Roundup: Is ‘Paperman’ Disney’s best in years?

In what could be a rather smart campaign move in a tight race for Best Animated Short, Disney have decided to make their charming black-and-white romance “Paperman” — previously shown in theaters ahead of “Wreck-It Ralph” — available for all to view online for three weeks, starting today. Film critic Tim Robey, however, doesn’t believe the film even needs such an advantage, claiming “the race looks pretty much over” — on merit alone. “Paperman is the best thing Disney have done in years,” he writes. “There are only seven minutes of it, but they”re perfect … It may, in its modest way, point towards a new frontier in animation, where computer-generated visuals are brought face to face with old-style hand-drawing, because it uses both at once.” I’m not entirely sure I agree, and I suspect underdog power will prevail in the Oscar race, but it’s a popular point of view. [The Telegraph]  

On the contrast — in terms of both approach and effectiveness — between the campaigns of “Argo” and “Lincoln.” [LA Times]

Tom Shone on why the mixed signals of the season thus far portend an Oscar night of split fortunes. [The Guardian]

Variety profiles the five cinematographers in the running for the Oscar this year. A fun fact I hadn’t realized: Robert Richardson has lost as many times with the ASC as Roger Deakins has with the Academy. [Variety]

After initially appearing to condemn the film, Martin Sheen has come out in support of “Zero Dark Thirty.” [The Carpetbagger]

Jon Weisman, meanwhile, wonders if the torture debate has shifted enough for the film to rebound in the Best Picture race. [Variety]

Tom O’Neil explains why some Oscar pundits likening “Argo” to “Apollo 13” aren’t recalling the 1995 race correcly. [Gold Derby]

Steve Pond talks to animator David Silverman about nominated short “The Longest Daycare” and the Simpson family’s long-awaited trip to the Oscars. [The Wrap]

“Fruitvale” for Best Picture 2013? Kyle Buchanan and Jada Yuan offer eight big takeaways from Sundance this year. [Vulture]

Finally, moving away from the Oscar race: marriage is one of our most fundamental social institutions, so why does Hollywood find it so hard to grapple with? [Salon]