Picks and Pans Review: DVD View

updated 02/23/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/23/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Still catching up with this year's Oscar nominees? Four small-scale films—all richly deserving of their Academy recognition—recently joined contenders Seabiscuit, Pirates of the Caribbean and Whale Rider on DVD shelves.

Lost in Translation (Universal, $26.98)

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In this wondrous Best Picture contender, nominee Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson click as lost souls in Tokyo.

Extras: Murray's antics highlight a fascinating making-of documentary. (R)

Thirteen (Fox, $27.98)

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Holly Hunter was recognized for her moving turn as a mom witnessing her daughter's heartbreaking downward spiral.

Extras: Overly giggly commentary from the teen stars; stirring deleted scenes with Hunter. (R)

American Splendor (HBO, $27.95)

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This smart, funny biopic of comic-book author Harvey Pekar sadly nabbed only a screenplay nod.

Extras: An amusing Pekar-penned comic book; low-energy cast-and-crew commentary. (R)

Pieces of April (MGM, $25.98)

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As a sharp-witted dying mom, nominee Patricia Clarkson enriches this solid Thanksgiving comedy.

Extras: Disappointingly dry director commentary. (PG-13)

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