Well, you wouldn't exactly have expected Spike Lee to be leading the cheers for "Django Unchained." The firebrand filmmaker has previously taken Quentin Tarantino to task over his use of the n-word, and while it's liberally used in QT's new slavery-era Southern western, that's far from the only thing that has Lee riled up -- even though he admits he has no intention of seeing it. "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors, to see that film," he told VIBETV. "I can't disrespect my ancestors. I can't do it. Now, that's me, I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself."  He later hit Twitter to add: "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." Of course, Lee is hardly the only opponent of a film that looks set to generate continued discussion and debate. [The Playlist]

"Holiday in Handcuffs?" "Santa With Muscles?" For those who can't bear revisiting "It's a Wonderful Life" this year, Charlie Lyne suggests six alternative Christmas movies. [The Guardian]

Meanwhile, for those who can bear revisiting "It's a Wonderful Life," Todd Van Der Werff has a wonderful essay on the film's enduring, "cracked" complexities. [The AV Club]

Justin Chang offers his take in this year's foreign language shortlist, noting that whatever film wins, there's a good chance it'll be in French. [Variety]

James Gandolfini -- who, regardless of the awards race, has had a fantastic year -- explains why his performance in "Not Fade Away" is a homage to his own father. [LA Times

R. Kurt Osenlund rounds up the worst movie posters of 2012. There are some real horrors here, but he doesn't include my own candidate: the US one-sheet for "Quartet." (Look it up if you dare.) [Slant]

Tim Robey uses the differing fates of two recent literary adaptations -- "Life of Pi" and "Midnight's Children" -- as a springboard for a discussion of the frequently misguided notion of "unfilmability." [The Telegraph]

Nathaniel Rogers questions the role of film critics in the awards race -- should they simply anoint consensus favorites, or advocate worthy alternatives? [The Film Experience]

Sasha Stone looks at the competitive Best Actress race, and wonders if Naomi Watts could leap into contention for the win. I don't see it, but... [Awards Daily]

Joe Reid, meanwhile, casts a magnifying glass over a densely packed Best Supporting Actor field. Is the Academy really going to nominate five former winners? Or can DiCaprio and/or McConaughey still spoil? [Film.com]