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Andrea Dietrich grew up in Iowa and now resides in Utah with a spouse and two cats. She has two grown children and three grandchildren. Having graduated BYU with a Spanish major/ESL minor, she has spent most of her adult life teaching. It wasn't until 2000 that she began writing in earnest and discovering her "niche" as a writer of lyrical poetry. The internet opened up a new world for her, and she has spent nearly a decade now participating in poetry clubs, acting as a judge of poetry contests for various magazines and for the website Shadow Poetry, and also, entering poetry contests herself.

Ms. Dietrich has won numerous awards, as well as the title Poet of the Year 2008, from the Yahoo group, Poetry For Thought. In addition, she has won prizes from the magazines Lucidity, Bell's Letters, Art with Words, Poets at Work and SP Quill, the magazine for which she wrote grammar and poetry articles as well as movie reviews and for which she acted as poetry editor for the head editor Marie Summers for six years. Many of her poems have appeared in Shadows Ink, a yearly published series of chapbooks of award winning poetry as well as in numerous other anthologies. Her short stories appeared in many issues of SP Quill and much of her poetry is published in eight chapbooks (the most recent one soon to be published is called Prosies), which can be purchased at Shadowpoetry.com.


The Top Ten Oscar Nominated Movies: Which would you choose?


Blog Posted:2/15/2013 6:34:00 PM
Calling all movie buffs!!! Oscar time is right around the corner. In a week from Sunday, there will be a new BEST PICTURE. Every year I make it my goal to see all the nominated films and today I fulfilled my goal by finally seeing Amour when it was shown again in my favorite Salt Lake Theater, the one place where Utahans are able to view foreign and independent movies on a regular basis.

Many of the Oscar nominated movies are now returning to movie houses for those who missed them the first time around, so if you didn't see any of these ten movies, I hope you get a chance this weekend before they disappear again from the theaters. They are all marvelous shows! I will give a quick rundown of each movie and then ask you for your opinions on them:

Beasts of the Southern Wild: This movie is very artsy. It's about a small group of people down in the bayou, living in extreme poverty, but very independent and unwilling to give up their little niche in the bayou. When a catastrophic storm comes along, in the midst of it all is a little black girl with a very big imagination and a hope to keep her friends and her struggling father alive. The “beasts” are a symbolic part of the surreal world she is has created inside her mind as her strength of endurance is tested. This movie is stunning, but I highly doubt it has a chance for a win. Hardly anybody I know has even seen it!

Zero Dark Thirty: This is the story of the how they caught Bin Laden. It was very interesting for me to watch the drama unfold through cinema. I'd had no idea that it was a woman who had led the investigation into his whereabouts. Also the movie was directed by a woman. Women are capable of amazing things and this movie is proof of that. I heard there was some hope for this one to win an Oscar for best picture, but the torture scenes were supposedly going to hold it back. I disagree that the torture scenes should make any difference. If anything, the torture scenes were mild compared to what I would expect had actually been happening!

Silver Linings Playbook: This is the only funny and very romantic one in the group of nominees. A man just out of a mental hospital falls for a woman who seems nearly as crazy as he is! They hook up and begin practicing for a ballroom dance show so that they can win the huge cash prize. I loved seeing this movie. It was one of my favorite feel good movies of 2012.

Lincoln: I am sure this is one of the ten movies most seen by people of the United States. I went to it when it opened thanksgiving day, and I remember a few people standing up at the end of it to applaud. Though it is a very well crafted movie (I would not expect less from Spielberg) and it shows the political process of Lincoln's times not so different from our own today, I would not put it at the top of my list. Action enthusiasts will find it a bit dry. However, as a vehicle for showing how cleverly Lincoln was able to get some members of Congress to come around to “his side,” at a time when so many were against him, this movie is masterful. Daniel Day Lewis should easily get best actor for his portrayal of the greatest American president to ever live. Now I just want Spielberg to make a movie of Abe's whole life story. Now THAT would be MY kind of movie.

