The five indie films Oscar shouldn't forget
Dear Academy Members,
We know you're bummed out about the no-screeners situation. We know how cool you looked when you invited your friends over to watch ''The Hours'' before it was even in theaters. But please, for your sake, don't sulk at home. Venture out and see these award-worthy films before ''The Lord of the Rings'' and ''Cold Mountain'' boot them out of the multiplex.
1. LOST IN TRANSLATION Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are nothing short of sublime in Sofia Coppola's most unusual and satisfying love story. Added bonus: It's even better on second viewing.
2. THE MAGDALENE SISTERS Writer-director-actor Peter Mullan gathered a cast so strong for his laundry-convent drama that Geraldine McEwan (villainous Sister Bridget), Nora-Jane Noone (heroic Bernadette), and Eileen Walsh (timid Crispina) should all be competing for Best Supporting Actress.
3. THIRTEEN Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood form the most vividly heartbreaking mother-daughter screen team in recent memory.
4. THE STATION AGENT Droll performances by Peter Dinklage and Patricia Clarkson bring writer-director Tom McCarthy's sensitive dialogue to truthful life.
5. AMERICAN SPLENDOR Quite simply, the best film based on a comic book to come along since, well, 2001's Oscar-nominated ''Ghost World.''
Sincerely, Dave Karger