One Down, Three to Go: Tel Aviv-Jaffa!

What’s going on everyone? So, I’ve been in Israel a little over a week. My time in Tel Aviv is over and I’ll be in Mashabei Sade Kibbutz for the remainder of my time here. Rather than writing two paragraphs a day for 7 days in Tel Aviv, I thought I’d go through the week in one post. I have some product recommendations and some bad reviews to dole out too, but anyway, let’s go!
First, I have never in my life had jet lag like I’ve had on this trip! I’ve been traveling long distances since I was in 3rd grade and this is the first time I ever remember it kicking my ass so. For the first few days I would go to bed at 10-11 PM and wake up at 1-2 AM. Now I’ve made it from 10-11 PM to 5-6 AM, but anyone who knows me knows that’s cray cray. I sleep like a champ. I have to nap in the afternoon for a couple of hours and it’s like that coma sleep where you can’t move and are uber disoriented when you wake up. I know by the time I get straightened out it will be time to go back to NYC and I’ll be all messed up again.

My summary for Tel Aviv is this: food, walking, and architecture!

I stayed at the Leonardo Art Hotel in Tel Aviv for a week. El Al provided a deal where you get a week at this hotel with the purchase of your tickets, so, alas, that’s where I was. I’m going to give it a low 3/5. The staff was extremely nice, the breakfast buffet was plentiful, and the views from the hotel and its proximity to the beach afford it 3.
It wasn’t clean-like at all. Especially the restaurant/lobby/bar. I had to bus a table every single time I went down for breakfast. There was ample staff in the restaurant, but everyone was just walking around (“Italian strike” they call it here). They had “No Smoking” signs everywhere, yet people were smoking all over the hotel. It was impossible to get into the hotel. Really tho, my friend is Israeli, from Tel Aviv, and spent 25 years on the beaches in the area and it took him 3 days to figure out a route into the hotel. Ultimately, you have to enter the back side of the hotel from the beach/boardwalk area (there are 4+ levels which you need to know in order to get into the hotel) or go through an abandoned labyrinth under the hotel filled with pee and poop and other such nonsense. It was fine since I was with someone, but I absolutely cannot recommend the hotel for solo female travelers. Had I booked that hotel alone, I would either have had to take a taxi every time I wanted to come or go or be back into my room before dark everyday.


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If you aren’t on a budget, I suggest the Sheraton or Dan hotels. They are right on Gordon and Frishman beach and are easily accessible. My friend said the standard for cleanliness is different in Israel than elsewhere, so I can’t say if those hotels would be in better shape than the one I was in, but their locations are definitely better.

I’m also giving a failing grade to this dual-voltage straightener/curling iron and hairdryer. I tried each of them with both an adapter and a converter and I couldn’t get either one to work. I have been traveling abroad for about a decade and I have NEVER found any hair styling tools that work on this voltage. It’s a major bummer.
Two things I cannot recommend highly enough: Clark’s Sillian Tino Cloud Steppers (in black and tan), travel packets of coconut oil, LUSH Toothy Tabs, and Dr. Brenner’s castile soap! I have a serious issue with my right foot which has only worsened in recent years. I bought two pairs of the Sillian Tino shoes before my trip and I couldn’t be happier. I also used Clark’s on my trip to Italy and recommend them to everyone.

Day 2: Thursday, 1/8
Day 2 was definitely a highlight for me. I check out the main area around Dizengoff Street, bought some groceries, and walked all around the central area. Tel Aviv is a really unique city in many ways, but the architecture is dominated by Bauhaus style. Most of the buildings are white concrete, but the vegetation is very tropical. It is very reminiscent of southern Italy, parts of the Caribbean, and Greece. It has a very industrial, cold war feel, but it is experiencing a gentrification boom-for better or worse. My friend worked at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art before immigrating to NYC and working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art so he knows several of the curators who have stayed on. We were invited to the opening of a photo exhibit by Mark Yashaev and then went down to check out the opening of a contemporary African art exhibit too. It was interesting to see the pieces and the design of the museum. After that we walked around Tel Aviv and got some falafel. I’d never had falafel before *gasp* so I thought it was delicious and the food stall next to the one I got my falafel from was playing Korean dramas! It was awesome, haha! In Tel Aviv their are tons of juice stands everywhere. You can get all different kinds of fresh squeezed fruit juice for around $5 (cheaper than NYC, hey hey hey!) so I went for a carrot juice in hopes it would help me bounce back from all the nastiness on the airplane.

