A look at the Oscar Best Picture hopefuls

Movie memories of this year's nominees

The category: Best Picture

The movie: Avatar

The moment: Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic Marine, finds himself on the planet Pandora, where he is part of a scientific research mission to explore the mysterious home of the Na'vi -- tall, beautiful, blue humanlike creatures. Because humans cannot breathe the air of Pandora, they travel by mind-controlling their avatars, genetically bred Na'vi and human hybrids. When Avatar Jake and his team land in Pandora's forest for the first time, he is overjoyed not only by his ability to move freely but by the beauty of the place. And so are we. Director and writer James Cameron has combined cutting-edge CGI technology and his rich imagination to create a wondrous world. And the 3-D effects are like nothing you've seen before. Well, actually, that's not true -- it's exactly like seeing, like being immersed in magical, color-saturated dense woods. You forget that you have on 3-D glasses. You may even forget, or want to forget, that the planet isn't real. Soon after Avatar's release, the Internet was abuzz with tales of people suffering real depression because they wanted to live on Avatar and couldn't stand the dull and gray qualities of our own less-intense Earth.