Though the film itself can't seem to catch much of a break in the awards race -- those omissions from Oscar's VFX and makeup shortlists still sting -- "The Impossible" star Naomi Watts keeps gathering momentum. After neatly scoring SAG, Globe and BFCA nods last week, the actress now has her own vocal Academy advocate (her Julia Roberts, if you will) in the form of Reese Witherspoon. A public fan letter to Watts from Witherspoon, who is not a close personal friend, compares her performance to those of Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice" and Sally Field in "Norma Rae" (both Oscar winners, as it happens) and declares "The Impossible" "one of the best films I have ever seen in my entire life." Witherspoon is not the "Impossible" team's first celebrity cheerleader: Angelina Jolie hosted a screening last month. Is this the tip of the iceberg in terms of actors' branch support? [EW]

Devin Faraci on why "Zero Dark Thirty" does not endorse torture. Yes to all of this. [Badass Digest

More Palm Springs festival honorees: "Life of Pi" composer Mychael Danna gets the Frederick Loewe Award, Tom Hooper the Sonny Bono Visionary Award. (Now there are two names I never expected to type in one sentence.) [LA Times]

So far, the Academy's new online voting system appears to be progressing without a hitch. [Variety]

Anne Thompson talks to Eddie Redmayne about singing for the first time in 12 years in "Les Mis." (If you ask me, which you didn't, he has the best voice in the whole thing.) [Thompson on Hollywood]

"The Master," which is lately living up to that critics' pet status many of us assumed it would own this season, tops this year's Village Voice poll. [Village Voice]

It has to settle for second place, however, in IndieWire's extensive critics' poll, where "Holy Motors" (along with star Denis Lavant) takes the gold. [IndieWire

Quentin Tarantino talks to Karina Longworth about "Django Unchained," misconceptions about the film's edit, and much, much more in a lengthy interview. [Village Voice]

The Berlin Film Festival unveils the official poster for its next edition, which is sooner than you might think. The next two months are going to be fun. [Berlinale]

Alexandre Desplat, who is in the Oscar hunt for "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Rise of the Guardians," talks about the challenges of scoring the last of these -- his first animated feature since "Fantastic Mr. Fox." [Screen]