Keep on Hoping – The Oscars


Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

No matter your age, keep on hoping. It might have been easier to be a starry-eyed dreamer when we were younger but as we get older and wiser, we calculate more and hope less. Forget about being hopeless! I like being hopeful better. Don’t you?

This month, my post highlights movies about inspirational people who give us the impetus to hope and put that hope in action. Next month, my post will highlight the artists who have touched our lives with their music.

In life, awards are given and achievements met but most importantly is the journey, the learning and the work. Sometimes the work is honored with an Academy Award.

I appreciate being entertained by a good movie, a story that makes me smile, laugh or expands my mind. This year, I’m delighted that we were offered films centered around real people whose true story not only affect us but show us the value of love, encouragement and perseverance to conquer the odds. These Oscar nominated movies are “The Theory of Everything,” “Unbroken,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “Wild.”


The Theory of Everything


Stephen Hawkings was a professor, mathematician and a proclaimed unbeliever in God who was given only two years to live when he was diagnosed with ALS. With the love, hope and dedication of his wife, he lived a long and productive life. In his later years he professed to knowing the mind of God.

“Where there is life, there is hope.” – Stephen Hawkings

I believe a good movie should spark your imagination. How did the universe start? Stephen Hawkings searches for this answer. As I reflected on Mr. Hawkings theory, I came up with my own theory: In the beginning, in the  darkness were particles of light, God. Within that light was the hope of God to create and expand the light. We are part of this process, evolution and hope.

“The Theory of Everything” is nominated for Best Picture and the two stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are also nominated for their honest and stellar portrayals.



Angelina Jolie directs the story of Louis Zamperini, who thanks to the  encouragement of his brother became a USA Olympian. Louis served in World War II and when his bomber plane was shot down, he survived on a raft for 47 days and the perils of being a prisoner of war. Louis, later forgave his war-time captor and in 1998, he took part in the Olympic Torch relay at the Olympic Games. The movie touches on the root of Louis’s strength, a hope to survive, a deep Christian faith, and ends with a feeling of victory.

“Unbroken” received two Academy Award nominations.

The Imitation Game


The Imitation Game is a historical thriller about Alan Turing who tries to crack the enigma code during World War  II.  The war was not the only place where the cruelties of humanity were endured. During that time, Mr. Turing was convicted of indecency because of his homosexuality. Instead of doing jail time, he undergoes the harsh procedure of chemical castration so he can continue his work in the hope of saving lives.

“The Imitation Game” is nominated for eight Academy Award including Benedict Cumberbatch for leading actor, and Kiera Knightley for supporting actress.



Every year Martin Luther King day is celebrated which gives us an occasion to reflect on his life, speeches, hopes and civil rights. Selma is a drama about the struggles and hopes during that time in history and gives us another opportunity to contemplate the perils of unjustified prejudice.

“Selma” is nominated for two Oscar nominations in the category of best picture and best original song.



Academy Award winning actress, Reece Witherspoon portrays Cheryl Strayed and her journey of self-discovery while on a 1,100-mile hike along the beautiful but rugged Pacific Crest Trail. Although part of her wants to quit, she moves forward in freedom, bravery, vulnerability and hope. The journey helps her to leave behind the struggles of her past and move-on into her future.

Both Reece Witherspoon (best actress) and Laura Dern (best supporting actress) are nominated for Academy Awards for their work in “Wild.”


The light of encouragement comes in many forms like a smile, a hug or kindness and divine help is always available in the bible: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

My hope in God gives me the peace to move on in positive action. Sometimes nature can rekindle my hope and be a place of self-discovery. Sometimes I even find it at the movies! 🙂


Oscar Trivia

To get you ready for the Academy Awards, I thought you might like to know a little about the history of the Oscar. Here’s a walk down memory lane to 1975 with Bob Hope as the Master of Ceremony. Bob Hope has hosted the Academy Awards nineteen times, more than any other host to date.

While viewing this YouTube, it made me reminisce. In 1974, my sister and I, Alberici Sisters, toured with Bob Hope in the singing and dancing girl group, The Golddiggers. It was an exciting time in showbiz and we had quite a journey performing with icons like the real members of the Rat Pack. The groovy 70’s comes alive in our book filled with true anecdotes of fun, hope, entertainment and backstage stories about the Stars. Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is selling on Amazon.


