MOVIE MADNESS: Your Guide To The Year-End Blitz Of Oscar Contenders

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Did you catch “Midnight in Paris” in the spring, “The Help” in the summer and “Moneyball” in the fall?

Great. You’re well on your way to an informed Oscar ballot.

But for Hollywood, the next eight weeks represents a frantic slew of serious-film release dates and Academy-aimed campaigns.

Here, the films, the stars and the early buzz reports. Use your Friday nights wisely.

The dark personal conflicts, the age-inducing makeup -- all signs point to Oscar for Leo when it comes to this role. (Click here to see more about DiCaprio's climb to stardom.) Co-stars: Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts.

Director Lars von Trier indulged his controversial streak this summer when, at Cannes, he went ahead and announced that he sorta sympathizes with Hitler. But don't hold that against the incandescent performance of Kirsten Dunst as a bride who knows the apocalypse is nigh. Co-stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland.

Werner Herzog's filmed conversations with a death row inmate are considered a lock for best documentary.

George Clooney is milking the disaffected, introspective man thing with 'The Descendants,' which finds him playing a father trying to reconnect with his daughters. Co-stars: Shailene Woodley and Judy Greer.

Though early reviews paint this wedding-centric film as over-the-top, keep an eye on Ellen Barkin, whose performance may be the best part. Co-stars: Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth.

Director David Cronenberg ('A History of Violence') is back with 'Method,' a psychoanalysis thriller built around Keira Knightley. Co-stars: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortenson.

Oscar futures have alighted on Michelle Williams' take on Marilyn Monroe. Co-stars: Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh.

We know: in the age of 3-D, a silent film about silent films? But a little classic French throwback never hurt anyone. Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman (yes, that John Goodman).

Its NC-17 rating may pose a tricky Academy hurdle, but Michael Fassbender's turn as a sexual addict is the talk of Hollywood right now. Co-stars: Carey Mulligan.

The Soviet espionage drama is being hawked as a pinnacle moment in Gary Oldman's career. Co-stars: Colin Firth, Tom Hardy.

In a season stocked with heavy hitters, we're looking forward to Diablo Cody's next dramedy, which stars the chameleon-like Charlize Theron as a new divorcee moving back to her hometown. Co-stars: Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt.

If you wondered what we meant by 'heavy hitters,' look no further: Tilda Swinton stars as the shattered mother of a young murderer. Co-stars: John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller.

The adaptation of the theatre hit 'God of Carnage' stars a fearsome foursome: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly.

Christian Bale plays a charlatan priest in this epic, set in 1937 Nanking. Co-stars: Paul Schneider.

This coming-of-age drama about a Brooklyn teen lit up the festival circuit. Stars: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis.

Book-based hyped-up franchises aren't usually synonymous with Oscar Glory, but David Fincher's noirish take on the Stieg Larsson series may change that. All eyes are on Rooney Mara. Co-stars: Daniel Craig, Robin Wright.

Cameron Crowe and Matt Damon is a duo we like the sound of. Throw in Scarlett Johansson and a menagerie of animals, and we're hooked.

Angelina Jolie's directorial debut is set against the background of Bosnian war. Stars: Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic.

The adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's classic post-9/11 novel comes more than a decade after the day -- and it may be perfect timing, artistically speaking. The melancholy film stars Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.

Meryl Streep tackles British history as the enigmatic, iconic Margaret Thatcher. This is the stuff that makes other best-actress hopefuls tremble in their heels. Co-stars: Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head.

Now learn more about a best-actor favourite.

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