Well, the Academy Awards have been presented, and here is a list of the nominees, with winners highlighted. I was a little disappointed that Avatar didn't pick up a few more awards than it did, but c'est la guerre.
Thanks to the recommendation of my friend JM, I've been enjoying a few very excellent older films -- the Three Colors trilogy Blue, White, and Red by the masterful Polish director Krzysztok Kieslowski. Each film stands on its own as a distinct story, yet the three are interwoven in their exploration of the virtues of liberty, equality and brotherhood (symbolized by the three colors on the French flag, and in the film titles) as they appear with beautifully subtle irony and ambiguity in the lives of Kieslowski's characters. The acting is heart-breakingly superb, as is the direction. Ancillary interviews and analysis on the DVDs sheds light on each film, and on the director's remarkable human achievement.
This is art, compared to the merely transitory entertainment that passes for movie-making in most Hollywood productions. One more reason to appreciate Netflix -- access to films from many countries, many decades, many directors. Here is an IMDB link to Kieslowski's filmography.