Oscar Nominees: Best Picture


"The Artist" magically captures Hollywood just before talkies. A silent film that is innovative. A tribute that works

In "The Descendants" George Clooney struggles to communicate with his daughters in Hawaii. There is humor and pathos. A story that stays with you.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is a about a boy looking for answers after his father's death on 9/11. Stars a Piedmont boy. It's pretentious.

"The Help" captures changes that were coming in the south in the 60s. Fandango users named it their favorite film of the year and it's getting a lot of Facebook and Twitter play.

"Hugo" is a joy. Martin Scosese's tribute to early filmmaking and film preservation. It should be seen in 3D. It comes out on Blu-ray next week.

Woody Allen is back to form in "Midnight in Paris." It's charming, beguiling, funny and smart. And Paris has never been more irresistible.

In "Moneyball" Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, turning around the Oakland A's. It's a baseball movie for people who are not necessarily baseball fans.

"The Tree of Life" has stunning visual elements but it is so long and convoluted. It's hard to watch in one sitting, maybe even two.

"War Horse," the Spielberg epic has some amazing horse shots. It is a little slow. The play comes to San Francisco in August.

From the first time I saw "The Artist," I was enchanted. It is filled with a range of emotions and is dazzling without 3D, color or sound. A full bucket for best picture: "The Artist."

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