Sony Pictures Classics is usually the dominant force in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race -- they've won the award for the last four years running. But they took a knock when the Academy unveiled the nine-film shortlist last month: with "The Past" and "Wadjda" failing to make the cut, the savvy campaigners were left without a contender in the hunt. Until now. SPC has picked up one of the two distributor-less titles on the list, Hungary's hard-edged Holocaust drama "The Notebook." It was already a strong nomination possibility, given the Academy's seemingly tireless taste for films on that era. Now that it has Sony's undivided attention in this competitive category, however, it's a formidable threat. [Deadline

Ramin Setoodeh looks at the list of 2013's highest-grossing female-directed films, and concludes that we still have a long way to go. [Variety]

Between J.Law in "American Hustle," ScarJo in "Don Jon" and, uh, M.Rob in "The Wolf of Wall Street," who wins the battle of the Long Island blondes? [Vulture]

Steve McQueen says the history of slavery has still not been sufficiently addressed by the film industry. [The Guardian]

Anne Thompson on 27-year-old Megan Ellison's pair of PGA nominations yesterday, for "American Hustle" and "Her." [Thompson on Hollywood]

Melena Ryzik notes how the "20 Feet From Stardom" team is singing its way through the Oscar race -- Glenn Close is among the believers. [New York Times]

Joaquin Phoenix was not entirely sold on his high-waisted trousers in "Her." [Hollywood Reporter]

Nathaniel Rogers talks to "Blue Jasmine" hopeful Sally Hawkins about Woody Allen and Godzilla. (Not at once.) [The Film Experience]

Musical biopic "Monica Z" leads the nominations for Sweden's Guldbagge Awards. [Screen Daily]