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Mark Kermode applies his Secrets of Cinema formula – deep research, sharp scripts, thoughtful views – to the Oscars in this Secrets of Cinema special.

Is there a secret formula that connects Rain Man to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Rocky to Platoon, Terms of Endearment to 12 Years a Slave (see picture, above), or Darkest Hour to The Hurt Locker?

Or is 
it more a case, as screenwriter William Goldman once said, that when it comes to picking winners in Hollywood, ‘nobody knows anything’?

Mark Kermode's Oscar Winners: The Hurt Locker

Explosive: The Hurt Locker

With the Oscars just days away, and the far from typical Roma hotly tipped, Mark dips a toe in waters that are very murky indeed.

TV Times rating: ****