8 January 2013 12:11 PM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

If recent Oscar history is any guide, the way to get nominated and even to win is not by making a movie whose merits everyone can agree on. Rather, you should make a polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it movie that prompts arguments among both critics and audiences. Look at the movies up for consideration this year. There's "The Master," a movie some found brilliant and others found hard to watch or even understand. (It's this year's "Tree of Life.") There's "Django Unchained," a movie that's prompted numerous controversies over its extreme violence, its provocative language, and its irreverent treatment of a still-raw wound in American history. (In Oscar terms, it's this year's "The Help.") There's "Les Miserables," which has moved some viewers to tears and others to frustration. There's summer indie hits "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild," movies about childhood that some adored and others abhorred -- were they precocious »

- Gary Susman

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