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Friday, January 11, 2013

Have you seen these Oscar nominees?


by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

This year’s Oscar nominations have just been announced.  As usual, most of the major nominees are still in theaters and not yet available on DVD, but we do have several of the nominated movies that you can check out from the library now.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is an indie film that is nominated for best picture, best director, best actress in a leading role, and best adapted screenplay.  Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis is the youngest best actress nominee ever.  Roger Ebert says, “She is so uniquely and particularly herself that I wonder if the movie would have been possible without her.”  The film is a post-apocalyptic fantasy that stars mostly untrained actors.

Among the films nominated for best animated feature, our library has three so far: Brave, ParaNorman, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Brave is a Disney-Pixar film about Scottish princess Merida who defies custom. She runs away and follows will-o-the-wisps to the house of a witch, who grants Merida’s wish to change her mother.  Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to save her family’s kingdom.  The animation has garnered quite a lot of praise, which is not surprising for a Pixar film.

ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated film from the makers of Coraline.  Norman is a boy who can see ghosts, which makes him seem weird to the people around him.  When a curse brings forth the town founders as zombies because of a witch trial centuries before, Norman is the only person who can save the day.  Reviewers say that the humor balances the scariness of the story and action.

The makers of Wallace and Gromit have produced another claymation film with The Pirates! Band of Misfits.  The Pirate Captain is competing in the Pirate of the Year competition in Victorian England, so he and his ragtag crew set out to be the ones to get the most booty.  They meet Charles Darwin, who convinces the captain that his parrot Polly is really the last dodo bird in the world and the answer to winning the riches they seek.

Moonrise Kingdom is nominated for best original screenplay. It’s described as a quirky, stylized and charming movie about two twelve-year-olds in 1965.  Both from unhappy family situations, they fall in love and run away into the wilderness on the coast of New England.  As people search for them, a storm approaches the island they live on, and life is turned upside down for everyone.

Rounding out this year’s Oscar-nominated movies available at our library are four that are up for technical awards.  Mirror Mirror, a Snow White comedy, is nominated for costume design.  Snow White and the Huntsman, another Snow White movie but with a much darker style, is nominated for costumes and visual effects.  Marvel’s The Avengers, the superhero movie that brings together the characters from the Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk movies with fun results, is nominated for visual effects.  And Prometheus , the Ridley Scott prequel to the Alien movies, is also nominated for  best visual effects.

Stop in to our library to check out these Oscar nominees, and find out whether they’re your favorites to be the winners on February 24.