How many films with Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain make the list?
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Pro: It's one of the year's biggest surprise hits with a staggering $159 million, but also features standout performances from previous Oscar nominee Viola Davis; current "it" girls Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone; former "it" girl and Hollywood royalty Bryce Dallas Howard and longtime veteran Octavia Spencer. One of the few teary melodramas in the hunt.
Con: The film played well with audiences, but has been a magnet for criticism over its portrayal of race relations in the South. Will Davis' pedigree and film-carrying performance be enough to garner the necessary Academy support?