The Oscars: Money lessons from the movies

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Many of the movies and stars nominated for Oscars this year represent not only some of 2009’s most successful films and talented performers, but offer important lessons about money.

Greed, excessive spending and financial stress play prominent roles in some of the year’s best picture nominees, and some characters portrayed by nominated actors depict realistic and unrealistic lifestyles based on their professions.

The “82nd Academy Awards” airs March 7 on ABC. Two of the most talked-about movies — “Avatar” and “Up in the Air” — had the core issue of money and success, says Laurie Hutzler, a Los Angeles-based story and character consultant and founder of ETB Screenwriting.

Here’s what those films and others show about money in their plots, characters and sets.