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Should Win

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Picture TREE OF LIFE

    All of the 2011 Best Picture nominees have their merits, but one towers above the rest: "The Tree of Life," writer/director Terrence Malick's film about...well what is "The Tree of Life" about, anyway? For a free-associative non-linear movie that skips back and forth through time and space, and that...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Documentary, UNDEFEATED

    Documentaries are as close to pure cinema as we have yet to get to. They tell our stories. The stories of those we don't know. They have the capability of breaking the fourth wall without winking at the audience. And sometimes they can make our chests swell with that uncommon feeling of humility. Fr...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Director Martin Scorsese, HUGO

    This year's Oscar race for Best Director features an especially strong roster. The five nominees are Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," Michel Hazanavicius for "The Artist," Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life," Alexander Payne for "The Descendants" and Martin Scorsese for "Hugo." Four of them d...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Actor Brad Pitt, MONEYBALL

    Brad Pitt is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But he is also a fantastic actor. His phenomenal range has allowed him to play delirious and zany, as in "Twelve Monkeys," but also understated and restrained, as in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Those films brought Pitt a Best suppo...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Actress Viola Davis, THE HELP

    Four out the five performances nominated for Best Actress are in part based on fulfilling audiences’ preconceived notions of what they should be. Both Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams do impersonations on the level of genius. Streep dares to make Margaret Thatcher seem all too human; Williams lets...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: PRESS PLAY picks the Oscars

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: Press Play presents "Should Win," a series of video essays advocating winners in seven Academy Awards categories: supporting actor and actress, best actor and actress, best director and best picture. These are consensus choices hashed out by a pool of Press Play contrib...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Supporting Actress Janet McTeer, ALBERT NOBBS

    Pretty much all of this year's Best Supporting Actress nominees are great, although a puking, pooping Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids "may not exactly be the stuff of Oscar dreams. Bérénice Bejo offers a charming modern take on a silent film ingenue-turned-star. Jessica Chastain especially can do n...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer, BEGINNERS

    Almost all the nominees for Best Supporting Actor do terrific work in roles that feel tailor-made to highlight their strengths. Kenneth Branagh's early work as director/star on stage and screen earned him comparisons to Laurence Olivier; he fulfills his destiny by actually playing Olivier in "My Wee...

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