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Trends Emerge Among Oscar Contenders

NPR's Bob Mondello says similarities often emerge among movies sharing a season, and that is especially apparent this year. The most obvious are the 19th-century war movies (Master and Commander, The Last Samurai, and Cold Mountain) -- but there are more obscure trends, like films that include a dead child in their plots (Mystic River, In America, 21 Grams).

Copyright 2003 NPR

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.