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The Contenders: a look at the top Oscar races in an unpredictable year

LOS ANGELES — When “Boyhood” premiered at Sundance over a year ago, few would have predicted its strong domination of the precursor races. But “Birdman” snagged the PGA, DGA and SAG ensemble prizes and “American Sniper” is burning up the box office. So anything could happen when the envelopes are opened Sunday.
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Into the Woods’ impressive if not embraceable

"Into the Woods," the Stephen Sondheim fairy-tale musical that sent up every contrivance and cliche that The Brothers Grimm could cook up, earns a lush, grand and star-studded production for the big screen. Disney brought out and bought the big guns - director Rob "Chicago" Marshall, Meryl "Mamma Mia!" Streep and Anna "Pitch Perfect" Kendrick.
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Some of the year’s best films are heading our way

Why does Hollywood always save most of its best movies for last? To get closer to the time when Oscar ballots are due. That's why we're in for an uptick in quality between now and January at the multiplex, although there will still be plenty of simple entertainment via comedies, horror flicks and not one but two gargantuan musicals. Here is a list of the holiday films coming soon to a theater near you.