Five films to catch at the 21st annual Aspen Film Academy Screenings

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Each year, Aspen Film screens the contenders for the Oscar. This year's lineup of national and international films includes box-office hits like Lincoln, as well as such film-buff favorites as Rust and Bone. The screenings begin December 25 and will continue until January 1 at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. Tickets are now on sale at the Wheeler Opera House and online. Although all the films are likely worth watching, here are five you shouldn't miss.

See also: - The symbolism in Argo's wisecracking script is impossible to miss - Karina Longworth's top ten films of 2012 - 9 Good Bets for Oscar

5. Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln -- that's all you need to know about this film before seeing it. His performance created all the hype for this movie about one of the most fascinating presidents in U.S. history. With a supporting cast including Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Spader, Lincoln has already been nominated for seven Golden Globes.

4. Argo

This real film about the making of a fake film is further proof, after The Town, that Ben Affleck's real talent lies in directing. Argo tells the story of six American embassy workers who try to escape the country after the November 4, 1979 attack on the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran. As they're hiding in the home of the Canadian ambassador, a CIA agent tries to help them escape by disguising them as a crew scouting a location for a film -- and plot is based on the accounts of the spies involved. With five Golden Globe nominations, it's another likely candidate to win big.

3. A Royal Affair

Danish history might not be particularly well-known on this continent but but that doesn't seem to matter with this film. It tells the story of a love and power triangle between Princess Caroline Matilda, King Christian VI and Johann Struensee, the King's royal physician and chief adviser. The princess's affair with Struensee leads her to push reforms that conflict directly with the king's conservative governing council. Love, politics and social reform intertwine in this film, nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

2. Amour

The routine of married 80-eighty-year-old musicians is changed when one of them suffers from a stroke. In reaction, they both retreat from the world, not even allowing their daughter to visit them. The painful and enduring love story starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva has already won director Michael Haneke -- who also directed The White Ribbon -- his second Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

1. Rust and Bone

Everyone's favorite crazy French girl, Marion Cotillard (from films like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises), gives her most emotional performance in this unconventional love story. Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts play a back-alley boxer and a dolphin trainer who, broken in different physical and emotional ways, help each other heal as their paths intersect. Nominated for several European film festivals, including Cannes, this film is another contender for a Golden Globe Best Foreign Language Film.

For a list of the full lineup and schedules visit the Aspen Film website. To purchase tickets, visit Aspen Show Tickets.

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