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Hagerstown woman wins Oscar contest

Movie fan correctly predicts eight of 10 Academy Award winners and wins $50

Movie fan correctly predicts eight of 10 Academy Award winners and wins $50

March 05, 2005|by JAKE WOMER

jakew@herald-mail.com

Juanita "Wanda" King of Hagerstown agreed with Oscar - mostly.

A movie fan who said she loves to go to the movies, King, 38, took up The Herald-Mail's challenge to predict the winners in 10 categories at the 77th annual Academy Awards. She was 80 percent correct, good enough to win the contest and the $50 prize.

She saw "Million Dollar Baby," which on Sunday, Feb. 27, won Academy Awards for best picture and many other categories, and she was struck by the movie about a female boxer who picks herself up from poverty with the help of an aging boxing trainer.

"I think it's going to be one of the ones I remember," King said.

But she also saw "Ray," the story of musician Ray Charles, who died near the time of the film's release. She thought that sense of loss might keep the movie in voter's minds, so she picked "Ray" over "Million Dollar Baby" for best picture. It wasn't because she thought "Million Dollar Baby was a lesser movie.

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"I picked 'Ray' because of the sentimental stuff," she said.

Among King's golden predictions were: Clint Eastwood as best director for "Million Dollar Baby"; Jamie Foxx as best actor for his role in "Ray"; Hilary Swank as best actress for her work in "Million Dollar Baby"; Morgan Freeman as best supporting actor for "Million Dollar Baby"; Cate Blanchett as best supporting actress for her turn as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator"; best adapted screenplay for Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for "Sideways"; "The Sea Inside" as best foreign language film; and "Born into Brothels" as best documentary.

The other one King missed was the winner of best original screenplay. She guessed that Keir Pearson and Terry George would win for "Hotel Rwanda," but Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth won for writing "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

Doris Wisler of Hagerstown, who won The Herald-Mail's Oscar picks contest in 2004, also correctly predicted eight of 10 winners. Wisler and King were the participants with the most correct predictions, so a drawing was held. King's name was drawn.

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