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.

This week there have been a number of shake-ups, from significant scheduling shifts to new movies for the season to festival premiere announcements. And there are even a few movies to discuss, too. Let's see what's on the docket...

We start out this week with discussion of the weekend's releases. We both really liked "Trouble with the Curve" while I'm big on "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (which Anne hasn't seen) and Anne is big on "End of Watch" (which I haven't seen).

The week's biggest announcement was the Academy's decision to announce Oscar nominees earlier than ever, on January 10. This significantly shortens the phase one window and gives us plenty of room to agree, disagree and ponder the implications.

Fox Searchlight dropped a new contender on the slate this week with the announcement that Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" is ready to go -- and with a November release, at that.

With the October 1 deadline looming, the Best Foreign Language Film race is heating up with official submissions landing fast and frequent. We take an ever-so-brief survey of what's going to be in play.

And finally, reader questions. We field queries regarding the "zeitgeist" thing people like us bring up every year around this time, perceptions of The Weinstein Company's recent streak of dominance impacting this year in some way and whether "Moonrise Kingdom" is still a potential player.

Have a listen to the new podcast below. If the file cuts off for you at any time, try the back-up download link at the bottom of this post. And as always, remember to subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.

Subscribe to Oscar Talk

"Here I Come" courtesy of Stuart Park.

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 88