A look at next year's Oscar potentials

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The Rum Diary – Directed by Bruce Robinson. With Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins. Semi-autobiographical novel by Hunter S. Thompson. “Paul Kemp is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean… amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction.” (Warner Bros)

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The Beaver – Directed by Jodie Foster. With Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, Anton Yelchin. "A guy walks around with a puppet of a beaver on his hand and treats it like a living creature."


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Black Swan – Directed by Darren Aronofsky. With Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder. Cinematography, Matthew Libatique (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain). “A thriller that deconstructs the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and her rival.” (Fox Searchlight)

What’s Wrong with Virginia – Written and Directed by Dustin Lance Black. With Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Emma Roberts, Harrison Gilbertson, Amy Madigan. Cinematography, Eric Alan Edwards (My Own Private Idaho) “A sheriff sees his state senate bid slide out onto the ice when his daughter begins to date the son of a charming but psychologically disturbed woman with whom the sheriff has engaged in a two-decades-long affair.”

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Never Let Me Go – Directed by Mark Romanek. Based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day). With Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Sally Hawkins, Charlotte Rampling. “An alternate history story of a woman who, as she reflects on her private school years in the English countryside, reunites with her two friends to face the dark secrets tied to their communal past.” (Fox Searchlight)

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Miral – Directed by Julian Schnabel. With Hiam Abbas, Willem Dafoe, Freida Pinto. Cinematography, Eric Gautier (Into the Wild, The Motorcycle Diaries). “A chronicle of Hind Husseini’s effort to establish an orphanage in Jerusalem after the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.” (Pathé)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story
– Directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck. (The husband and wife team behind Half Nelson) With Keir Gilchrist, Lauren Graham, Zach Galifianakis. “A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward. Based on the young-adult novel by Ned Vizzini.” (Focus Features)

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Life During Wartime – Directed by Todd Solondz. Alison Janney, Charlotte Rampling, Ciarán Hinds, Shirley Henderson. Cinematography, Edward Lachman (Far from Heaven, I’m Not There). “Friends, family, and lovers struggle to find love, forgiveness, and meaning in a war-torn world riddled with comedy and pathos.”


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The Special Relationship – Directed by Richard Loncraine. Screenplay, Peter Morgan. With Michael Sheen as Tony Blair (SHOCKER!), Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton, Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton. Cinematography, Barry Ackroyd. Music, Alexandre Desplat. “A dramatization that traces former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s relationships with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.”

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Rabbit Hole – Directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire. With Nicole Kidman (in the role that won a Tony for Cynthia Nixon), Aaron Eckhart, Sandra Oh, Dianne Wiest. “Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident. Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire.”

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The Town – Directed by Ben Affleck. With Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebbeca Hall, Chris Cooper and Blake Lively. Cinematography, Robert Elswit (Oscar: There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, Good Night, and Good Luck). From the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. “As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down.” (Warner Bros.)

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The Way Back – Directed by Peter Weir. With Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Ed Harris, Gustaf Skarsgård and Dragos Bucur. Cinematography, Russell Boyd (Oscar: Master and Commander. The Year of Living Dangerously, Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging Rock). “A fact-based story centered on soldiers who escaped from a Siberian gulag in 1940.”

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Sympathy for Delicious – Directed by Mark Ruffalo. With Mark Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney. “A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing.”

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The American- Directed by Anton Corbijn. With George Clooney. "An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment."

Barney’s Version
- Directed by Richard D. Curtis. With Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Scott Speedman, Rosamund Pike, Bruce Greenwood. "The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky."


Betty Anne Waters - Directed by Tony Goldwyn. With Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher, Juliette Lewis. "A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders."

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Biutiful - Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. With Javier Bardem. "A man involved in illegal dealing is confronted by his childhood friend, who is now a policeman."

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Blue Valentine - Directed by Derek Cianfrance. With Ryan Gosling and Michelle Willams. "The film centers on a contempo married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods."

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The Company Men- Directed by John Wells. With Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Ben Affleck, Cris Cooper, Maria Bello and Rosemarie DeWitt. "The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company - and how that affects them, their families, and their communities."

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The Conspirator – Directed by Robert Redford. With James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Toby Kebbell and Justin Long. "Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life."

Down and Dirty Pictures
- Directed by Kenneth Bowser. With Vincent D’ Onofrio, Sally Hakins, Toby Jones, Elias Koteas, Hugh Dancy, Andy Serkis, Bobby Cannavale and Matthew Perry. "A satirical look at the rise of independent film in the 1990s, based on Peter Biskind's book."

Eat, Pray, Love – Directed by Ryan Murphy. With Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, James Franco. "While trying to get pregnant, a happily married woman realizes her life needs to go in a different direction, and after a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey. Based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert."

