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Arthur: 'Beginners'

Breed: Jack Russell terrier Scene-chewing moment: After his lonely owner meets comely actress at Halloween party, he begs (through the magic of subtitles): "Tell her the darkness is about to drown us unless something dramatic happens right now." Emotional range: Demanding, yes (he will not be left alone!), but empathetic and precisely in sync with owner's emotions. ("Are we married yet?") Working for him: Understands up to 150 words. Claims not to talk, but subtitled vocabulary equal to that of a linguist. Working against him: Didn't save owner from life-threatening peril like that other Jack Russell. Oscar chances: Feig's endorsement says it all: No dog played a more fully integrated character in a movie this year. Bow (wow) to him. Focus Features
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