment to 'The Master' was not the Scientology or religion; it was that in WWII, people like my dad and other combat veterans came back and were just lost after the war. Maybe if I’d explained the movie in those terms, that it was more of a spiritual quest for a veteran who had seen action and got lost, people might have responded differently." [Deadline]

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<p>Bradley Cooper, Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro in &quot;Silver Linings Playbook.&quot;</p>

Bradley Cooper, Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Silver Linings' big winner at AACTA International Awards

Australian Academy hands five awards to David O. Russell's film

For the second year, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts -- which hands out their own local industry awards on their home turf -- held a separate ceremony in LA to honor their top international choices. And it turns out the Aussies like "Silver Linings Playbook." A lot.

The romantic dramedy, which led the AACTA nominee list with five mentions, won Best Picture, Director and Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, while the Board of Governors handed it two extra awards for the supporting performances of Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver. (You might detect some national favoritism in the award for Weaver, as well as in a couple of nominations -- notably Ben Lewin for Best Director.) "Lincoln" and "Django Unchained" were the only two other films to get a look-in at last Friday's ceremony, which was hosted by Russell Crowe. Full list of nominees and winners after the jump, and at The Circuit.

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<p>Denis Lavant in &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Denis Lavant in "Holy Motors."

Credit: Indomina Releasing

International Cinephile Society big on 'The Master,' 'Holy Motors'

Nominations for the group's awards were announced last week

Amid the Sundance rush, it slipped my mind to list the nominations for the International Cinephile Society's awards -- for which I had a hand in voting. The ICS is a diverse group of over 80 film journalists, academics and the like, so their picks tend to veer a little off the beaten track. Here, for example, you'll find no mention of "Argo," "Les Mis" (no, not even for Anne Hathaway), "Life of Pi" or "Silver Linings Playbook," but plenty for foreign standouts like "Tabu" and "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia." "The Master" leads with 10 bids; "Holy Motors" follows with nine. Winners will be announced on February 9; check out the full list of nominees after the jump, and at The Circuit.

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<p>Tony Kushner, screenwriter of &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Tony Kushner, screenwriter of "Lincoln."

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Roundup: Kushner honored with WGA's Selvin Award

Also: Michael Moore on 'Zero Dark Thirty' and Dr Ruth's Oscar night tips

Guild favorite "Argo" may be closing in on "Lincoln" in the Best Adapted Screenplay race, but even if it continues its sweep, the WGA has ensured Tony Kushner won't go home empty-handed on February 17. The "Lincoln" scribe will be presented with the group's Paul Selvin Award for the script that "best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties, which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere." If that award sounds pretty much tailor-made for "Lincoln" (hey, it wasn't going to go to "Django Unchained") it isn't: last year's winner was Tate Taylor for "The Help." [Deadline

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<p>Sandy Powell, three-time winner of the Best Costume Design Oscar.</p>

Sandy Powell, three-time winner of the Best Costume Design Oscar.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Costume designers finally get their own Academy branch

Makeup branch gets increased representation on Board of Governors

I confess it's news to me that the costume designers of the Academy didn't already have their own separate voting branch -- instead, they've always been lumped into a single Designers' Branch with the production designers, art directors and set decorators. Yet nominees in the Best Costume Design category are often so distinctive -- several of them scoring in no other Oscar field, even Best Art Direction -- that I'd assumed they were the result of a smaller branch of peers voting.

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<p>Ang Lee on the set of &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Ang Lee on the set of "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Off the Carpet: Ang Lee's position in all of this

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

I have to say, it was nice to spend a week or so away from the Oscar fray, and for its part, the Oscar fray seemed to be very content with putting things on hold while the Sundance Film Festival did its thing in the mountains of Utah. I guess maybe that's one good thing about this season's scheduling change: room to breathe in January.

But the festival is over and now it's back to our regularly scheduled programming, with the deep dive happening this weekend as the guild awards got going. And the question rises once again: What's going to win Best Picture? Though that would seem to have been answered by the events of the last two days, it's still a question for some.

But I'll leave that for now. Lately I've been curious about the Best Director race. With an "Argo" win would obviously come a split director decision (unless that write-in stuff finds traction). My instinct has been Steven Spielberg, because "Lincoln" is a hell of an accomplishment and even if I'm betting "Argo" will reap the benefits of the preferential ballot system (born out by its victory Saturday), it still makes sense for Spielberg to get some love.

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<p>Susanne Bier at the 2010 Academy Awards.</p>

Susanne Bier at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Tim Robbins and Susanne Bier on Berlinale jury

Also: Soderbergh talks not-quite-retirement, and Foster champions Wallis

With the exhausting thrill of Sundance still in my bones, I'm not quite ready yet to think about diving into the Berlin Film Festival -- but there it is, less than two weeks away. The programme has been revealed in drips and drabs, and today we learned who'll serve alongside present Wong Kar-wai on the competition jury. As usual, it's an interesting group, and one that includes two Oscar winners: Tim Robbins and Danish writer-director Susanne Bier. Meanwhile, the addition presence of the superb cinematographer Ellen Kuras ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). Iranian video artist turned filmmaker Shirin Neshat and Greek New Wave talent Athina Rachel Tsangrai (director of "Attenberg," but also a producer on Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight") makes for a mostly female jury this year. [Berlinale]  

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<p>The cast of &quot;Argo&quot;&nbsp;at the 2013 SAG&nbsp;Awards</p>

The cast of "Argo" at the 2013 SAG Awards

Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

'Argo' stuns for second-straight day this weekend at the SAG Awards

The actors are the latest to embrace Ben Affleck's Best Picture hopeful

I've been out most of the evening but some quick thoughts on tonight's SAG outcome...

"Argo" is the story of the weekend, clearly. After coming out victorious at the PGA Awards it picked up the ensemble prize that everyone had either chalked up to "Lincoln" or "Silver Linings Playbook," with some outliers thinking "Les Misérables" had a shot at it. Surprise!

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