Les Miserables: I think this one may have been viewed even more times than the movie Lincoln. It was the much awaited movie event of the Christmas season and I remember a lot of Broadway musical fans and some movie critics were highly critical of the way the songs in the movie were recorded; however, I believe that for those of us who are not aware of “all things musical,” the movie was a real treat!! Filled with pathos, emotion,excitement, and even some humor, Les Mis was one of my favorite movies of the year. Yes, Russel Crowe's character was not the greatest singer, but I say cut him some slack. The movie was awesome!

Life of Pi: This is a motion picture that celebrates BEAUTY. A boy on a ship with his family and their zoo animals ends up lost and alone on the ocean trying to share a small life boat with a tiger!! In addition to the beauty of the filming (by famed Ang Lee), the movie is a feast of symbolism and deep meaning. For me, this is a poet's movie, and I wish it well in the Oscars.

Django Unchained: ok, this is an over the top spaghetti western, and in some circles it could be called a guilty pleasure, but dang it, I LOVED this one. Gritty, violent, dark. What else would you expect from Tarantino? A freed slave teams up with the bounty hunter who has set him free and together they undertake the struggle of rescuing Django's enslaved wife from the hands of the evil plantation owner (played to the hilt by Leonordo di Caprio). If you loved Inglorious Bastards, this one is for you!

Argo: This one I am sure has many exaggerations in it. The long time untold story of how six Americans diplomats escaped capture in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis is a very exciting and well acted movie directed by none other than Ben Affleck, who also stars in the movie as the CIA agent who put his own life on the line by pretending to make a movie in Iraq in order to get the six diplomats past the airport security in Tehran. This movie is full of drama and political intrigue. I think it is very deserving of an Oscar as well as some of the other above movies mentioned. (by the way, Argo won Golden Globes but that does not necessarily mean it will get the Oscar)

Amour: the French movie I finally saw today is about an elderly couple who is coping with the fast failing health of the wife. This movie really makes us live the sorrow of the couple and the turmoil they must be feeling to see their life deteriorating so miserably before their eyes. This is the one movie on the list that asks the most difficult question. Just when is enough enough? And when is it ok to say, hey, Dr. Kevorkian might have good reason for what he was doing? This movie is a bit slow paced, deep and gloomy. I liked it, but it would not be as high on my list as some of the others. I am glad that I saw it though!

AND NOW FOR MY FAVORITE..... Um, I don't really have one this year. In the past, I have had clear favorites, and I am able to predict the winner each year without fail. However, this year I am stymied. Too many good ones!!! Too many genres. I loved them all. However, I suppose Argo has one of the best chances! LIncoln too! And I would not mind seeing Les Miserables take the prize, because Les Mis had a little of everything: drama, humor, emotion, music, historical significance. Anyway, I would be happy to see almost any of the movies win! WHICH HAVE YOU SEEN AND WHICH DO YOU HOPE WINS???
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  1. Date: 2/24/2013 10:00:00 PM
    Yeaaaaaay!!!! For "Argo"!!!! I'm so pleased, Andrea!!!! Have a good night! Love, Annalise

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  1. Date: 2/23/2013 2:05:00 PM
    : ) Andrea, I'm always for the underdog...not that "Argo" is, but I don't like the way they dismissed Ben Afleck's hard work and talent as Director. So I'd like to see "Argo" or "Lincoln"...simply because Daniel Day Lewis is awesome at his craft! That's my bit! Lol Hope you're enjoying the weekend! Love, Annalise

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  1. Date: 2/21/2013 7:04:00 PM
    Hey Andrea, How you been? So I was thinking to myself today while I was struggling to write a paper. who could I ask for help then I thought of you. I know you are fluent in many different forms and that is what I admire about your writing. Check your soup mail.. Hope to hear from you soon.. Cory

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  1. Date: 2/17/2013 1:02:00 PM
    I only count nine, but then I have not seen any of them, so I do not count.

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    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/19/2013 6:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    dang, I can't think which one I left out.
  1. Date: 2/16/2013 8:00:00 PM
    Good choices, PF and Richard! I think you would really enjoy Argo, PD, and Richard,I think you are one of the few here that has seen Silver Linings Playbook. I just loved that one. oh, and Yasmin, let me know what you ever decided to see!!

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  1. Date: 2/16/2013 1:02:00 PM
    I choose Silver Linings Playbook. Relevant story portraying mental illness in a positive light. Loved the relationship between father and son. Also a good love story to boot.

