Who are the early contenders?
As always, the cinematic mix includes a motley group of characters and stories. But when these movies are superbly crafted and winningly acted, they can push audience's emotional buttons, change career trajectories, and impel Oscar voters to award the prized statuettes. James Franco and Anne Hathaway will co-host the 83rd Academy Awards telecast on February 27. In the meantime, here are some front runners: