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We may still be in the early stages, but one of the clear narratives of this awards season has been in place for some time now: after several straight years of independent productions ruling the roost, studio fare looks set to dominate this year's Oscars, with "Argo," "Lincoln," "Life of Pi" and (we presume) "Les Mis" all riding a wave of mainstream prestige combined with multiplex appeal. Pamela McClintock examines the situation and wonders if, after recent triumphs for limited performers like "The Artist" and "The Hurt Locker," this could be the year box office once more becomes a Best Picture prerequisite, and "event pics for adults" once more become a recognized Hollywood commodity. [Hollywood Reporter]
On the same theme, Tom Shone terms "Lincoln" the year's unlikeliest blockbuster, and suspects that will help it in the Oscar race. [The Guardian]
Ross Douthouat, meanwhile, considers the arguments of the film's more articulate dissenters. [New York Times]
Bob Verini considers how the screenwriters of "Lincoln, "Anna Karenina," "Quartet" and "Les Miserables," all of them accomplished playwrights, marry stage and screen dynamics in their adaptations. [Variety]
Sasha Stone rewinds to the summer and states the Best Picture case for "The Dark Knight Rises." She knows It's not happening -- and personally, I don't think it should -- but Sasha's not going down without a fight. [Awards Daily]
Charlie Lyne considers the curious video for Jessie J's Best Original Song hopeful for "Silver Linings Playbook," then brings it round to the Best Actress race in a way I'm still trying to scrub from my brain. [Ultra Culture]
Next year's Sundance lineup features a record number of female-directed films, including half the titles in the US Competition strand. [Time]
Finally, happy news for longtime followers of the In Contention family: our former contributor Chad Hartigan's new film "This is Martin Bonner" will premiere out of competition at Sundance in January. Watch this space. [Martin Bonner]
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