In the same way that Americans sometimes assume Britons are intelligent by virtue of their accents alone, sticking subtitles on a film can instantly make it seem smarter and more worthy of an award.
The 1998 Italian-language film "Life Is Beautiful" went beyond winning the foreign language category to score Oscars for best music and best actor. Star/director/writer Roberto Benigni's ecstatic, energetic acceptance speech stole the show.
This year's subtitled nominee: "Slumdog Millionaire." Though it's acted mainly in English, a few key scenes are spoken in Hindi and feature an on-screen English translation.
Sometimes the Oscar goes not to the film that was the most aptly acted, the most visually stunning, the most precisely directed or the most well written. Sometimes, it goes to the movie that simply made everyone go "Aww!" at the end, like "Forrest Gump" in 1995, like "Titanic" in 1998 and, perhaps, like "Slumdog Millionaire" in 2009.