Mark Yashaev “”Only from this suddenness and on”
Anna’s first falafel

Day 3: Friday, 1/9
Thursday was a chill day with lots of walking. I walked the entire Tayelet starting at Gordon pool to Charles Clore park and back. The Tel Aviv coast has been under extensive renovation for several years to create this huge boardwalk called Tayelet with tons of cafes and other activities. There are still sections that are being built, but the main area runs from Gordon Beach past Frishman Beach (so named because they are the terminus for Gordon and Frishman avenues). It was by far my favorite part of Tel Aviv! It is clean, well designed, modern, and laid back. I only went to one cafe in the area, but I have been told the prices are high, so keep that in mind. There are tons to pick from though. Every hundred yards or so there are three cafes and I am quite sure each place has deals on different specialities and on different days. You can eat on the actual beach or up on the boardwalk too. The views are great and if the weather is nice it’s perfect. It’s also a wonderful place to see the sunset and people watch.

When you think about visiting Israel, shabbat should play a role in your planning. There are religious political parties (kind of like a lobby since they have a coalition setup here) in Israel which affect many aspects of daily life, including the certification of hotels and business for use by observant Jews. Hotels and other businesses have to have certain amenities and follow certain rules so that observant Jewish customers can use the business without violating religious law. Obviously, there are millions of secular Jews who do not observe shabbat, but it will impact some aspects of your stay. Most hotels have synagogues (if they have enough observant guests to make a minyan), sinks for netilat yadayim, a candle station somewhere since people lighting candles in their room is hazardous, and last but not least many hotels and restaurants’ food selections are restricted on Saturdays since they cannot maintain a Kosher establishment anddd cook+make money on Shabbat. I don’t know about all of the hotels, but Leonardo Art, Carlton, and Hilton Hotel each followed the rules. Hilton apparently has a boss synagogue if you are in the area and need a place to pray!
Since the hotel restaurant was closed and all of the other places around the hotel closed early too, my friend and I used the Easy app (Israel-Tel Aviv in particular-is a high-tech capital, so I definitely suggest an international plan/Israeli SIM card) to find an Iraqi restaurant, Abu Zaki, that was open on Shabbat. It was AMAZING and they played Bob Marley! I tried two different types of kebab: one with tomato and one with tahini and then they provided complimentary salads, hummus, and pita (think Korean banchan). I met a cool Puerto Rican guy from Orlando who worked for Lockheed Martin on the F-35 project that’s been at the forefront of Israeli news recently. He was super friendly and the restaurant was packed since it was the only place in the area open.

Day 4: Saturday, 1/10
Make sure you book a Saturday in Tel Aviv if you plan to come to Israel! Saturday on the Tayelet was amazing. It was PACKED and there were so many things to see and do. There is a “folk dancing” group that meets every Saturday there and the cafes are bustling. I ventured to Cafe Gordo to people watch. I tried Tuborg beer (I’d say it’s the most popular brand in Tel Aviv-although there are tons of beer places you should definitely try on your stay) and had some French fries while I watched shirtless Israeli men try to Don-Juan their way into the pants of their dates. ‘Twas amazing! I walked to Frishman and back and watched more of the folk dancing. Then headed back to my hotel. Saturday night, I walked to Basel Street and had some AMAZING Italian food at Rustico. My friend has a friend that used to live in NYC and now owns a great bakery in Holon called Lachma. He supplies breads to all kinds of restaurants in the city and is also the captain of the Israeli international baking team (it’s a competitive field!). They just opened a pop-up retailer in Tel Aviv too, so check it out! I tried a hefeweizen brewed by Weihenstephan and some gnocchi with chestnuts. The restaurant was the cleanest place I visited in Tel Aviv, the staff was nice, and the food was delicious. We each got an entree and tall beer and the cost was around 500 NIS, but I would definitely recommend it.

Day 5: Sunday, 1/11

This was my favorite day in Tel Aviv. I spent the morning on Gordon beach, checked out the Ben Gurion house, talked to some surfers (it’s super popular here, so if you are interested check out this place!) and then went to JAFFA!

