Oscarweb Round-up: Clooney cheers on the competition

Ask most awards analysts who the current frontrunners for the Best Actor Oscar are, and you’ll probably get some combination of the names George Clooney, Jean Dujardin and Brad Pitt. Clooney probably knows that, which is why it’s both magnanimous and, who knows, perhaps slyly strategic for him to name Dujardin and Pitt’s performances, in “The Artist” and “Moneyball” respectively, as being among his favorites of the year: I don’t for a minute doubt his ingenuousness (or his judgment) when he describes Dujardin’s work as “spectacular,” but by singling out these performances, he indirectly puts himself in their company. The man’s smoothness knows no bounds. [Los Angeles Times]

Sasha Stone investigates the Best Original Screenplay race. It’s a thorough rundown… but where’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene?” [Awards Daily]

Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi unveils the original song he co-wrote with Cameron Crowe for “We Bought a Zoo.” [NPR]

Aiming to regain their creative mojo after “Cars 2,” Pixar release new images from “Brave.” Anyone else think it’s looking a tad ugly? [The Guardian]

David Poland spends some time with “Warrior” actor Nick Nolte. Anyone hoping that commercially doused Best Supporting Actor buzz can return? [Hot Blog]

Bob Strauss on the identity crisis that the Oscar telecast seems to be facing. [Daily Breeze]

Angelina Jolie’s Bosnia-set directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey” will no longer be released in an English-language version. Good for her. [Deadline]

A week old, but a nice piece on why the strong coming-out drama “Pariah” is a “biomythography” for writer-director Dee Rees. [New York Times]

David Hudson gathers opinion on one of the year’s best films, “Tomboy,” now playing in New York. If you can, go. [Mubi Notebook]

In case you were wondering, Bradley Cooper is the Sexiest Man Alive. But Alec Baldwin cracked the Top 10, so guys, pick your role model. [People]