find those theories with less currency than an Icelandic bank.

Last year, such movies as "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" were "too dark" to score nominations. They landed a combined 16. Then they were "too similar" to win major awards; they would split the vote and other movies would sneak in, the Trope-ists maintained. The films went on to win six Oscars.

Maybe because the enthusiasm for this season's contenders keeps shifting— or because of the continuing proliferation of (ahem) awards-season blogs and columns — this year's films have had to cope with a number of shaky theories. At parties and screenings, these ideas are trotted out and, like digs at a presidential candidate (Obama is "elitist"; Hillary is "calculating"), repeated with increasing vigor, so that after a while they acquire the ring of truth.

As we head into the holidays and the nominating home stretch for the Oscars, it's a good time to round up, and poke holes in, these truths. Or truthiness.

"Slumdog Millionaire" is too torture-filled — but also too entertaining."The Wrestler" is all about Mickey, not the movie.An animated/foreign movie won't be nominated for best picture."Frost/Nixon" is too talky.Clint will get Academy love for "Gran Torino," particularly from older voters."Benjamin Button" is too cold.