We’ve got three of the five nominated Oscar documentaries on DVD. And a fourth is on order (waiting for The Square to be released). Check out one of these outstanding films today. Click on the title to see the film listed in our catalog or click on “read more” to find out more about the film. Watch which film wins this Sunday, March 2nd during the live telecast of the 86th annual Academy Awards.
Sweeping many film festivals last year, Short Term 12 lives up to the hype. Brie Larson dazzled as the snarky older daughter Kate on Toni Colette’s series, The United States of Tara. Larson plays Grace, a supervising member of a foster care facility staff who balances the kids, her boyfriend who works and lives with her and as the film progresses – her own troubled, unresolved past. This is Brie Larson’s film and she shines as Grace – no make-up, lots of close-ups, this isn’t a polished, pretty film. Short Term 12 exposes some awful truths about its characters. Boyfriend Mason in his own quiet way shows nearly everyone they have a shot at a happier life. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at SXSW last year.
If you’ve been keeping up with the human rights news from Russia, you’ve probably already heard of the band, Pussy Riot. Two of the young women from the band were arrested and imprisoned for 21 months. After their release in late 2013, they spent time in the States touring prisons and meeting with human rights activists. This past weekend the women were detained again by Russian police.
We’ve got the new DVD, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer for you to check out as well as the new book, Words Will Break Cement : the Passion of Pussy Riot written by Masha Gessen.
In my opinion, The Best Years of Our Lives is one of the best movies ever made. It may even be number one on my top ten list. I saw it for the first time when I was in college, long before the large flat screens. In fact, I think that about eight of us watched this film on a TV about a foot wide. Even on that small screen, the movie hit me like a ton of bricks.
If I had to use one word to describe the movie it would be poignant — incredibly moving without being sentimental. There is an amazing realism to the movie, every scene rings true. The scene where the parents speak with their daughter late at night about their marriage, is one of the most accurate and affecting scenes I have ever seen in any movie. When I watch it, I almost feel as if I am in that room.
This movie was made in 1946 and is often summarized as soldiers returning home from the war to civilian life. If that was all I knew about this movie I would probably flip right by it. Although it is about three soldiers who meet on a flight home, it is also a movie that profoundly touches on the subjects of love, family and friendship in a way that makes it timeless. It touches on socially sensitive subjects including post traumatic stress and the complexity of relationships in a way you wouldn’t expect for the time period.
The casting of the movie is perfect — led by stars like Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo and Dana Andrews. But even minor characters in this movie are crucial to the film. It is the kind of film you could see many times, yet find additional nuances with each watching. If you are an old movie buff and haven’t seen this film, you need to see it as soon as possible. It will rock your world. And if you aren’t an old movie buff, this is one of the black and white movies that may change your opinion about classic films.
Find The Best Years of Our Lives in the library catalog.
For better or worse, Woody Allen’s been in the news these past few weeks. His personal life has been all over social media and this past weekend he came out of seclusion to refute 20 year-old claims of abuse. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Globes. His new film, Blue Jasmine has just released on DVD and most agree it’s his best work in years. Cate Blanchett is nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Jasmine.
YA Librarian Nicole Scherer couldn’t wait to tell you about her favorite new television obsession,
I know, I know…after four books and four movies (some of which were not very good) you are done with Hannibal Lecter. Maybe that’s why you missed the amazing first season of Hannibal on NBC. Take it from this horror-phobic librarian: it’s not so much scary as it is chilling. It takes a different approach than you might think: The show is set long before the famous cannibal is behind bars. Instead, its attention is on Will Graham, a criminal profiler with the gift (or curse) of perfect empathy. He can read a crime scene and practically see through the killer’s eyes. In order to cope with the intensity of his work, he seeks out the help of a certain psychiatrist, who happens to be moonlighting as a serial killer. This presents a whole new angle on the familiar story: We get to see Hannibal in practice, not as a prisoner or fugitive. Anchored by sublime performances from Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, this is one of the most visually striking shows on TV. And it’s not too late to catch up on the story before Season 2 begins at the end of February – you can borrow Season 1 from the library!
Find Hannibal in our catalog.
The acting world lost a giant this past weekend. Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2, 2014 at the age of 46. Hoffman amassed a daunting list of incredible character performances in film and on stage in his 20 year career. The following are a few of our personal favorites,
A Late Quartet