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On this week's Oscar Talk podcast, Kris Tapley and I review the Oscar impact of post-9/11 CIA thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to Oscar-winner "The Hurt Locker," and soaring musical "Les Miserables," Tom Hooper's follow-up to his Oscar-Winning "The King's Speech."

Both are strong competitors, we agree, though critics and audiences are still to weigh in. Next up this weekend: screenings start on Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited "Django Unchained" and Peter Jackson's less anticipated "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Gandolfini in Zero Dark Thirty

We also delve into the incredibly competitive documentary feature race, picking our frontrunners. (I review "Zero Dark Thirty" and cover Q & A here; more in my Oscar Predicts chart.)