stand up for what they believe in. Angelina Jolie, faced with every mother'snightmare, tirelessly works to find her son and expose those responsiblefor his death and the cover-up. Meryl Streep plays a nun who, even withsome doubts, pursues her strategy for what she thinks is right for thestudents in her school. Melissa Leo does what she can to protect her children, even though it means taking chances with her own future. AndAnne Hathaway's character fights to retain her growing strength even asfamily dynamics assault her fragile personality. So, hang in there as youtoo follow your own dreams.
Be authentic and proud of whom you are
. Portraying assassinated SanFrancisco supervisor, Harvey Milk, Oscar winner Sean Penn immerseshimself in the vibrant personality of the first openly gay politician elected topublic office. He reminds us to embrace ourselves, no matter what othersthink and whatever the consequences.
Keep on trying
, Mickey Rourke personifies, in agonizingreality, the complexities of making a comeback - in love and in work.Throughout the missteps in his personal relationships and victories in thering, his sense of decency doesn't waver. You root for both Randy 'TheRam' and Mickey himself, telling them, "don't give up, it's never too late."
Conduct yourself honorably
. Playing disgraced President RichardNixon, Frank Langella personifies the arrogance of power. The viewer feels no moral ambiguity after Frost's questioning, as Nixon falls apart anddeclares, "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."Vow not to let yourself make that kind of ethical compromise in your behavior.
Be open to love and friendship
. As Brad Pitt ages backwards, the twostable women in his life are his friend and true love, Daisy, and hisadoptive mother, Queenie. Both women, and the relationships he shareswith them, exemplify the timelessness of love. Rely on the support of dear friends and family to strengthen you through times "curious" and difficult.In
, Richard Jenkins gradually lets others into his life and, in theprocess, expands his world. His new friends lead to his awakening -sensually, ethically, musically, sexually - and free him from his cloisteredexistence. Enrich your own experiences through the gifts of friendship.Although you likely do not live in any of the dramatic scenarios honored at theOscars, the lessons they provide can help reduce the tensions you face caringfor your family and yourself. And even if you are in very high heels and a dressthat is too tight, at least your balancing act is not in front of millions of viewers!© 2009, HerMentorCenter