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The Studio Report

A breakdown of films that have the potential to bring home hardware for the best picture Oscar

December 20, 2006

Disney / Touchstone

The studio stands behind the scandalized Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto." "The Prestige" may have a few tricks up its sleeve, thanks to the aura of director Christopher Nolan.

Focus Features

"Hollywoodland" probes Oscar town's dark side like "L.A. Confidential." Hot director Phillip Noyce is the spark behind "Catch a Fire."

Fox Searchlight

Several options for voters looking for the kind of arty indies that always get nominated: "Notes on a Scandal," "The Last King of Scotland" and "The History Boys." Plus, the brightest indie star of 2006: "Little Miss Sunshine."

MGM / UA

Can it happen again? "Home of the Brave" examines haunted soldiers returning from war -- like "The Best Years of Our Lives." The first "Rocky" defied the odds. Now "Rocky Balboa"?

Miramax

Mighty "The Queen" could make a Dreamgirl tremble.

New Line

"Little Children" has big potential thanks to director-writer Todd Field, whose "In the Bedroom" got nominated.

Paramount /

DreamWorks

Front-runner "Dreamgirls" faces internal threats from "Flags of Our Fathers," "World Trade Center" and "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer."

Paramount Vantage

"Babel" may be the breakthrough that finally puts an Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu film into the top five.

Picturehouse

Film critics cheer on "Pan's Labyrinth." "A Prairie Home Companion" gives the academy a chance to give a farewell hug to Robert Altman.

Sony-Columbia

"The Pursuit of Happyness" makes even the toughest academy nut crack, cry and smile. Long shots: "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Holiday."

Sony Pictures Classics

Several options for voters seeking that rare foreign-language entry: "Volver" (Spanish), "The Lives of Others" (German) and "Curse of the Golden Flower" (Chinese).

20th Century Fox

Appealing to Hollywood's dark side with "The Devil Wears Prada" and lunacy, "Borat."

Universal

"United 93" is flying high after being voted best picture by the New York critics. "The Good Shepherd" and "Children of Men" try to gain altitude.

Warner Bros.

Most Oscarologists say "The Departed" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are a lock. "The Good German" and "Blood Diamond" need to turn a key.

Warner Independent

"The Painted Veil" has the leisurely literary pace of past foreign-set contenders like "The English Patient." A "For Your Consideration" bid would be the ultimate Oscar irony.

Weinstein Co.

Never-give-up Harvey Weinstein still believes in "Bobby," but has "Miss Potter" for backup.

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