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Fair Game - Directed by Doug Liman. With Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. "Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq."

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The Fighter - Directed by David O’Russell. With Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale as his trainer ( in another miraculous weight loss for charatcer ) Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. "A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s."

Get Low - Directed by Aaron Schneider. With Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black. "A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive."

Greenberg - Directed by Noah Baumbach, With Ben Stiller and Rhys Ifans. "A New Yorker moves to Los Angeles in order to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother, and he soon sparks with his brother's assistant."

Hemingway and Fuentes - Directed by and starring Andy Garcia. Also starring Annette Benning and Anthony Hopkins. "Writer Ernest Hemingway befriends boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes, who inspires him to pen the famous tale "The Old Man and the Sea."

Hereafter - Directed by Clint Eastwood. With Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard. "A supernatural thriller centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways."

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How Do You Know – Directed by James L Brooks. With Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd.

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Howl – Directed by Rob Epstein. Starring James Franco, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Mary Louise Parker, David Strathairn, Bob Balaban and Treat Williams. "A drama centered on the obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg (Franco) faced after the publication of his poem, Howl."

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Inception - Directed by Christopher Nolan. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cottilard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine. "In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset."

Ironclad - Directed by Jonathan English. With Brian Cox, Kate Mara, Derek Jacobi and Jason Flemyng. "In the 13th century a determined group of Knights Templar defends Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John."

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The Kids Are Alright - Directed by Lisa Cholodenko. With Annette Benning, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. "Two children conceived by artificial insemination for lesbian mothers bring their birth father into their family life."

The King’s Speech
– Directed by Tom Hooper. With Colin Firth, Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon. "A chronicle of King George VI's effort to overcome his nervous stammer with the assistance of speech therapist Lionel Logue."

Leaves Of Grass – Directed by Tim Blake Nelson. With Edward Norton, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon and Keri Russell. "An Ivy League professor is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown, where his twin brother, a small-time pot grower, has concocted a scheme to take down a local drug lord."

Love and Other Drugs - Directed by Edward Zwick. With Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhall, "A salesman competes in the cutthroat world of pharmaceuticals to hawk a male performance enhancement drug. Based on Jamie Reidy's memoir "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman."

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London Boulevard - Directed by William Monghan. With Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone. "In London, an ex-con becomes involved with a reclusive actress."

Micmacs – Directed by Jen-Pierre Jeunet. "A man and his friends come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers."

Mother and Child
– Directed by Rodrigo Garcia. With Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and David Morse. "A drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago, and an African American woman looking to adopt a child of her own."

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My Own Love Song - Directed by Olivier Dahan. With Rene Zellweger and Forest Whitaker. "A wheelchair-bound singer and her best friend embark on a roadtrip to Memphis."

Nowhere Boy – Directed by Sam Taylor Wood. With Aaron Johnson and Kristin Scott Thomas. "Story about John Lennon’s youth growing up under the guidance of his aunt."

127 Hours - Directed by Danny Boyle. With James Franco, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn. "Based on the true story of a mountain climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive."

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Robin Hood – Directed by Ridley Scott. With Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max Von Sydow, William Hurt, Danny Huston. "The story of an archer in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion who fights against the Norman invaders and becomes the legendary hero known as Robin Hood."

The Runaways – Directed by Floria Sigismondi. With Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Michael Shannon. "A coming-of-age biopic about '70s teenage band The Runaways."

Secretariat
- Directed by Randall Wallace. With Diane Lane as owner Penny Chenery, John Malkovich as trainer Lucien Laurin, Scott Glenn as the owner. "The life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973."

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The Social Network - Directed by David Fincher. Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. With Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Rashinda Jones, Joseph Mazzola, Andrew Garfield, Max Minghella. "A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook."

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Somwhere - Directed by Sofia Coppola. With Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning. "A hard-living Hollywood actor re-examines his life after his 11-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit."

The Tempest – Directed by Julie Taymor. With Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cumming. Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Russell Brand, Felicity Jones. "Opposite the Oval cricket ground, a group of teenagers meet twice a week to rehearse a play. Over the course of nine months, they piece together a vision of an enchanted island, ruled by Shakespeare's wizard king."

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The Tree Of Life - Directed by Terrence Malick. With Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. "The tale of a Midwestern boy's journey from the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as a "lost soul in the modern world", and into his quest to regain meaning in life."

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Tron: Legacy – Directed by Joseph Kosinski. With Garrett Hedland, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde, John Hurt and Bruce Boxleitner. "A virtual-world worker looks to take down the Master Control Program."

True Grit
– Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. With Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. "A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer."

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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger - Directed by Woody Allen. With Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto. "Revolves around different members of a family, their tangled love lives and their attempts to try to solve their problems."

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