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Ferdinand

A mostly pleasant surprise in a year that has produced a lack of stellar animated outings.

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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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The gayness helped

From: Ed Bagley, Scottsdale, AZ

I’d go further and say the opposite of what "Brokeback Mountain"'s fans are claiming: that the gay thing did NOT keep if from getting best picture; in fact, the gay thing is likely what propelled it into the top five in the first place. It’s well-shot, well-acted, but a slow and plodding movie -- and not deserving of a best picture nomination on THAT basis. The gay thing, rather than being a limiting factor, very likely took the film farther than it deserved on its merits.

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