• It's Oscar weekend and the film world prepares to honor the best of Hollywood.

    Last year, just weeks after the amazing Meryl Streep appeared on this very show, she was named Best Actress for her spot-on performance as Lady Margaret Thatcher in "Iron Lady." I'm pretty sure that her being on "Huckabee" was what put her over the top. I can't prove that, but I think that the connection is pretty obvious.

    Let me also say that if Bradley Cooper wins this year for "Silver Linings Playbook," then it is certainly going to be his appearance on this show that gave him the stature that he needed to be treated with the respect he deserves as a great actor and a truly gracious person. Now Bradley, in your acceptance speech, you don't have to mention anything about our interview and its role in getting you the Oscar. I'm just glad to be of help.

    I just wish I had been able to get Hugh Jackman or Anne Hathaway on the show last month because that would have nailed Oscars for their performances in "Les Miserables". Actually, I still hope that "Les Miserables" wins Best Picture because the success of the film at the box office is already a big win for American film audiences.

    I saw the Broadway play a few years ago, and then saw the screen version just a couple of months ago. It was what movies are made for.

    I sat stunned when at the end of the showing, the Friday night audience -- in NY of all places -- applauded. Applauded a movie! Even in cynical and not so religious NY, the audience was so moved by this powerful story of redemption that their spontaneous reaction was to wildly applaud. It's the familiar story about of a man who paid far more than reasonable to cover his crimes only to find out that some people aren't as forgiving as God.

    I'm not going ruin the film by telling you all the scenes, but this was a story about faith, about forgiveness, about unselfish behavior and about grace and redemption. Hardly the heart and soul of most Hollywood films. But a packed theater needed the message of hope a whole lot more than two hours or more of bombs, bad boys, and bullets flying.

    I would love to see "Les Miserables" win best picture because then maybe Hollywood would be reminded that there is a market for wholesome, thought provoking, and family friendly movies.

    32 years ago, America was just getting used to its new President, Ronald Reagan. He came into office amidst a raging economic downturn, a military that was demoralized, and a population of Americans who really were feeling pretty let down. He was a fine orator and communicator, but he was dismissed by liberals as just an old mediocre Hollywood actor.

    But Ronald Reagan's skillful governing, clarity of his convictions, and courage to stand on principle paved the way for the end of the Soviet Union and communism in Eastern Europe. He helped get the economy back on its feet.

    Yes, he was an actor who left that job to become a politician and ultimately president. From politics to acting. Now, 32 years later, we have a person in the office who once was a politician, but now is an actor, pretending to be president and acting alarmed over the very sequestration bill that he proposed just 2 years ago.

    I liked it better when Hollywood actors became great leaders than when Chicago politicians became great actors.