What We Can Learn from Great Movies of 2009

10 Lessons from the Best Picture Oscar Nominees

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Last year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences increased its Best Picture nominees from five to 10. The idea was to give the ever straight-laced Oscar a little kick in the rear and inject some cinematic diversity into the awards. "Those carefully crafted indie flicks are great and all," the Academy seemed to say, "but wouldn't it be nice to honor something that folks have actually seen?"

The 2010 crop of Academy Award Best Picture nominees is one of the most eclectic in recent memory. Massive blockbusters stand next to tiny boutique films, comedies snicker alongside tear-jerking dramas, and the films themselves feature everyone from glib corporate terminators and illiterate teens to blue aliens and birds named Kevin.

But for all their diversity, these films still share something: Each carries a powerful message or two about being a better person. So raise the curtain, dig into the popcorn, and see what Oscar has to teach us this year.

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Vote: Oscars 2010
Which film do you think will win Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards?
"A Serious Man"
"An Education"
"Avatar"
"District 9"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious"
"The Blind Side"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Up"
"Up in the Air"
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