We're breaking down all the Oscar contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or, at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. Next up: 'The Illusionist,' a heartbreakingly beautiful animated pantomime.

Nominated For: Best Animated Feature

What It's About: In the late 1950s, an older magician struggles to support himself in a world that is faster than he can keep pace with. While performing in rural Scotland, where lightbulbs are still considered amazing, a young girl named Alice becomes enchanted by the old man's magic and follows him to the big city of Edinburgh. There, the illusionist guides the girl towards adulthood by making personal sacrifices while Alice takes care of the old man with delicious homecooked meals.
categories Features, Oscars, Awards