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We all know genre films don't usually get the respect they deserve from the Academy, and the same goes for the actors in them: when pressed for options, voters will nominate a Sigourney Weaver in "Aliens," but they're generally more comfortable filling out the ballot with sundry biopics and prestige dramas. Geoff Berkshire wishes that would change this year, citing Liam Neeson in "The Grey," Mark Ruffalo in "The Avengers" and Christopher Walken in "Seven Psychopaths" as examples of actors who "elevated the material" with their performances. (Perhaps the problem lies in the perception that genre material even needs elevation?) I'd throw Elizabeth Olsen in "Silent House," Javier Bardem in "Skyfall" and assorted supporting players in "Killing Them Softly" into the mix -- how about you? [The Vote]
Nathaniel Rogers gets real about the "Skyfall" hype: a couple of tech nods would be a good get, but those talking about Best Picture are overreaching. [The Film Experience]
With the Academy's documentary feature shortlist due to land soon, Michael Ward offers a rundown of the category. (Also, we've finally assembled a Contenders page for it -- see the sidebar.) [Awards Circuit]
Daniel Montgomery offers a list of this year's 10 directors most overdue for an Oscar. Michael Haneke and Paul Thomas Anderson, sure. Ben Affleck and Joe Wright? Talented as they are, surely not. [Gold Derby]
Gregg Kilday wonders if likely Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis faces the possibility of a voter backlash. Also, her mom's name is Qulyndreia. Awesome. [Hollywood Reporter]
Among other things, this interview with "Silver Linings Playbook" novelist Matthew Quick reveals (to me, at least) that the film was originally set to star Mark Wahlberg and Anne Hathaway. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
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