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For Best Picture, The NPR Audience Picks ...

We have to say, we're not the least bit surprised: The NPR crowd is a famously sober, serious-minded bunch of upstanding citizens. So it was practically a foregone conclusion that the winner in our audience-driven Oscar-alternative contest for the Most Accomplished Film of 2009 would be a touching, lyrical story about a sorrowful elderly gentleman who, in the twilight of his life, sets out to — Squirrel!

<em>Up</em> wins in our "Accomplished" category. Look below to see the NPR audience's picks for the other DIY Awards.
Up wins in our "Accomplished" category. Look below to see the NPR audience's picks for the other DIY Awards.

That's right: When we asked respondents in NPR's DIY Movie Awards 2010 to pick the year's single most polished exercise in filmmaking, Pixar's Up jumped way out in front — so far and so early that we thought the category was going to be a complete blowout.

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker rallied midway through the polling period, however, and eventually closed the gap to tie for second place, just 2 percent shy of Up's 16 percent share of the vote total.

Our guess about the why behind the win? Pixar's fable really was a lovely film. But with a healthy $293 million box-office take on 3,886 screens, Up had also paraded its pretty pictures before more potential-voter eyeballs than the others. Basterds took in a respectable $120 million, while Hurt Locker never played more than 535 theaters and earned a scant $12.6 million in the U.S.

(Could a similar calculus propel Avatar past The Hurt Locker in the final Oscar reckoning? We'll see.)

Fewer surprises cropped up in the other categories, which were designed chiefly as a nose-thumb at the notion that just one picture should have to suffice as The Best. With that in mind, we humbly submit the results charts below — along with the observation that the 57 percent of you who didn't pick The Hangover as Biggest Laugh Riot clearly are in fact a sober, serious-minded bunch of upstanding citizens.

Unlike yours truly, who — this is a true story — laughed so hard when Rob Riggle offhandedly tasered Ed Helms that Diet Coke and Raisinets flew out of my nose.

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Trey Graham
Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.