Today's most enjoyable Oscar-related feature comes from Steve Pond, who has rounded up a selection of the more notable and/or quirky campaign maneuvers from the season thus far, from curious merchandise (a "Lincoln" cookbook, haggis crisps for "Brave") to an Academy rule violation by shortlisted doc "The Invisible War." My favorite, though, is a typewritten letter to BFCA voters from the campaign-averse Steven Soderbergh on behalf of Matthew McConaughey: "I'm breaking my longstanding embargo regarding pleas for recognition... we found [his performance] to be completely bananas in the best sense of the word. As he says in the film, 'The moon is just a chip shot away!'" Now one for for Channing Tatum, please. [The Wrap]  

David Hudson rounds up early reviews of "Les Misérables." Not all critics are hearing the people sing. [Keyframe Daily]

Craig Kennedy interviews "Les Mis" star Eddie Redmayne, who has, for many, emerged as one of the film's unexpected standouts. [Awards Daily]

Scenes from the waterborne Paris premiere of "Life of Pi." The French, as with so much in life, just do it with a little more class. [Entertainment Weekly]

An excellent feature on the creation of the alternately jangly  and ecstatic score for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." This is one Oscar nomination that needs to happen. [Creators Project]  

I'm loving Variety's awards coverage this year. This feature on top Broadway directors saluting their favorite film counterparts in 2012 (including Mike Nichols on David Chase, and Matthew Warchus on Rian Johnson) is a great idea. [Variety]

Prompted by Greig Fraser's win for the very contemporary "Zero Dark Thirty" at the NYFCC Awards, Jose Solis wonders why the cinematography Oscar so heavily favors period and fantasy films. [The Film Experience]

Ben Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio talk about how they balanced a range of genre rhythms, from bouncy satire to white-knuckle thriller, in "Argo." [LA Times

"I turned that setting off on my TV." Andrew O'Hehir discusses the potentially alienating effect of the 48fps frame rate in "The Hobbit," and how it could affect Peter Jackson's legacy from here on out. [Salon]

Bret Easton Ellis thinks Kathryn Bigelow is overrated because she's a beautiful woman. (Best response I read on Twitter: "So why is Bret Easton Ellis overrated, then?") [The Carpetbagger]