42. The Academy Awards


New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.

Educational Website…
Please, also, check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, problem solving, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.

The Academy Awards…Every topic in “Academy Award Talk” has been taken. Most critics tell you who is going to win the award and who should win the award. This means they don’t know. By using this writing ruse, they will impress you by having two picks in the five-member field instead of one. That’s a better batting average than Ted William’s average.

A different sidelight and my point of view will have you look at a nominee’s best work before being up for the present award. An example of this is: Everyone liked Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. However, long before she did The Blind Side, she did Hope Floats (1998). In The Blind Side she plays one strong women throughout who made a difference in someone’s life.


In Hope Floats (loved the dance scene with Harry Connick, Jr.) she is balancing a tough separation with daughter problems, mother concern’s, and an old boyfriend, once again on the scene. The change of emotion to fight each of these battles seemed exceedingly more challenging as an actor.

As soon as you see the actor’s name below call out what you think their best work was up to this point in time. If someone thinks you are an idiot for calling out in the middle of a room, a restaurant, or train, roll with it!


Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)…The resume is outstanding and extensive. You will call out There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, In The Name of the Father, and My Left Foot (Oscar). The answer is? Say this phrase like you are about to open the envelope. The answer is The Last of the Mohicans. When he tells Madeleine Stowe, he will be back for her, everyone in the theater turned to someone and said he is going to be back. Now that is acting power!

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)…All my teen friends and high school students will say The Hunger Games or X-Men for “The Best of Jennifer Lawrence” vote. How could they not pick Winter Bone. In Winter Bone, she is the whole movie as she tracks down her drug-dealing dad before losing her siblings and home. As Ozark Mountain tradition has it, no one will help her. The intensity of the battles she has to wage for even the smallest thread of information is far more revealing of who she is as an actor.

Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)…You are probably thinking how exceptional Joaquin Phoenix was in the Gladiator. The clear-cut choice here is I Walked The Line. Joaquin became Johnny Cash by taking guitar lessons and singing all the songs in the movie. When you act, sing, and play the guitar for a role, that is a good number of acting points you have scored. Using that line of reasoning, Hugh Jackman is a lead pipe cinch for this year’s award. Joaquin didn’t win in 2005, so it would seem, Jackman will not make it this year for his acting and singing in Les Miserables. Anne Hathaway will win. Her ‘I Had A Dream’ was a multi-tear spiller.


Amy Adams (The Master)…Every young girl wants to be a fairy princess. In Enchanted Amy Adams played the consummate role model for all these young girls. Her believability as this naïve princess from a far off land was contagious. Being thrown into New York and looking for love’s first kiss drove the movie. The sound track and song selections were up for Academy Awards and just made the movie flow, also. The dance scenes had audience members clapping and tapping their feet. Susan Sarandon, now in Snitch opposite The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), plays the conniving evil witch in Enchanted.

Denzel Washington (Flight)…Man On Fire, where he played Dakota Fanning’s bodyguard to a T, is one of five possible choices in a list of his all-time great performances. The movie selection, Man on Fire, however, is the stand-out. In it like in Flight, he plays a damaged alcoholic. In Man On Fire his relationship was stronger with Dakota Fanning and Rahda Mitchell, her mother, than anyone starring with him in Flight.

Academy Award Sidelights…This year’s ads for the award show will cost three point five million dollars a minute. The Super Bowl rakes in six million dollars a minute for their advertisers. The Super Bowl’s audience of two hundred million viewers is five times the Academy Award’s audience.

Poetry…Did you ever think of putting your week’s activities in poetry form? Take the outstanding thing you did each day and shape it into a seven-line poem.

Monday I explored the New Jersey shore.

Tuesday’s mountain climbing had me huffing for more.

Wednesday’s safari arrived home real late.

Thursday’s deep sea fishing put nothing on the plate.

Friday we’ll find a cave we can scout.

Saturday’s water skiing is definitely out.

If we don’t swim Sunday, I’ll surely pout.


Children’s Literature I…Harlem by William Dean Myers is a stunning visual portrait of Harlem one of America’s great inner-cities. The illustrations in the book encourage students to put together written and visual portfolios of their own cities and communities. The members of your drawing, photography or technology class will combine their one page illustrated community reflective into a book. Teachers and community groups are, then, encouraged to seek funding to duplicate this book for a larger audience. The book project is a great way to highlight your community and share ideas across this same community.

Children’s Literature II…I Wish I Had A Computer That Makes Waffles by Fitzhugh Dodson is a poetry book filled with creative ideas for the pre-school to third grade classroom. It is brightly illustrated and contains poems about every topic that concerns young children. The poems about Mommies, Daddies, Alone, The Zipper, and The Bathtub are must-reads for everyone. The poem models will enhance the projects in all classrooms and are ideal for student writing portfolios.

The Answers To Yesterday’s Puzzle…If you haven’t tried the puzzle go back on day and complete the puzzle; then check your answers below.

Gr(ape) water ice is my favorite flavor.

1. Why does he take a taxi cab early to work every day?

2. The word “rob” in your first sentence should be capitalized.

3. That tree looks like it is going to fall right on Mr. Johnson’s house.

4. Columbus came looking for a route to the riches of Asia.

5. Mr. Smith has the door locked so his daughter can’t elope with Billy Johnson.

6. The movie “Hot Terminator” is number one at the box office this week.

7. Most rich people enjoy telling everyone how they earned their money.

8. Shakespeare is the most famous Englishmen in history of literature.

9. The sea gleamed from the setting sun.

10. “That boys term paper was the best that I ever read,” said Mrs. Ramirez.

11. Amoco brakes are the best brakes that money can buy.

12. Do you think my Afro goes well with that ceremonial garment?

13. Like old time prospectors, we will pan the river for gold.

14. He will outline his memories of his past or keep them in a daily journal.

15. Amos quit only after he was told to do something dangerous.

16. A million people attended the peace rally in Fairmount Park.

17. The babies wandered all over the room.

18. Please open Guiness Book Of Records to page seventeen.

19. We think that Bob is the best of the local fiddle players.

20. The painting of Degas’ Naked Swimmers was banned from the art exhibit.

Shout Outs…


To Tom Dibble…Your twenty five schools in thirty day get the word out mission on the environment_from the tree to the market, looks like it is a great success.

To The Team Of Doctors…A South Florida team of doctors have found a cure for diabetes. Check your local news channel tomorrow. It has to be one of the lead stories.

New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.



About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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