It is everything you think of when you think of Israel. Old architecture, historical places, a mix of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim places of worship, shopping, restaurants, markets, the list goes on. If you are up for it, you can walk the Tayelet almosttt all the way OR take the Number 10 bus (you buy tickets with cash on the bus here) from central Tel Aviv.

Yafo as it’s called in Hebrew is where the whole Jonah and the Whale thing went down and it was also a headquarters for the Ottomans. The history of the city stretches back to ancient times and it is absolutely worth checking out. There is a beautiful park, a port, a market area, mosques, many different Christian monasteries and churches, and cats everywhereee.

I went into this hummus restaurant-yes, you read that right, they have entire restaurants dedicated to hummus here. It was packed and they offered all kinds of different hummus dishes. I got hummus, pita, and falafel and made my own little sandwich. It was a family-owned place and catered to religious people, so it was interesting to sit and watch the clientele come and go. I was only in Jaffa for a few hours, but I would suggest planning a day trip there so that you can try a few different restaurants and shop.

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Day 6: Monday, 1/12

Monday was my last day in Tel Aviv and I made it count. I walked all around the Yemini quarter, flea market, and Shuk Carmel. Shuk Carmel is definitely something to see, it’s a huge market with everything you can ever imagine, but the most popular items are fruits, vegetables, and desserts. If you rent an apartment or AirBnB here, I’d definitely make this place my first stop to stock up on food for your stay. There is Chinese, Mexican, Venezuelan, Arab, American, organic foods, desserts, cheeses, dry goods, etc. at every turn. If you get outside of the market into some of the more residential areas, there are also tons of small cafes and restaurants to try. After Shuk Carmel, I walked to Rothschild Boulevard and got some lunch. This area is poppin’! I am not a club/party goer so I didn’t venture out at night, but I’ve been told that this is the area to go if you want to bar hop! All of Tel Aviv is absolutely crammed with bars and restaurants so it’s definitely worth downloading an app so that you can explore all of the different areas and try the different foods. The beer scene and vegan scene are also huge here (more so than most other countries I’ve visited), so those are also great things to check out! I stoped at a liquor store and got some Arak (Israeli liquor…I plan to crack it open Friday night, so I will update you with drunk Snaps :P) and then my friend went to visit his old office. He worked for the Israeli government in the tax office for a while, so he wanted to visit his coworkers. They had an Ethiopian security guard that freaked out because I had a camera, but the office itself was straight out of a movie. The employees were smoking at their desks, they closed between 2 and 3 everyday, and my friend said the employees were even sitting in the same chairs in the same spot as when he left Israel 30 years ago-like an “Italian strike”, he said. Everyone was nice and it was so interesting to see the similarities and differences between American and Israeli government work.

My new Iraqi friend

Day 7: Tuesday, 1/13

Tuesday morning I left Leonardo Art Hotel and my friend’s nephew drove to Mashabei Sade Kibbutz in Mashabei Sade, Israel. It is near Be’er Sheva in the middle of the Negev desert. I will make a separate post about the kibbutz soon and I also have some day trips planned from here which I will write about. The holidays are coming up, so that will be the next big thing. I also plan to do some interviews while I’m here so check back in this weekend!

All in all, Tel Aviv is a great place to visit. It’s like a middle ground between Southern Europe and the Middle East. Food is number one here and I do wish I had the budget to try more restaurants. It is by far the most foodie friendly city I’ve been to anywhere in the world! While the standard of cleanliness wasn’t the highest, I never got sick or anything so I can’t complain. The beaches and water are gorgeous and I never felt unsafe when I was out an about (except in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater labyrinth under the hotel). There are tons of monuments and historical places to visit, a bustling art scene, and it’s super pet-friendly too. I would suggest renting an apartment (check out Roomster or AirBnB) and chilling at the beach as much as possible. It is vastly different than what one would expect, but it’s definitely worth visiting! I also think it’s a very drivable country/city, so don’t hesitate to rent a car (although, parking is a nightmare).
Also, I’ve posted a TON of pictures on Instagram so be sure to follow me @thatgingeranna
SN: For whatever reason, the videos I record on my Nikon DSLR will not transfer to my iPad/iPhone, so I can’t edit and post them (hence the lack of YouTube videos ;/). Does anyone know how to remedy this? I bought an adapter to plug my memory cards into my iPad/iPhone via lightning, but it doesn’t give me the option to view/transfer video.

