<p>Bradley Cooper in &quot;Silver Linings Playbook.&quot;</p>

Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Cooper joins the list of Palm Springs honorees

Also: Mark Harris on 'Zero Dark Thirty,' and Tarantino on 'Django' slavery

Bradley Cooper has seemed very much a touch-and-go prospect in a crowded Best Actor field, but the scales slowly seem to be tipping in his favor. In contrast to the perennially ingenue-friendly Best Actress race, youngish Hollywood dreamboats can struggle to win over Academy voters, particularly for romantic and/or comic leads, so Cooper's superb work in "Silver Linings Playbook" is at a disadvantage in several ways. But after last week's unexpected win with the National Board of Review, Cooper has also landed the Desert Palm Award for Achievement in Acting at the Palm Springs Film Festival. He's the first male acting honoree announced for this publicity-heavy Oscar-season pitstop: Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts and the "Argo" ensemble are also getting a boost there. The list of recent Desert Palm winners includes Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges and Daniel Day-Lewis, which doesn't hurt Cooper's Oscar voodoo any. [PSIFF]

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<p>Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The Master,&quot;&nbsp;an obvious favorite with the LAFCA</p>

Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master," an obvious favorite with the LAFCA

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Amour,' 'The Master' win big with Los Angeles Film Critics Association

'Zero Dark Thirty' finally hits the brakes

Over a week after their colleagues on the east coast went in big for Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," the Los Angeles Film Critics Association put the brakes on Kathryn Bigelow's film, which has been dominating the circuit. It even won two Best Picture prizes today, but one of them was not LAFCA's crown. Instead, the LA critics went with Michael Haneke's "Amour," and as a runner-up, a film clearly beloved by the group that won four other prizes, including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Check out the full list of winners below with running commentary.

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<p>Best Supporting Actress BIFA winner&nbsp;Olivia Colmasn in &quot;Hyde Park on Hudson.&quot;</p>

Best Supporting Actress BIFA winner Olivia Colmasn in "Hyde Park on Hudson."

Credit: Focus Features

'Broken,' 'Berberian Sound Studio' win big at British Independent Film Awards

Acting wins for Olivia Colman and Andrea Riseborough, 'Best Exotic' shut out

The British Independent Film Awards are known for surprises, and true to form, they sprung a last-minute one at tonight's ceremony. As I'd anticipated, Peter Strickland's critically beloved horror homage "Berberian Sound Studio" enjoyed a great haul, taking Best Director, Best Actor for Toby Jones and two extra prizes for production and technical achievement. But just as it seemed set to take the night, they swung left, handing the top prize to "Broken," the debut feature from acclaimed theater director Rufus Norris -- an unexpected choice both because it received mixed reviews upon its Cannes premiere, and won't  be released until the spring in the UK. The film won in only one other category, for Best Supporting Actor.

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Anne Hathaway reasserted herself in the Best Supporting Actress competition despite heat from Sally Field.
Anne Hathaway reasserted herself in the Best Supporting Actress competition despite heat from Sally Field.
Credit: Universal Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty' tops New York Film Critics Online winners

Are we sensing a pattern here?

Just minutes after the Boston Society of Film Critics crowned "Zero Dark Thirty" the year's best film, the New York Film Critics Online went and did the very same thing. They also spotlighted Kathryn Bigelow in the Best Director category (as well as Mark Boal's screenplay), and, like Boston, went with Daniel Day-Lewis and Emmanuelle Riva in the lead acting categories.

Check out the full list of NYFCO winners below with running commentary.

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Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" kept showing as a runner-up but only won one prize, alas.
Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" kept showing as a runner-up but only won one prize, alas.
Credit: Focus Features

'Zero Dark Thirty' wins Best Picture and Best Director from the Boston Society of Film Critics

Another feather in Kathryn Bigelow's cap

The Boston Society of Film Critics has joined the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review in crowning "Zero Dark Thirty" the year's best film. Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director while Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln") and Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") won top acting honors. The group clearly liked "Moonrise Kingdom," which won Best Use of Music and went on to pop up in a number of runner-up spots.

Check out the full list of winners below with running commentary on the winners.

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<p>Oscar-shortlisted documentary &quot;The Imposter&quot; is among the leading nominees for the British Independent Film Awards.</p>

Oscar-shortlisted documentary "The Imposter" is among the leading nominees for the British Independent Film Awards.

Credit: Indomina Releasing

Previewing the British Independent Film Awards

What will win, and what should, at tomorrow's ceremony

While the US precursor circuit is getting into the swing of things, tomorrow marks the first major date of the British awards calendar: the British Independent Film Awards. Ostensibly the UK's answer to the Independent Spirit Awards (though they don't define "independence" by quite the same criteria), it's a ceremony that has grown in prominence in recent years, representing a larger sample of the local film industry than the slavishly Oscar-minded BAFTA Awards. That said, the BIFAs have given nascent awards juggernauts like "The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" their first big trophy hauls of the season.

Nobody will be looking the BIFAs for any Oscar cues this year. After last year's awards reflected a banner year for British film -- "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "Weekend" and "Senna" -- were among the big winners, this year's lineup of nominees, while studded with high-level work, doesn't boast quite the same lustre.

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<p>Tommy&nbsp;Lee Jones in &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Lincoln' win big with Boston Online Film Critics Association

And a consideration of how much is too much

Last night the winners of the first-ever Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards landed via press release, and I left it for a moment. I'm weighing the pros and cons of posting every single one of these things this year because it begins to be a giant, unvetted clutter of opinion. Who are these folks and why did they decide to form their own group rather than let the Boston Society of Film Critics speak for the area and/or push for membership therein?

I imagine the latter has happened -- I don't know these guys and I'm not passing judgment -- and all politics are local. And I don't say this next thing by way of insult to them (or even as a comparative statement because it's not), but if a bunch of people with Live Journals in Los Angeles up and decide there needs to be an LA Online group, do we just pass their picks along with the rest? Is the job just providing safe passage or should some curation be in order? I don't know, but find the Boston online crowd's winners below, in any case.

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<p>&quot;Searching for Sugar Man&quot;</p>

"Searching for Sugar Man"

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Searching for Sugar Man' tops 2012 IDA Awards

A big feather in the Oscar frontrunner's cap

Perceived Oscar frontrunner "Searching for Sugar Man" took top honors at the International Documentary Association Awards this evening. The portrait of long-"lost" recording artist Rodriguez also won Best Music. "How to Survive a Plague" director David France won an award for emerging talent while last year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short, "Saving Face," won in the shorts category. Check out a full list of winners below.

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<p>&quot;Anna&nbsp;Karenina&quot;</p>

"Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

Tech Support: Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer on a 'risky' world in 'Anna Karenina'

The production designer and set decorator are Oscar frontrunners

Is all the world a stage? Well, in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” the stage became the medium through which the director retold Leo Tolstoy’s classic story. An unusual choice fraught with risks? To be sure. An extraordinary amount of potential? Equally certain. But production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer were tasked with helping Wright’s vision come to fruition. We recently spoke to the duo about their work on the film.

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 98 -- Chewing on NYFCC, NBR and 'The Hobbit'

Oscar Talk: Ep. 98 -- Chewing on NYFCC, NBR and 'The Hobbit'

Also: The doc shortlist and recapping the Governors Awards

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

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