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And the award goes to ... Janet Dame

General Motors Corp. retiree wins Oscar Picks Contest

General Motors Corp. retiree wins Oscar Picks Contest

March 09, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

SAINT JAMES - It was Janet Dame's year when it came to movies.

The Saint James North resident missed only one of the 10 categories in The Herald-Mail's third Oscar Picks Contest.

She enjoys movies with relevance, and this year's Academy Awards voters agreed with her when choosing topical nominees and winners.

Dame has to share bragging rights with three other contestants who also got nine correct answers, but she alone gets the $50 prize after her name was drawn from the four to break the tie.

Entries from Ruth Coe of Waynesboro, Pa., Seth C. Faulder of Halfway and Doris Wisler of Hagerstown made it to the drawing stage.

Dame, 61, was in the minority among the 46 people who participated in this year's contest when she selected "Crash" to win best picture.

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"I wanted it to win, which I guess is part of why I picked it," said Dame, who retired from the General Motors Corp. parts distribution center near Martinsburg, W.Va., in 1999.

Dame also thought "Crash" might win because there was too much controversy about "Brokeback Mountain" and Academy voters tend to be more conservative.

Dame, who saw "Crash" but not "Brokeback Mountain," said the best-picture winner is a great movie. Its story reveals prejudices from several perspectives.

"Crash" explores racism and stereotypes as the film follows several characters whose lives are interconnected during two days in Los Angeles.

"I like movies that have a message," she said. "I think that's one way that people get educated. I think the voters in the country, and people in general, need to know what's going on. It's entertaining, but at the same time you get information," she said.

Of the main Oscar-winning movies, Dame also saw "The Constant Gardener" and "March of the Penguins."

She and her husband, Thomas, took their grandson, Aaron McLean, 5, to see "March of the Penguins" last fall.

"It was such a great movie I didn't think it had a chance of not winning," she said.

She picked George Clooney to win supporting actor for "Syriana" because she thought he would win an Oscar and that was his best chance. He was nominated in three categories.

The only pick Dame missed was best actress and she almost changed her mind to select winner Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon won for her portrayal of June Carter in "Walk the Line."

After picking Philip Seymour Hoffman from "Capote" for best actor and Felicity Huffman from "Transamerica" for best actress, Dame thought the chances of two people with such similar names both winning was slim.

But she stuck with Huffman, whom she thought had paid her dues and whom she enjoys watching in "Desperate Housewives."

"I just guessed," she said. "I wanted Felicity to win."

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