Until next time!

Day 1: Interrogations, Tefillin, and Strip Clubs

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Hey, guys. I’m here in Tel Aviv ready to see stuff and things.

As I wrote earlier today, I’m on a month long stay in Israel!

So, getting here was the MOST hilarious experience I’ve ever had on a trip. The airline I used had a passport control line before you could even check in for your flight.

Apparently, a twenty-something female traveling to a country for the first time with an older man sets off some kind of prostitute-terrorist red flags in their little system because they went hard in the paint.

First, my friend and I went up to a kiosk when it was our turn in line. A young man asked for my passport and asked a couple of questions about why I’m going to Israel (standard stuff). Then he asked my friend why we were together. He said hold on and went and got some older guy. He came and asked me the same questions and then went and got a lady and told her in Hebrew to take me across the terminal to another kiosk.

Now, I’ve seen enough movies and episodes of Locked up Abroad to know if they separate you from people you’re traveling with, it’s about to get cray.

This last interrogator was some intense woman who kept asking me if I let anyone put a bomb in my bag and that innocent gifts can be bombs too.

I now know they then asked my friend where I worked, how I paid for my ticket, if he’d ever met my parents, if I was Jewish, what the nature of our relationship is, etc.

The first guy asked me was if I was a member of a synagogue or church and I said a church so the lady asked me 37 questions about that: When’s the last time I went, did I pay to be a member, what church, where is it located, what religion is it, would anyone know me there. Then they asked my friend where, when, why, and how we met. Then his interrogator and mine kept walking away from their kiosks and comparing our answers.

I have a new passport because my old one expired and they couldn’t understand that. I had to explain everywhere I went with the old passport, the dates and duration of my trips, with whom I travelled and why.

This included day-trips to Turkey and Morocco so I had to give the lowdown on that. Then she asked me all about my job and school and the nature/duration/reason for mine and my friend’s relationship and my financial situation.  They asked each of us more personal questions that made it clear they thought I was either an international call-girl or a terrorist or both and compared their answers again.

Then the lady escorted me to the check in desk and told me we would be intercepted after TSA security.

They followed us all the way to the gate. They intercepted us before we got in line to board as I was exiting the bathroom. They took our carryons into a separate room, made us wait until final boarding was called, and searched each of them by hand (all after the TSA search).

Then, they pulled me into a room alone with three more security specialists and scanned my body, clothes, and stuff. Then they escorted both of us past the line to board and onto the plane.

They did this to two other people on the flight too…I won’t comment on what we did and didn’t have in common.

The plane was a 747-400 that had two stories! I’ve always seen those on TV and in movies but never IRL, so that was neat!

Now, the plane ride was also super interesting. I’d say 90 percent of the travelers were Orthodox Jewish. Now, before I moved to NYC, I thought there were three groups of Jews: Orthodox Jews with the hats and curls, Jews who wore yarmulkes, and secular Jews that just belonged to the culture. Now that I’m not ignorant of the denominations, I know there are dozens of sects and cultural groups. Long story short, I am fascinated and completely naive of Orthodox Judaism so flying with a huge group was interesting. There were a couple of groups of new immigrants and American Christians too.

The food was delicious and all Kosher, of course. Twice during the flight all the orthodox men got up and went through their prayer rituals with their Tallit and Tefillin (shawls and phylacteries).

I was amazed they were allowed to get up and pack and unpack all of their supplies and get in groups and walk around and stand near the exit doors and everything, but my friend said the staff gave up trying to enforce the rules long, long ago.

**Even though it was confusing and embarrassing (like my gingerness doesn’t make me stick out enough), I’m genuinely glad the airline/security and immigration officials take everything so seriously. I’m not being sarcastic or anything like that. It was a hilarious and enlightening experience that I will never forget.**

The flight went by surprisingly fast (as it always does going, but seldom returning) and we didn’t have any issues once we got here. My friend’s nephew picked us up and drove us to the hotel.

I got a few hours of sleep but woke up at 2 AM and haven’t been able to go back to bed.

Side note: It also turns out there are strip clubs here and the window in my room gives me a fullllll, elevated view of the entrance/exit of a huge one called Pussycat. There will be much filming and picture taking of these drunk fools stumbling in and out of here.

Tomorrow my friend has to take care of some business downtown and then I think I’ll go to the grocery store and who knows what else. The hotel is right on the marina so hopefully some beachin’ will take place at some point.

