As we were saying the other day, the Best Animated Feature Oscar -- usually sewn up by this time of year -- is still very much up for grabs. Chief among the contenders yet to be unveiled is DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians," which I'll probably stop confusing with that Zack Snyder owl movie sometime around 2015. Expectations are high, and the film has just added a small but shiny feather to its cap with the news that it will receive the inaugural Vanity Fair International Award for Cinematic Excellence at the Rome Film Festival next month -- I don't quite know what that means, but it sounds impressive enough. It's also a nice publicity opportunity for the fest itself, which is hosting the film's international premiere. Rome is under the management of former Venice head Marco Mueller, who is looking to make the lesser Italian festival a rival to the Lido in terms of prestige and press. That's a long way off, but he's going about it in the right way. [Rome Film Festival]

Oscar-winning cinematographer and director Chris Menges was the subject of an AMPAS tribute in London last week. Andreas Wiseman reports from the event. [Screen Daily]

David Poland gets Joe Wright and the principal cast of "Anna Karenina" on the couch. [Hot Blog]

Tom Ford, who knows a bit about these things, talks about dressing James Bond for "Skyfall." This may surprise you, but suits are involved. [Vogue]

Nathaniel Rogers checks in on the Golden Horse Awards, China's answer to the Oscars. The only nominee I've seen is Hong Kong's Oscar submission "Life Without Principle" -- I hope the others are better. [The Film Experience]

Glenn Whipp on why the Academy would do well to consider "Looper" for Best Picture, and why he knows he's dreaming. [LA Times]

Scott Feinberg interviews his Hollywood Reporter colleague Todd McCarthy about the New York Film Festival, for which McCarthy is a selector. [The Vote]  

Speaking of Scott, who believes that "Life of Pi" won't be nominated for Best Picture, Tom O'Neil disagrees so strongly he's willing to make a bet. Over pie, of course. Mmmmm, pie. [Gold Derby]

Nick Davis rounds up the year's best work so far in the fields of sound and editing. Would that the Academy could also notice how films like "Miss Bala" and "The Turin Horse" excel in these areas. [Nick's Flick Picks

After going from "All the Real Girls" to "Your Highness," it'd have been foolhardy to predict David Gordon Green's next move, but still -- who'd have guessed "Little House on the Prairie?" [The Guardian]