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Friday, February 10, 2012

Check Out the Grammy and Oscar Nominees

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Awards season is upon us for music and movies. By the time this column is published, the Grammy Awards will have taken place, and the Oscars are coming up on February 26th. If you want to listen to or watch some of the nominees yourself, we have some of this year’s nominated music and movies at our library.

We have all of the Grammy nominees for album of the year: 21 by Adele, Wasting Light by Foo Fighters, Born This Way by Lady Gaga, Doo-Wops and Hooligans by Bruno Mars, and Loud by Rihanna. Adele’s and Bruno Mars’ albums include their nominees for record of the year and song of the year, which are “Rolling in the Deep” and “Grenade”. They each have a total of six nominations.

We also have some of this year’s Oscar nominees. The Help is a drama based on the wildly popular book of the same name by Kathryn Stockett. It’s nominated for best picture. Viola Davis is nominated for best actress, and two members of the cast are nominated for best supporting actress: Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer. Spencer won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress

Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy fantasy starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, and Kathy Bates. It also has four nominations: best picture, art direction, directing, and writing (original screenplay), the last two for writer-director Woody Allen. It won the best screenplay Golden Globe.

The Tree of Life is another best picture nominee. It’s also nominated for directing and for cinematography. Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain star in this experimental drama. It won the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, is an epic fantasy film nominated for visual effects, makeup, and art direction. I’ll add my personal, editorial comment here: I think they should have been recognized with something other than technical awards. Often the Academy will recognize a series at the end, and this one was well-crafted, with some excellent work done on the last two films. But I’m a fan, so I’m sure I’m biased.

Bridesmaids is a comedy nominated for writing (original screenplay) and supporting actress, Melissa McCarthy.

Rango is nominated for best animated feature film. It stars Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy. Another animated film with one nomination is Rio, which is up for best original song.

Jane Eyre, the newest adaptation of the classic novel, is nominated for costume design. Another personal comment: I’m a big fan of the book, and I was disappointed in this version. It’s beautiful, but I thought Mr. Rochester was all wrong and entirely unsympathetic. Perhaps the nominations mean that the Academy agrees.

Our library owns copies of all of these movies, and I expect that we will be getting many others on the nomination lists once they become available on DVD. Come to the library and find out which music and movies you think are the best of the year!