Bob Hope and The Golddiggers tour in 1974! Pictured clockwise: Linda (Alberici) Eichberg, Wendy Kimball, Bob Hope, Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Patti Gribow, Peggy Gohl

See you at the Oscars!

Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-You-Got-The-PowerThis blog is about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment.

Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. This information is not meant to take the place of a physician. All content is copyrighted.

Streisand – Excellence – The Oscars


Barbra Streisand – A Powerful LIFE

Getting ready to watch the Oscars… Anticipation is high… Barbra Streisand is performing!

Barbra Joan Streisand is an American singer, actress, writer, film producer, and director with the distinction of being one of the few entertainers to win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award.

CNN Interview:

MORGAN: Are you a perfectionist?

STREISAND: I am proud to say I am. But there is no such thing as perfection, and I found that out when I was 15 years old. I wrote it in my journal, that perfection is imperfection. So it has that humanity, like human quality. Otherwise it’s too cold, right? You can just strive for perfection. Another word is excellence, strive for excellence.

The Oscars:

It is long over-do for Barbra Streisand to bring her “excellence” to the 2013 Academy Award Ceremony. The last time she performed at the Oscars was 36 years ago. Not only will we celebrate this year’s array of best movies but the promise of enjoying a night of music makes my heart flutter.

Producers Crag Zadan and Neil Meron, who brought “Chicago” and “Hairspray” to the movie screen and “Smash” to the television screen are pulling together some wonderful talent: Adele, Nora Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the cast of “Les Misarable.” There is a buzz that Shirley Bassey will do a musical tribute to the James Bond movies and Streisand will commemorate the music of the late composer, Marvin Hamlisch. There is little doubt that whatever Barbra Streisand sings her performance promises to be both powerful and full of star quality.

CNN Interview:

MORGAN: You wanted to be a star?

STREISAND: I think when I was younger, I wanted to be a star, until I became a star, and then it’s a lot of work. It’s work to be a star. I don’t enjoy the stardom part. I only enjoy the creative process.

Streisand’s Charity:

Barbra Streisand uses her stardom to create events to raise money for charities. The Streisand Foundation gives grants to national organizations working on preservation of the environment, voter education, nuclear disarmament the protection of civil rights, women’s issues and women’s health. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Streisand has raised $22 million to boost a research fund to fight heart disease among women.

The Grammy’s:

Included in Streisand’s showcase of awards are eight Grammy Awards. This year’s Grammy’s was a colorful palette of music which included performances from Kelly Clarkson, Elton John, Rihanna, Bruno Marks and Alicia Keys. Loved the swag of Justin Timberlake but most impressive to me was Carrie Underwood, who looked like a beautiful princess as her gown took on a life of its own. She was a vision as pastel patterns of light enhanced her full-skirted gown which captured designs like a movie screen. The songs finale took on a fairy-tale dimension as a kaleidoscope of delicate cartoon-like butterflies flew off her gown to light-up the theater.

Watching the Grammy’s, I couldn’t help but miss seeing talents such as Streisand, a star with longevity. I remember the day Dean Martin of Rat Pack fame was honored with a Grammy Life-time Achievement Award. Now, that was a celebration! Memories of Dean Martin – Grammy Award.


Alberici Sisters book – Legendary Stars!

My sister and I wrote a book (Alberici Sisters) about a special time in show business during the 70’s. “BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS” puts the spotlight on the entertainment icons with whom we performed and who have inspired us, like Streisand:

Memory of Barbra Streisand:

Maria: We heard a lot of buzz about the hits coming out of the Record Plant, in Hollywood, so we decided to record one of our original songs there. It was a very impressive studio with gold albums covering the walls with labels from the hottest albums of the last decade. In walked Linda and I, we must have seemed so green to the staff. When our time was up we asked if we could continue recording but the sound engineer said, “Sorry, we have Barbra Streisand booked.” I thought he was kidding but when I walked through the back sound doors, I almost smacked right into Barbra herself. There was maybe an inch between us so I had to focus to recognize her. At once I sensed her charismatic confidence and then I saw her luminous skin. She was radiant. I was told that she was finishing up tracks for her album, “Lazy Afternoon,” one of my favorites. ~ Book excerpt, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Almost time for the Oscars… have to get off the computer now!


Maria Lauren – YourPowerfulLIFE (Aka: Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio)

* OSCAR’S 2013 UPDATE! One of the best ever! Seth MacFarlane does a fab hosting job! First Lady Obama surprise!

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Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-You-Got-The-PowerThis is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment… It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.