Roundup: Audiences still eager for 'Argo'
Also: 'Mea Maxima Culpa' to play in Italy, and Sasha Stone's Oscar dirty dozen
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"Paranormal Activity 4" may have topped the box office this weekend, but the story of the chart remains "Argo" -- which, by dipping just 15% to take $16.6 million, posted the strongest ever hold for a live-action film on a non-holiday weekend. Warner Bros. are said to be confident the film will reach at least $90 million domestically, which is a pretty extraordinary projection these days for a film about grown-ups in which nobody wears a cape. All of which underlines the immediate reaction I had upon finally seeing the film for myself last week: combining that strong populist appeal with old-fashioned craftsmanship, rousing political history and Hollywood insider lore, it's unequivocally the one to beat for Best Picture. [Variety]
Speaking of "Argo," Glenn Dunks rightly celebrates an aspect of the film that hasn't been getting much attention: Jacqueline West's spot-on period costumes. Could she get a surprise nod à la "Milk?" [Stale Popcorn]
Big news for Alex Gibney and his documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa": his film has unexpectedly found theatrical distribution in Catholic strongholds Italy and Ireland. [Screen Daily]
Sasha Stone gathers a panel of guest pundits -- including yours truly -- to hash out some early-season questions in her first Oscar Roundtable of the year. [Awards Daily]
Marion Cotillard talks about her "crazy year" that has included "Rust and Bone," "The Dark Knight Rises" and learning Polish for James Gray's "Nightingale." Oh, and having a baby somewhere in between. [Wall Street Journal]
Peter Labuza and Matt Zoller Seitz continue their entertaining series of Tarantino-themed video essays, this time putting "Pulp Fiction" under scrutiny. [Press Play]
Neal Gabler discusses the perception of value in Hollywood. Interesting piece, though I'm unsure why Martin Scorsese -- three of whose last four films topped $100 million -- is described as someone not favored by audiences. [LA Times]
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