I’m going to attempt to get a couple of hours sleep in the meantime. Catch y’all mañana!

Don’t forget to add me on all the things @thatgingeranna

Waiting for the security specialists to clear my carryons!

And away I go…

I’m on a plane headed halfway across the world right this minute…

So, I’ve been keeping a secret: I’m going to Israel for a month!

Why Israel and why now? Well, the lease on my apartment in the Bronx was up at the end of August. I put up fliers all over the area where I work and set up ads online, on various social networks, and roommate apps in search of a new place. I don’t know if you all remember what hell it is to find a place in NYC, but I was on the struggle bus again. Luckily, an Israeli professor I’d befriended from the area who had been teaching me Hebrew and helping me expand my study of Judaica (check out this blog post if you wanna know more) offered to let me stay with him.

SN: I sadly found out a week ago all of this created quiteee the scandal…I’ll tell you about it one day, but alas, it doesn’t matter now!

I recently (like 7 days ago) ended my time as a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, after 2 years and 2 months. My patient’s condition had advanced beyond my comfort/experience level, and I gave my notice about 3 months ago. Around this time, my friend invited me to come to Israel with him since he knew I love to travel, am interested in world religions, and history. I knew my last day of work would be the end of November (I planned to go back to Texas for 3-4 weeks, like I have the past two years), so it worked out perfectly. 

My dad was stationed in the Sinai desert in 1986 and during his time there he went to Egypt and Israel and loved both places. I have been to Italy x4, Greece, Spain, Mexico, Turkey (day trip), and Morrocco (day trip), so I thought what better time than now to explore a new part of the world. I grew up hearing about Israel from my dad but never met any Israelis until I came to the Bronx. Obviously, Israel is in the news a lot for various reasons, but I have always wanted to visit for historical and religious reasons, so now I am.

Thankfully, I will have a friend there and have accommodations (like I did in Italy), so it’s really the opportunity of a lifetime.

I will be spending a week in Tel Aviv and three weeks at a kibbutz near Be’er Sheva. I will also be in Israel for Hannukah, Christmas, my birthday, and New Year’s Eve.

As with 40 Days in Italia, I plan to blog this trip in its entirety. With the trip to Italy, I was able to create an exact itinerary in advance and dedicate time to writing about my day, which won’t be the case this time. Other than my accommodations, I have no plans since I don’t know what to expect and have never been there. But I do have a much larger social media presence than I did in 2014, so be sure to follow me @THATGINGERANNA (seriously: snapchat, twitter, periscope, IG, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.) and subscribe to my Youtube channel!

SN: My goal is to get 100 subscribers on YouTube so that I can reclaim my custom URL…help me out! 🙂

I will be posting regular updates and cool pictures across platforms, so let’s have some fun, y’all!



SN: If you live on the east coast and are looking for an awesome employee or a roommate, email me at and find me on LinkedIn!

The 2014 Oscars! *contains spoilers*

Tonight is the night! My favorite event of the year is Oscar night. I love fashion and film making, so it’s perfect! I will be live-tweeting the show @thatgingeranna so feel free to join me!

Here is my ballot for this years awards! Cast your own ballot and lets compare!

I had a helluva time picking the Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Picture. I am completely torn between McConaughey and DiCaprio for Best Actor and also believe American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years A Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street are too close to call for best picture. In the end, I chose DiCaprio for best actor, solely (and I realllly mean solely) because of the range of emotions he was able to accurately portray: drama, romance, comedy, anger, etc. I feel McConaughey was more dedicated to his role, prepared for his performance more, and also connected to his audience on a deeper level, but the spectrum of emotions and character evolution wasn’t as fully developed as Leo in The Wolf of Wall Street (IMO).

Now for Best Picture…let me start by saying I did not see Gravity or Nebraska. That obviously disqualifies me from making a completely accurate judgment, so feel free to disregard what I am about to say.

