Oscar: Adapted screenplay

Why he’ll win: The Academy has a predilection for brainy British playwrights, and Hare (“Plenty,” “Amy’s View”) has been on their radar since his 2002 nomination for adapting “The Hours.” And this movie is already an obvious favorite, having scored a surprising five nods.

Maybe not: The feeling that this film contributed to the exclusion of “Revolutionary Road” in several categories (including this one) is not a good omen.

Critical quote: ” ‘The Reader’ is a deeply novelistic movie, full of undercurrents and messages, particularly about the way young people have to distance themselves from the authority figures of their youth in order to create their own identities,” says Tasha Robinson of the Onion.

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