Well, it sure is nice to see Helen Mirren win an award for once. It was announced today that the Oscar-winning actress will receive this year's European Achievement in World Cinema Award at December's European Film Awards ceremony -- "a very meaningful honor," she said, while clearing some shelf space. Of course, there's the possibility that this won't be the high point of her awards season, with Fox Searchlight planning a Best Actress Oscar campaign for her turn as Alma Reville opposite Anthony Hopkins's "Hitchcock." In other Mirren news, she's reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth II on the West End in a new Peter Morgan play, to be directed by Stephen Daldry. Seats will no doubt be in high demand, so I'll graciously sit this one out. [European Film Academy]

Word is out that the venerable trade paper Variety may be bought by Penske Media Corporation, whose stable also houses showbiz news rival Deadline. [LA Times]

Still on the business side of things, Anne Thompson examines super-producer Joel Silver's recent departure from Warner Bros., and concludes he had it coming. [Thompson on Hollywood]

Steven James Snyder analyzes the Academy's recent schedule shift, and concludes that it was done expressly to tarnish the Golden Globes. [Time]

Sadly, the possibility we reported yesterday has become a certainty: Iran is boycotting this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. [The Guardian]

Sally Potter's Elle Fanning starrer "Ginger and Rosa," which has had mixed reviews on the fall fast circuit, has been acquired by new distributor A24, who are planning an Oscar-qualifying release this year. [Variety

Meanwhile, IFC Films has taken on Brian De Palma's festival flop "Passion" -- it wouldn't have been an indie item 20 years ago, but times have changed. [The Playlist

Katey Rich rewatches "Snow White and the Huntsman" and thinks we're generally not giving enough credit to Chris Hemsworth. Hey, I loved him in "Thor." [Cinema Blend]

From the New York Film Festival, one of Nathaniel Rogers's correspondents grapples with Germany's Oscar hopeful "Barbara." [The Film Experience]

London Film Festival director Clare Stewart tells David Gritten how she's made the greatest-hits fest shorter and sweeter. [The Telegraph]