With Best Supporting Actress still the least defined of this year's four acting races, Helen Hunt currently seems as likely a frontrunner as anyone for her work in "The Sessions": partly because she's excellent in a well-liked film, and partly because, as Jennifer Hudson can attest, it doesn't hurt to be nominated in supporting for a lead role. Hunt's trophy trail began yesterday with the announcement that she is to receive the Spotlight Award at January's Palm Springs International Film Festival. It's an honor that has previously alighted on Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams en route to an Oscar nod, and while seemingly small, it's a well-timed opportunity for some California-based exposure and gladhanding as the race heats up. Everything counts. [Thompson on Hollywood

If you can't see why Jacqueline West's thread-perfect 1970s costumes for "Argo" are worthy of Oscar attention, Chris Laverty's bang-on evaluation might help. [Clothes on Film]

A must-read for fans of "The Master" and/or its staggering cinematography: a lengthy, tech-specific interview with Mihai Malaimare Jr. [American Cinematographer]

Jennifer Aniston and Will Ferrell were among the stars toasting Ben Stiller last night, as the actor was presented with the American Cinematheque Award. [Deadline]

As part of a Variety special on the documentary Oscar race, Addie Morfoot wonders how this year's Academy rule changes in the category will affect the process. [The Vote]

Ben Affleck is GQ's Filmmaker of the Year. Well, Michael Haneke wouldn't have looked quite as dashing on the cover. [GQ]

"Silver Linings Playbook" opens in limited release today, but the Weinsteins have decided on a slower roll-out to wide release than initially planned. A wise move for its Oscar strategy? [LA Times]

Ruth Jamieson on why, with the "Twilight" films, Hollywood has, for once, been a good boyfriend to the teen female demographic. [The Guardian

Chris Tucker is interested in starring in the Weinsteins' US remake of "The Intouchables." I have no sentimental attachment to the original, but Tucker is no Omar Sy. [Coming Soon]

Sasha Stone uses such films as "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Middle of Nowhere" as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the Academy's relationship to race. [Awards Daily]