In the first act of Les Miserables, factory worker Fantine (Anne Hathaway) loses her job and is forced first to sell her hair and then become a prostitute in order to support her daughter, Cosette. Universal Pictures hide caption

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Cooper's character, Pat Solatano, meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) while trying to get his life together after being released from a state institution. The Weinstein Company hide caption

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A Bengal tiger named Richard Parker plays a central role in Life of Pi, a new movie adaptation of a novel some might describe as unfilmable. 20th Century Fox hide caption

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Lost at sea, Pi (Suraj Sharma) Patel begins to make an extraordinary connection with a fearsome Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. 20th Century Fox hide caption

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Tony Kushner based his screenplay for Lincoln in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of the president, Team of Rivals — but he read many other histories and biographies, in addition to Lincoln's own writings. DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox hide caption

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Day-Lewis used firsthand accounts of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, along with his personal letters, to develop a voice and a style for Steven Spielberg's biographical drama. David James/DreamWorks hide caption

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Ben Affleck directed and stars in Argo. It is the third feature film the actor has directed. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images hide caption

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Adams is also currently starring in Trouble with the Curve as a lawyer with the makings of a pro baseball scout. Warner Brothers hide caption

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In Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Amy Adams plays Peggy Dodd, the spouse of a charismatic spiritual leader, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adams says her character is smart and educated but feels "more powerful behind a man than in front of a man." The Weinstein Co. hide caption

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Ben Affleck directed and stars in Argo. Claire Folger/Warner Brothers Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Claire Folger/Warner Brothers Pictures

Hatching A Star: The tenacious Hushpuppy, of Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, is played by the equally fearless Quvenzhane Wallis, who was plucked for the role from a Louisiana elementary school. "It was an absolute miracle that we found her," Zeitlin says. Jess Pinkham/Fox Searchlight hide caption

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