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Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, February 10, 2017

Chris Pine, cartoons, and true stories: Oscar nominated movies at the library

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Movie awards season gets people intrigued about some of the new movies available at the library.  Most often the top contenders come out at the end of the year as Oscar bait, so of course there are always quite a few that we don’t have yet.  Following are movies up for this year’s Academy Awards that you can check out now at the library.

Hell or High Water is a Western thriller set in Texas.  Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges star in this movie about brothers that get involved in a series of thefts in a desperate attempt to save their family farm from foreclosure.  Besides being up for a best picture Oscar, this film has nominations for original screenplay and editing, as well as a best supporting actor nomination for Bridges. 

Viggo Mortensen is nominated for best actor for the movie Captain Fantastic.  The title might make you guess it’s a superhero movie, but it is not.  Mortensen plays a devoted father who has been raising his six children in isolation in the woods, dedicating himself to turning them into extraordinary adults.  But when a tragedy happens, they are forced to leave the forest and interact with the outside world, which causes him to question what it means to be a parent. 

Florence Foster Jenkins is based on the true story of a New York heiress who believed she had a beautiful singing voice, when in reality she was terrible.  Her husband was determined to protect her from the truth, even when she staged a huge concert at Carnegie Hall in her pursuit of becoming a great opera singer.  Meryl Streep is nominated for a best actress Oscar for playing Florence, and the film is also nominated for best costume design.

Kubo and the Two Strings is nominated for best animated feature film.  Kubo is a young boy living a peaceful life in a seaside village until a spirit from the past comes after him.  To survive, Kubo must find a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary samurai.  A cast including Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew McConaughey, and George Takei voice the characters.

Also nominated for best animated feature, Zootopia tells the story of the first bunny cop in a city of anthropomorphic animals.  The tougher animals don’t take Officer Judy Hopps seriously, but she befriends a scam-artist fox in order to solve a case that involves top levels of Zootopia’s government.  This cast includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, and Idris Elba. 

A Man Called Ove is nominated for best foreign language film.  Based on the bestselling book by the same name, this Swedish film features a grumpy old man who spends his time enforcing neighborhood rules, visiting his wife’s grave, and giving up on life until a young family moves in next door.  This movie is also nominated for the makeup and hairstyling award. 

Also nominated for makeup and hairstyling is Star Trek:Beyond.  Following the rebooted adventures of Captain Kirk as played by Chris Pine, this movie finds the crew of the starship Enterprise exploring uncharted space and finding a new enemy that endangers the Federation.  I thought that the best scene of this movie involved some “classical” music as a weapon.

Among other nominated movies the Litchfield library currently offers are Suicide Squad, the DC Comics antihero movie; Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers send-up of the golden era of Hollywood, starring George Clooney; Sully, the Tom Hanks movie about the “Miracle on the Hudson” jet landing; Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book; and the offbeat dystopian film The Lobster

My favorite Oscar-nominated movie this year is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  I’m sure many of you will enjoy that movie and others coming out on DVD later this year when we add them to the library’s collection.