Roundup: Are the cinematography and visual effects Oscars getting too close?

As mentioned in a roundup earlier this week, Emmanuel Lubezki is the runaway favorite to win his first (and overdue) Best Cinematography Oscar for “Gravity.” Many would agree that seems a just outcome, but Lubezki fan Nathaniel Rogers has some reservations. Pointing out that it’d almost certainly be the fifth year in a row that one film wins for cinematography and visual effects — following “Avatar,” “Inception,” “Hugo” and “Life of Pi” — Rogers believes this signals the “collapse” of the former category. Lubezki would be a deserving winner, he writes, but “I worry for the craft that it’s come to this, that your film has to push the visual effects envelope and you have to be 3D for your DP to be considered Oscar-worthy.” Is he right to be concerned? [The Film Experience]
Brie Larson, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o are among the rising talents on Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch list. [Variety]
Maureen Dowd interviews “All is Lost” star — and possible Best Actor winner — Robert Redford about on- and off-screen survival. [New York Times]

Some striking new character posters from “Nymphomaniac.” Click through only if you’re prepared for Udo Kier to haunt your dreams. [Screen Daily

Nicole Kidman was honored at Variety’s Power of Women Awards for her humanitarian work with UN Women. Read her impassioned acceptance speech here. [Women and Hollywood

Scott Feinberg handicaps the foreign-language race, and says “The Past” is the film to beat. Can’t say I agree there. [The Race]

Darren Aronofsky claims that “Noah” boasts the most complex visual effects work in Industrial Light & Magic’s history. [/Film]

Steven Zeitchik wonders whether “12 Years a Slave” deserves a “hard to watch” reputation. [LA Times]

Mike D’Angelo revisits the Best Actor race of 1939, widely considered Hollywood’s miracle year. Do the performances hold up? [The Dissolve]