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Sword of Trust

A likable throwback to the kind of rambling, character-driven 1990s indie comedies that the U.S. film industry barely releases to theaters anymore.

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Armstrong

A thorough and thoroughly conventional, look at the first astronaut to set foot on the moon.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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If We Picked the Winners: Table of Contents

In anticipation of the Academy Awards, we polled our contributors to see who they thought should win the Oscar. Once we had our winners, we asked various writers to make the case for our selection in each category. We're posting those essays this week, two a day, leading up to the big reveal of our pick for our best picture on Friday. Here you'll find links to all our picks.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"Essay by Glenn Kenny

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"Essay by Omer M. Mozaffar

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Best Original Screenplay: "Her" written by Spike JonzeEssay by Nell Minow

Best Adapted Screenplay: "Before Midnight" written by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard LinklaterEssay by Brian Tallerico

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"Essay by Peter Sobczynski

Best Documentary: "The Act of Killing"Essay by Olivia Collette

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"Essay by Susan Wloszczyna

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"Essay by Odie Henderson

Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"Essay by Matt Zoller Seitz

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