Primetime storytelling felt in Oscar race


In the neverending cycle of ups and downs between the movies and television, the impact of the kind of intimately filmed, sophisticated storytelling characterized by the prime series in cable’s prestige district — HBO, Showtime, AMC — may finally be felt in the films that are strong contenders in the race to the Oscar nom circle.

The fissures that develop in the lesbian union at the heart of “The Kids Are All Right,” the rapid-fire and smart-tongued verbal roundelay propelling “The Social Network,” the domesticated and familial slant to the boxing movie verities of “The Fighter,” the brittle yet funny faceoffs between a monarch and his verbally helpful subject in “The King’s Speech,” and the granite determination of one young woman defending her family in “Winter’s Bone” share many of the qualities that have sent adult audiences fleeing over the past decade from the multiplex to cable: Characters driving the narrative, writing that can be heard through actors challenged by psychologically interesting roles, visual imagery at the service of a story rather than sensational spectacle.