The Oscars-After

In my earlier blog, I wrote about my picks for the  Oscars. The votes are in, the judges have spoken, and this is what happened:

I think that if Bradley Cooper had gone up against lesser-known actors, he would have won Best Actor for Silver Lining Playbook, but it just wasn’t his time. Daniel Day Lewis walked away with the Best Actor award for his portrayal of our beloved president in Lincoln. This is the the third Oscar in the actor’s career.

Jennifer Lewis was chosen as best Actress for her role in Silver Lining Playbook, which didn’t surprise me. Lewis is on her way to proving her versatility as an actress, and is best-known for her starring role in Hunger Games.

Lewis also holds the award for “saving face,” when she hurried up tot he stage to receive her award and tripped. She immediately got a standing ovation from the audience. She picked herself up and kept going, without skipping a beat.

“I’m sure you’re all standing because you feel sorry for me falling, but thank you” she was quick to say before thanking all those involved with her success.

It was no surprise that Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, was the winner for Best Picture. But it was a surprise that First Lady Michelle Obama did the presenting.

I was right about the Best Supporting Actor category. Christoph Waltz did an awesome job in Django Unchained, a film which I’m sure will not get the publicity I think it deserves.

Best Directing honors went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi, a surprise by some, but deserving nonetheless.

Anne Hathaway won the award for Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables. The  cast of the movie performed a song during the show, which was amazing and Hathaway was definitely the right choice.

Skyfall, a James Bond movie that was not supposed to take home too many awards, actually received two, a feat that is rare for a Bond film. Singer, Adele, performed her original song from the movie, and won an Oscar for her efforts. I didn’t think Daniel Craig made a very good James Bond. But that’s just because no one else does it better than Sean Connery.

The Academy remembered those who have passed during the year, including Marvin Hamlisch, for whom Barbara Streisand honored with his song, Memories.

I was very disappointed in Seth McFarland’s performance as host. He was rude, crude, and bordered on racism. That kind of behavior belongs on Family Guy or in movies like Ted. Not Oscar night. I actually like Family Guy. It’s goofy and silly enough to be funny, but even that has its limits, and McFarland tends to push them as far as they will go.

In the words of William Shatner, who shared the opening spotlight with McFarland, “Tina and Amy should always be the hosts,” (referring to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and their hosting duties at the Emmys). Yeah, they were pretty funny, but I wish they would bring Billy Crystal back. He was funny without being tasteless.

It was an interesting show to say the least, one that will find its place in the Academy Museum, set to open in California next year, the president of the Academy announced during the show.

It just might be worth a trip to the West Coast.

The Oscars-Before

In just a few hours, we will finally know what the best picture of 2013 is.

The 2013 Academy Awards

The 2013 Academy Awards

Will it be Argo, a film about the rescue of American hostages in Iran; Lincoln, a film by Steven Spielberg; Beasts of the Southern Wild, (which also boasts the youngest Oscar nominee); Les Miserables, a musical brought to the big screen; Life of Pi, a story about a young man who finds himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean with a tiger as his companion; Silver Lining Playbook, about a trouble young man who has to deal with life after his release from a mental institution; or Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden?

Whichever film wins, we can be sure that it was chosen by a group of our peers, who are connoisseurs of film-making, who have studied each and every film to make sure that it is really and truly the best of them all. Yes, I am being a little sarcastic, especially after finding out through an ABC report that the Academy Award judges are 98 percent white, 77 percent men and most of them are over 62 years old. Nice.

I started thinking, what makes their opinions better than yours, or mine, or anyone’s? Nothing, except they are in the right place at the right time.

For what it’s worth, here are my picks for the Best of the Best:

Many TV personalities are choosing Argo as the Best Picture. Yes, it is good, it is great, it’s marvelous! But so is Lincoln. I think this will be too close to call. Personally, I would pick Silver Lining Playbook. I like Bradley Cooper, and I like Jennifer Lewis. Together they were awesome! But Best Picture? It borders on a chick flick and I just don’t think the old white guys will go for it.

Which brings me to the Best Actor Category.

Bradley Cooper is up for the award. He played his intense role the way it needed to be played, but I really think the honor will go to Daniel Day Lewis, who plays Lincoln in the film of the same name. Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, and Joaquin Phoenix are also nominated.

The Best Actress award should go to Jennifer Lewis, but there are a few other great actresses for the award, including Quvenzhane Wallis for her role as, Hushpuppy, in the Beasts of the Southern Wild (one movie we haven’t heard much about, but worth watching nonetheless).

