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Oscar season preview

Movies to watch for this fall from Keira Knightley, Leo Dicaprio, and Viggo Mortenson

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Get out your date books: This year’s awards-season calendar is filling up fast. With the most recent Best Picture ballot composed entirely of films released in October or later, studios have slated most of their 2008 big-ticket awards bait for the last four months of the year. After yet another Keira Knightley period piece (Sept. 12’s The Duchess) and the Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo drama Blindness (Sept. 19), Oct. 10 brings Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio’s untitled Ridley Scott project. November’s highlights include the Nicole Kidman/Hugh Jackman epic Australia (Nov. 14) and the Cormac McCarthy adaptation The Road (Nov. 26), starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. And Dec. 19’s Revolutionary Road reunites DiCaprio with his Titanic costar Kate Winslet. The duo — who share a total of eight previous nominations — will face Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If your brain hasn’t exploded yet, keep these two films in mind for the 2010 ceremony: Crowe’s political thriller State of Play and Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton follow-up, the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen drama Duplicity.