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Movies play large role in lives of Oscars contest winners

Movies play large role in lives of Oscars contest winners

March 3rd, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News
Rick Hempe

The common theme among the winners in this year's Jefferson City News Tribune Oscars contest is that movies have been a big part of their lives and their families' lives.

Prior to the Academy Awards on Feb. 24, the News Tribune asked readers to vote on who they thought would win several award categories — Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Foreign Film. The people with the most correct answers were the winners.

First-place winner Rick Hempe said his family takes part in the contest together every year.

"My sister, Sandy, and my mother, Dolores, go see movies as often as possible, and I know they saw most of those in this year's running, so I give them credit for the win. As a matter of fact, my mom won two years ago," Hempe said. "I only saw one of the movies, 'Black Panther,' and I really enjoyed it."

Michael Severance

Michael Severance

Second-place winner Michael Severance had entered the contest before but had never gotten a prize.

"This was a hard year for me to make some of my choices," Severance said. "I look at my winning as a way to honor my mom, who was really into movies. She passed away last summer, so I put in some extra effort into my selections. The Best Picture was most important. I liked 'Green Book' and not 'Roma,' while the critics liked 'Roma.' I was glad the award went to 'Green Book.'"

Third-place winner Kelli Stiles also had never won before, but has always enjoyed going to the movies like her fellow winners.

"I saw four of the movies who were up for the best picture award this year," Stiles said. "I was hoping 'Green Book' would win Best Picture, and it did."

Stiles said her son got his degree in film study from the University of Missouri in Columbia, so the family is really into movies.

Contest third place winner Kelli Stiles.

Contest third place winner Kelli Stiles.

Photo by Sally Ince /News Tribune.

"I thought it was a good Oscar show this year," she said. "There was no host, and that seemed to work out fine. There wasn't somebody talking all the time about politics. Probably more people watched because of that."

News Tribune artist Jim Dyke tallied the ballots and said there were none that got 100 percent correct.

He also said there were two ballots filled out identically with one incorrect answer: they both chose Glenn Close as best actress instead of Olivia Colman. The first- and second-place winners were chosen by a drawing of these two ballots.

The third-place winner was chosen by a drawing from a large pile of ballots filled out with two incorrect answers.

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