For me, the top four are: The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, and 12 Years A Slave. I loved each of these movies for vastly different reasons. The Wolf of Wall Street was excellent because it was raunchy, suspenseful, and HILARIOUS. I mean, one of the first scenes shows Leo snorting cocaine out of a hooker’s butt crack, yet I still felt bad when Jonah ratted him out to the Feds. How often do you really want to go try Quaaludes after leaving a movie? In true assholes-sometimes-win fashion, this film was able to show how fun it can be to be a criminal, evoking emotions I usually only feel during a good mob movie (I’m lookin’ at you, Goodfellas). The production was also crazy extravagant, but with such big names attached to the project I think the film obviously had an unfair advantage in this sense. This film is also one of those rare cases when I am almost certain the movie was better than the book. Scorsese was able to execute gritty, sexual, and shocking events in a way that conveyed their harsh reality, but also made these extreme scenarios appealing and relateable to an audience-I would imagine that was made even harder by the fact that this is semi-biographical!

Dallas Buyers Club on the other hand, was one of the most emotional movies I’ve ever seen. Although I know a lot of people in the LGBT community were not happy that the main character was a white, male, homophobe, I think, similar to Brokeback Mountain, this movie will have a long lasting, positive influence and will help many straight, healthy people begin working to further their acceptance of homosexuals and those suffering with HIV/AIDS. In the end, shouldn’t that be the real mark of success for any film? Opening peoples’ minds and helping them to experience things they would otherwise be closed off from, albeit from behind a screen, is a difficult task and sometimes offensive characters and other tools have to be used to succeed at that goal. Contrary to The Wolf of Wall Street, I do think this film could have been just as easily adapted into a biographical novel and had the same emotional effect. Let me be clear that this comes down to production and not acting. In no way am I discounting the performances in this film (Leto gets my pick for best supporting actor). I loved everything about this movie and it has been added to my “everyone should watch it” list-which is not the case for the other 3 movies I liked.

12 Years A Slave was similarly emotional for me-obviously. I am beyond shocked, confused, and disappointed that it was not nominated in the categories of cinematography, sound editing, or sound mixing (it would have been my pick for all three). Two of the most powerful and visually arresting scenes that I have ever seen in a movie-when Solomon whips Patsey and the viewer sees the blood and flesh flying away with every draw back of the whip, and when Solomon is reunited with his wife and they show a single tear falling from  his face and rolling onto her shoulder and into her dress-were featured in this film. There were numerous other scenes that were beautifully and poignantly shot. If you’ve read my previous reviews for films you know I am a sucker for films with stimulating color palettes and this film was my absolute favorite in that category! This film was also an adaptation of a historical novel, which really appealed to me. I am a history student, so the summary at the end of the film that explained the disappearance of Solomon Northup from all historical records before his death was extremely intriguing and heartbreaking. This film was beautifully shot, extremely well acted, and emotional. I know that every director has the difficult task of deciding what to cut from a film and what to dedicate the most time to, but I do wish that the director and writers had dedicated more time to showing the relationship between Solomon and his family, prior to his abduction. It was clear in several scenes during his time as a slave that he deeply missed them and they were his motivation for seeking freedom, but the movie did not show the full depth of this connection. There is no real reason that this film shouldn’t be win for best picture, but the extravagance and intensity of The Wolf of Wall Street is a tough competitor.

Lastly, American Hustle. I’ve seen this film 3 times. I LOVED it. I loved the soundtrack, the costumes, the story, the ending, everything. Christian Bale was obviously amazing, and had he not been up against such dynamic characters for Best Actor, I would have chosen him. This movie was romantic and funny which made it such an enjoyable experience every time I watched it. Again, I am a sucker of modern history (specifically political history), so this was another winning movie for me. I was so sad to see it up against The Great Gatsby for Costume Design because that meant I couldn’t pick it, as I had originally intended. I also wish there was an award for best soundtrack and not only original song and score because yet again, I would have picked this film. Bradley Cooper was hilarious and the cast as an ensemble perfectly executed the story. Jeremy Renner was able to really draw the audience in and show a different side to Mayor Carmine Polito, a side which evoked sympathy and really made one ask  if his actions were justifiably criminal. This is the only film of the 4 that I would recommend to every demographic. There was very little sex or violence, but the story was well told and it ended on a positive note. This was my personal favorite overall, despite the positive attributes of the other films.

This is one of those catch-22 situations: I am happy that there were so many good movies this year, but it made for a very difficult task of picking the winning films (I’ve changed my vote for best picture 3 times today, and will probably change it again before the show!

Check out my ballot above to see which films I actually chose for each category!

Do you watch the Oscars? What is your favorite Oscar-winning film of all time?