News Nuggets: Was Ben Affleck too sexy for a directing Oscar?

Was Ben Affleck too sexy for an Oscar nomination? Oscarologist Tariq Khan wonders if the actor’s prominently displayed abs in “Argo” hurt his chances with the directors’ branch. Fox News

-ADDPREDICTION:85:4:Click to predict Best Picture Oscar:ADDPREDICTION-

Jennifer Lopez tells E! that she wants to win an Oscar: “‘I think everybody that has ever taken acting seriously would love to be recognized in that way,’ Lopez told me yesterday … ‘Of course! Why not?'”

Kathryn Bigelow defends he depiction of torture on “Zero Dark Thirty“: “Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement … On a practical and political level, it does seem illogical to me to make a case against torture by ignoring or denying the role it played in U.S. counter-terrorism policy and practices.” Los Angeles Times

Pulitzer Prize-winner Steve Coll has an alternate view of torture in “Zero Dark Thirty”: “In virtually every instance in the film where Maya extracts important clues from prisoners, then, torture is a factor. Arguably, the film’s degree of emphasis on torture’s significance goes beyond what even the most die-hard defenders of the CIA interrogation regime, such as [Jose Rodriguez Jr., a former leader of the CIA Clandestine Service], have argued. Rodriguez’s position in his memoir is that ‘enhanced interrogation’ was indispensible to the search for bin Laden—not that it was the predominant means of gathering important clues.” New York Review of Books

Following Oscar nominations, Fox Searchlight will re-release “Beasts of the Southern Wild” to select theaters on January 18, exactly one year after the film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival: “We are thrilled to bring this special film back to theaters a year after it debuted to standing ovations in Park City. With the Academy Award nominations, we hope Benh’s sublime vision can continue to win over audiences as it has around the globe for the last year,” say Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley.

Gay Susman on why the ACE Eddie Awards matter more to the Oscars than who won at the Golden Globes or Critics’ Choice Awards. Moviefone

Reuters poll finds that nearly a quarter of Americans want “Lincoln” and director Steven Spielberg to win top Oscars.

Ed Lover asses this year’s Oscar nominees. He has no amour for “Amour” and wonders, “How in the f*ck did you not nominate Ben Affleck for ‘Argo’?” NextMovie

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