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  1. Date: 2/16/2013 12:13:00 PM
    I'm thinking of watching Argo... thanks...PD

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  1. Date: 2/16/2013 12:11:00 PM
    Andrea, you don't have any of the movies i have seen. or enjoy...i can not give you my opinion, over movies I have not seen.. But, being from The USA... i got to go with the Lincoln movie... xox~PD

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  1. Date: 2/16/2013 8:31:00 AM
    Andrea, as you know I am a huge movie fan, have seen most of the above mentioned, and it is hard to pick my top favorite. Lincoln, was such a history lesson, but I don't think I'd pick as the winner..my guess is that Argo will win,..especially because Affleck was snubbed at the Golden Globes, and he now may get the sympathy vote from Hollywood. It was a great film,but my fav was Les Miserables..possibly because I saw the Broadway version on the west coast many years ago..and it has always been a wonderful memory for me. The lyrics blow me away in every song...however..as much as I like Russell Crowe..he was not meant for that role! I wish they had chosen a Broadway actor to play that part!

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    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/16/2013 8:57:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree with all that you are saying here!! I had not seen Golden Globes and did not know that Affleck had been snubbed. He is a golden child of Hollywood, much like George Clooney is.
  1. Date: 2/16/2013 7:39:00 AM
    My darling Andrea, we never go to the movies.....i only have an idea when they talk on Entertainment tonight......i heard about Argo is a good movie, and director is Ben Affleck.....he will win to.....i usually watch the awards show after taping it on my own late evening...as Elie is not interested.....i was in the emergency again for a night...but i am fine now hopefully will write later...Love Terry xoxo

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    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/16/2013 8:56:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    sorry to hear about the ER visit. Hope you feel good now. Luv, Andrea
  1. Date: 2/16/2013 1:37:00 AM
    Hi Andrea not heard of any of these movies, just a common man me like thigs like Die Hard and Leathal Weapon, and cowboys with John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, so no help to you at all, have a good weekend, all thebest Owen

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    Roberts Avatar Francine Roberts Date: 2/16/2013 9:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    oooh, hoping to go see the new Die Hard movie in a few days, love it that Bruce Willis saves the world at least once a year ( he's in the new G.I. Joe movie too)
    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/16/2013 8:55:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    hahaha you are like my husband that way.
  1. Date: 2/15/2013 10:03:00 PM
    Francine, I am glad you liked Argo. I think it has a great chance to win. Also, I kind of have to agree with you, Ruben. That "Beasts" movie is incredible. However, "Amour" is just too gloomy though it is a very good movie. The Oscars needs separate categories such as best comedy (for Silver Linings), best western (for django), best beautiful movie (for Pi), best musical (for Les Mis), etc. then all my favorites could be winners!!!

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  1. Date: 2/15/2013 7:25:00 PM
    "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is rich in analysis elements; we just have to be able to identify and interpret them (the style of narration, symbology, magical realism). The “Beasts” represented the fear and death that Hushpuppy had to face in order for her to go on in life. Her mother was dead and now her father is dying. During Hurricane Katrina the population of New Orleans decreased by almost 30 percent (a majority African American). If Hollywood votes for the best one: "Beasts" is the one. But...it doesnt happen frequently. I also like Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Hopper's "Les Miserables"

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    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/15/2013 10:07:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    rueben, I am not good with interpreting some of the deeper movies. For example, at the end of Amour, I think I understand what happened, but if you could soupmail me exactly what you think it all meant, I would appreciate it. I want to know for sure that I got it right, and I don't want to spoil the ending here if you can tell me what it meant . I'll try to soupmail you.
  1. Date: 2/15/2013 7:25:00 PM
    Argo all the way, love true stories made into film

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    Roberts Avatar Francine Roberts Date: 2/15/2013 10:34:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I haven't seen that one, I'll wait for the video, I have heard it is "very loosely" based on the actual facts. as for Argo, its almost a cliche, if Ben Afleck were to win as actor the movie would not win and he would not win as director, if he doesn't stand a hope as best actor he has a good shot as director and for best movie. We should run a contest guessing the winners
    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 2/15/2013 10:08:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    did you see any of the others? From the way you talk, I think you would also really love Zero Dark Thirty.

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