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Oscars 2011: How the year's top films reflect the times

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So a pall has settled over much of Hollywood – not only over overtly political films like Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" sequel or "The Company Men," but over other genres that seem stubbornly apolitical. The most acclaimed romance of the year was "Blue Valentine," which tells us how arduous and even impossible love is. One of the most acclaimed domestic dramas was "Rabbit Hole" about a couple who try to survive after losing a child. The two most celebrated independent movies of the year, both Oscar best picture nominees, are "Winter's Bone," about a teenage girl in search of her dope-selling father who abandoned the family, and "The Kids Are All Right," in which a lesbian couple fights to secure their family against the incursions of their children's biological father. Even the year's biggest box-office blockbusters – from "Alice in Wonderland" to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" to "Inception" – were tinged with sadness.

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