The Academy has revised its rules yet again and through some arcane formula there are nine nominees this year: "The Artist," "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "The Help," "Moneyball," "War Horse," and "The Tree of Life." They include a true story, historical fiction, an intimate family tragedy with comic overtones, an epic story of war, and a mystifying drama that includes all of those elements plus everything form the birth of the cosmos to something that could be the end of days or perhaps just the mediations of a middle-aged man about his childhood. All are pretty worthy candidates. My prediction for the winner is the one that reminded us most powerfully of what cinematic storytelling can be: "The Artist."
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