Other nominees include Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty,Naomi Watts for The Impossible, and Emmanuelle Riva in Amour.

Which actress will the judges pick to reign supreme for the next year? I guess we would have to think like they would and choose the actress who is inspiring, touching, and tough. But since all the females nominated seem to fall under that category, I guess we’ll have to go with the most known-Jennifer Lewis. (see a pattern?)

Amy Adams, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt, and Jackie Weaver are all nominated for Best Supporting Actress. In my opinion, they were all great in their roles, but my choice for Best Supporting Actress goes to Sally Field in Lincoln. This is not because she is so well-known, but she really knows how to play the part of a tough broad magnificently. She was great on TV as the sweet and accident prone nun-in-training in the Flying Nun, but she truly captured the role in Norma Rae. She also knew how to handle Burt Reynolds in Smoky and the Bandit.

Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones, Phillip Seymour Hoffman,  and Christoph Waltz are up for the Best Supporting Actor award. DeNiro (Silver Lining Playbook) and Jones (Lincoln) were great, but it was Christopher Waltz who stole the show in Django Unchained. 

I may be way off-base, but who really cares? What matters is that these films were made for us to enjoy, and at least we will have the pleasure of being entertained for a few hours by Seth McFarland, a true Family Guy.


It’s not just about the cookies

My granddaughter, Isabelle, is selling Girl Scout cookies for the first time.

Just a few of the 11 kinds of Girl Scout Cookies for sale this year-Unfortunately, some cookies may not be available in all areas. (Photo Illustration by Cynthia Petersen)

Just a few of the 11 kinds of Girl Scout Cookies for sale this year-Unfortunately, some cookies may not be available in all areas. (Photo Illustration by Cynthia Petersen)

Isabelle is a Daisy, which is a much younger version of a Girl Scout, and though they might be a little young to fully understand the skills they are learning, they still get to sell the cookies.

Selling the cookies teach the scouts skills that will help them throughout their entire lives. People skills, money management, and business ethics are just a few of the skills they can learn through the program.

One little girl from New York found out the hard way why the Girl Scouts don’t sell their cookie online. She set up a website and sold 700 boxes before girl Scout officials caught wind of what she was doing. the officials stated that selling cookies online gave the little girl an unfair advantage over other Girl Scouts and didn’t teach scouts the skills that the program promotes.

Some parents have questioned the safety of going door-to-door, as the scouts have done since the annual cookie program began, almost 100 years ago. Officials state they have always maintained that scouts need a parent with them or go as a group when selling cookies door-to-door.

Though the girls are encouraged to sell their cookies themselves, parents still jump in to help (as they always have), selling them at their workplace, and to friends and family members.

There have been a variety of cookies throughout the years. Some have gone away, but a few have remained popular; Carmel DeLites, Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties are just a few that remain popular.

The new cookie this year is Mango Cremes, enriched with Nurtifusion, has raised concerns with some critics. The company that bakes the Girl Scout cookies, ABC Smart Cookies, says this about the new cookie:

“A Tasty Treat with Major Vitamins!”

“We all want to eat with health in mind. Now, you can in a delicious new way with our Mango Cremes with NutriFusion™ Girl Scout Cookies.

Close your eyes, take a bite, and feel like you’re on a tropical island. Mango Cremes combine a crispy cookie with the taste of mango. No trans fats, hydrogenated oils, or preservatives—just pure island delight!

These tangy, refreshing tropical treats are packed with great taste AND vitamins! Crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies feature a mango-flavored creme filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries!”

One critic said they made it sound like a fruit salad while another accused the organization of false advertising by misleading  the public into thinking that the cookies are healthy. However, officials defend their cookies, stating that was not their intention and had ABC Bakers develop a cookie that promote a healthier lifestyle. If you eat cookies, why not eat one with much-needed vitamins? (by the way, according to the baking company, there are no chemicals in the product; it is 100 percent natural, made up of dehydrated and powdered fruits and vegetables.)

I still wish they would bring back one cookie that was introduced when my girls were scouts in the ’90s. Though I can’t remember the name, I recall that it was a thin maple-flavored cookie, just a little on the crunchy side.

Oh, well; I guess I’ll just have to settle for the Carmel DeLites.

A complete list of cookies the Girl Scouts sell can be found online.