Local fans ready for their Oscar close-ups

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Complete with a red carpet and three

TVs, Martha McHale’s Academy Awards viewing party brought the glitz and

glamour of Hollywood

to Southwest Louisiana.

McHale invited 25 of her friends and family to her Weaver Park home Sunday night to root for their Oscar favorites.

“I love movies,” McHale said. “I always wanted to have an Oscar party and this year we decided to do it.”

McHale wore a sequin dress with a boa around her neck. She said she first wore it to a Mardi Gras ball and thought it would be appropriate for the occasion.

“I thought it looked Oscar-ish,” she said.

Hors d’oeuvres ranged from cheesecake to pizza rolls. Guests were asked to fill out a ballot and vote for the winners. Whoever

got the most right won a prize.

“I love to cheer for my favorites and hope they win,” McHale said. “This has been a lot of fun.”

Martha’s son Michael McHale, an attorney in Lake Charles, attended the party in a tuxedo with his family.

“My mother has always liked the movies, so I thought it would be a nice way to get people together,” he said. “This is Southwest

Louisiana, so we’re always looking for an excuse to have a party.”

Shelley Goldstein of Beaumont, Texas, attended the party with her children and husband Tom Cox, who donned a tuxedo.

“We wanted to shine like a star,” Goldstein said in her evening gown. “I couldn’t miss the red carpet.”

She said the most exciting thing is to see is who gets the best picture and best actor and actress awards.

“It’s so much fun to plan ahead of time and see all the movies,” Goldstein said. “I think’ Lincoln’ is amazing, but I love

‘Les Miserables’.”

Her daughter, Juliet Goldstein, said there is something so amazing about watching a “thought-provoking and poignant” movie.

“Movies bring people together,” she said. “I’m an actress, so of course I’m rooting for ‘Les Miserables’.”

Sue Vaughn of Lake Charles went to the party with her children and grandchildren.

“Martha is one of my dearest friends, and I wouldn’t miss this. It means the world to be here,” Vaughn said. “Everybody goes

to the movies. Everyone loves a beautiful story — that’s what the movies are all about: life.”