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Thu04242014

Oscar Predictions 2014

OscarPredictions 600"12 Years a Slave" is benefiting from the most Best Picture buzz as we approach Oscar night, although this is shaping up as one of those rare years when the award for Best Director will probably go to a different film, "Gravity." Look for "12 Years" to net only a trio of statuettes overall, with "Gravity" likely landing seven.

"12 Years a Slave" is the sort of elaborate historical drama the voters just love to recognize, as reflected in such past picks as "The King's Speech," "Gladiator," "Shakespeare in Love," "Titanic," "The English Patient," "Schindler's List," "Driving Miss Daisy," "The Last Emperor," "Amadeus" and "Out of Africa," to name a few. And since the Anglophilic Academy ostensibly is impressed by English accents, it will also help that "12 Years: is a British production.

Besides forecasting the winners, I also suggest which nominees in each category are actually the most deserving. Furthermore, because some great performances are invariably overlooked by the Academy entirely, I also point out some who should've at least been nominated.

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Setting boundaries for healing and helping

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I have a friend who has had back trouble for some 20 years following an accident. She has back pain and has gone to lots of doctors and is overweight from lack of exercise. She has now started exploring alternative therapies that she won't do. The problem is that she is so negative, whiney and mean and has nothing good to say about anything or anybody. I help her out a lot, travel with her and work hard to be her friend and support. But she really doesn't want to be well. She just wants to complain. I hate to desert her but it's making me sick! I am the only one left who caters to her and is there for her. Any ideas. – Pained

Dear Pained: I think this is about both of you. She has set her boundaries for healing and you need to set some boundaries for helping.

About her: Many of us have a low threshold for pain and it's worse when we have to live with it daily. It can make you irritable and short tempered. But there are lots of things out there for pain beyond drugs.

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Taxes: What is my filing status?

taxes 600To adequately – and legally – decrease our tax liability we must understand various components of our tax return. Let's begin with filing status.

What is a filing status?

A taxpayer's filing status impacts which tax rate is used and which standard deductions apply when calculating federal income tax for the year. For the most part, five different statuses are considered. They are: single, head of household, married filing separately, married filing jointly and qualifying widow/widower with dependents.

Keep in mind that there may be exceptions to the rules that may be more beneficial to you. So, speaking with a tax professional is recommended. Let's review the categories to determine which status applies to your situation.

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OPENING THIS WEEK: Kam’s Kapsules

kamkapsule220 600For movies opening Feb. 21, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"3 Days to Kill" (PG-13 for sensuality, profanity and intense violence) McG directs this espionage thriller by Luc Besson about an ailing spy (Kevin Costner) who grudgingly agrees to crack a terrorist plot when he'd rather retire to spend some quality time with his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and estranged wife (Connie Nielsen). Cast includes Amber Heard, Eriq Ebouaney and Richard Sammel.

"Pompeii" (PG-13 for intense violence, disaster scenes and brief sexuality) Romance drama, set in 79 A.D. against the backdrop of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, revolving around the efforts of a slave-turned-gladiator (Kit Harrington) to rescue his soul mate (Emily Browning) before she is forced by her wealthy father (Jared Harris) into an arranged marriage to a crooked politician (Kiefer Sutherland). With Rebecca Eady, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sasha Roiz and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

 

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