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The process of deciding which movie will win the Academy Award for best picture is an opaque thing.Two films' protagonists are British academics.Looking back over the past decade of best-picture laureates, arguments can be made for all four films.The Academy has betrayed a fondness for civil rights biopics, having handed the best picture Oscar to "12 Years a Slave," the memoir of Solomon Northrup, adapted to the big screen by visual artist-cum-filmmaker Steve McQueen. That gesture was made only one year ago, however, suggesting electors will want to select a different kind of film this time around. It's a bit dicey, isn't it, imagining that, in a mere five years, the Academy would award their best picture prize to two separate biopics about two different English heroes from World War II?Since "Birdman" is simply too good a film to be the Academy's best picture, that Oscar simply will not be handed out this year.
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