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From These Ozarks Hills to the Hollywood Hills

In this month’s installment of These Ozarks Hills, we catch up with Marideth Sisco by phone. She’s in Los Angeles, hoping to get a ticket to attend the Oscars this Sunday night so she can cheer on the film “Winter’s Bone,” which is nominated for four Academy Awards. Marideth appears in the film and her singing opens the movie. KSMU’s Missy Shelton has more.

Shelton: From “These Ozarks Hills” to the Hollywood Hills, Marideth Sisco is in Los Angeles and joins me by phone. Marideth, you’re hoping to get a ticket to the Oscars ceremony Sunday night, is that right?Sisco: Right. There’s a certain number of tickets issued and a certain number of people who automatically get to go, of course, the filmmakers themselves and their entourage. I’m in the entourage but I’m back at the tail end so it kind of depends on how many people in front of me decide they aren’t going. The line is getting shorter so it’s looking more likely but I still don’t know for sure.Shelton: Well, good luck with that! We’re talking here on Thursday afternoon and tonight, you’re planning to attend a party celebrating “Winter’s Bone.” Tell us about that.Sisco: There’s a party by Roadside Attractions, the American distributor for the film tonight for “Winter’s Bone” in West Hollywood. It’s advertised as being a lot of fun. I’ll get the chance to see all of the cast for the first time since last year, so that’s going to be great fun, to visit with people again and share stories.Shelton: And then it’s not just about the Academy Awards this weekend. “Winter’s Bone” is also up for several Independent Spirit Awards, which celebrate independent filmmaking. And that ceremony is coming up Saturday.Sisco: We’re nominated in seven categories, which is great fun because it gives us a chance for some of our people who haven’t been mentioned in the Oscars to have their day in the sun. Altogether, it’s Best Feature, Best Director for Debra Granik, Best Screenplay for Debra and Anne Rosellini, Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence, Best Supporting Actress Dale Dickey. That’s one we’re particularly thrilled about because she’s not been nominated as much but she did such a bang-up job. I still get chills when I watch her. She played the mean sister. Then, of course, John Hawkes is Supporting Actor and another area we haven’t had mentioned before is Michael McDonough for Cinematography. Again, these are people who added so much to the film and it’s good to see them get a nod this way because their work was spectacular and I’m really tickled it got some notice.Shelton: Marideth, it seems like the ride never ends for this film. I’m wondering, when you come back home to the Ozarks, what is it about this whole experience that you’ll keep with you as you go forward?Sisco: Well, I think the main thing is that, you know, I never expected something like this to happen in my life. You know, back in my 20’s when I thought I was a real hot shot as a singer, I thought someday I’d be famous but that dream disappeared decades ago. What I’m taking away from this now is the marvelous thing that all things come around, that if you’re diligent at your craft and practice what you believe, it gets noticed eventually. You get a nod from the universe saying, ‘Well done.’ I’m happy with that. I don’t know if I’ll ever be involved with something as splendid again. But if I only get one, this would be the one I’d want.Shelton: A nod from the universe and perhaps Sunday night, a nod from the Academy as well.Sisco: Certainly, everyone’s rooting for it and I am too. I appreciate everyone’s good will.

The center has an Sophia Ponce identifies an Therapist Amanda Daniels, left, coaches Sophia on throwing puzzle pieces then trying to find them. (Photo: Jennifer Moore) Therapist Amanda Daniels gauges Sophia Ponce's eyesight based on how far she is from the objects, and how large the objects are. (Photo: Jennifer Moore) Ashley Perry, coordinator of the Drury University Children's Vision Center, reads a book to Sophia Ponce, 2. (Photo: Jennifer Moore)