Kimberly C's blog

86th Academy Awards

OscarsThis past Sunday, the 86th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The culmination of awards season, the Academy Awards are an exciting night full of glitz, glam, tears and lots of golden statues. This year, host Ellen DeGeneres brought laughs to audiences watching in the theater and at home with a long-running pizza bit that resulted in pizza actually being delivered to the celebrities in attendance, and a star-studded selfie that broke Twitter. Movie montages of the heroes, both real and imaginary, that have come from movies, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and a moving In Memoriam helped round out the celebration of film.

Although the big winners at this year’s Oscar ceremony weren’t overly surprising, some of them were momentous. With his win as part of the husband-wife team behind Frozen’s hit song “Let It Go,” Robert Lopez became the twelfth and youngest (at 38 years old) member of the EGOT club. His previous wins include a Grammy and Tonys for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, as well as Emmys for the children’s cartoon, The Wonder Pets.

2014 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

academy awardIn just a few weeks, winners will be announced at the Academy Awards, the culmination of the film awards season. This year’s nominees in the Actor and Supporting Actor categories are a diverse group. Five of the actors are nominated for the first time, and only one actor (Christian Bale) has previously won an Academy Award. With such amazing new or previously unrecognized talent, the race could be open to upset. Will the men of Dallas Buyers Club, who have dominated the race so far, continue their winning streak, or will there be a surprise win at the Oscars?

Although I haven’t seen all of the nominated movies so far, I already have my favorites. Who would you like to see win an Academy Award?

Best Actor:

Christian Bale (American Hustle): In American Hustle, Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld, a con artist forced by the FBI to set up a sting operation in exchange for his freedom. A method actor who exchanges accents at will, Bale has starred in everything from big budget blockbusters (most notably as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy), to smaller independent films (The Machinist). This is Bale’s second Academy Award nomination, with a previous win for Supporting Actor in The Fighter.

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street): Recognized for his role as Jordan Belfort, a corrupt New York stockbroker, this is DiCaprio’s fourth Academy Award nomination and his fifth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese. After huge mainstream success in the 1990’s with blockbusters like Titanic and Romeo + Juliet, DiCaprio has since starred in a number of critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated movies. DiCaprio has already won a Critics’ Choice Award and a Golden Globe this season, and his fans hope that this might finally be his year at the Oscars.

Let the Games Begin!

olympic ringsIn less than a week, the XXII Winter Olympic Games will begin in Sochi, Russia. Although I have my favorite sports teams and root for them each year, I don’t generally make a habit of watching sporting events on television. For the Olympics, I make an exception. I am an Olympics addict and winter sports are my favorite. Skiing! Hockey! Figure Skating! Curling! Snowboarding! I watch it all. I have never been skiing in my life, can count on one hand the number of times I have strapped on a pair of ice skates, and don’t even really understand the scoring for most of the sports at the Winter Olympics. (Does anyone really, truly understand the “new” figure skating scoring system? I have my doubts.) But there is something magical about watching competitors at the top of their game represent their country and perform insane feats of athleticism and grace.

When the games start next weekend, I’ll be glued to my TV at every free moment, watching the competition. But if you can’t wait for the Olympics to start, there are some great movies featuring winter sports. Not all the movies on this list actually take place at the Olympic Games, but each focuses on athletes training and competing in a winter sport.

The Opening Ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic Games will air Friday, February 7th in the evening on NBC. Don’t miss the Parade of Nations and the lighting of the torch!

A Comparative Look at Awards Season

OscarsThis morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are highly anticipated by Hollywood and movie goers alike. These nominations come several weeks after announcements of nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards) and the British Film Academy Awards (BAFTA Awards).

Every year, I find it interesting to compare the lists of nominees in the major categories at these three awards shows. Sometimes the nominations are strikingly similar (as with this year’s nominees for best director and lead actress), and sometimes they are completely different (as with this year’s nominees for best supporting actor). Below, I have listed all the nominees for film, director and the four major acting awards.

Although the Bafta Awards and the SAG Awards are always handy indicators of what is likely to win at the Academy Awards, there are always surpries at each show. It will be interesting to see how the wins compare at the end of awards season.

For a look at the entire list of nominations for each awards show, visit the Academy Awards website, the BAFTA Awards website, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards website.

Best Film or Performance by a Cast:

  • 12 Years a Slave: Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG
  • American Hustle: Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG
  • August: Osage County: SAG
  • Captain Phillips: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Academy Award, SAG
  • Gravity: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • Her: Academy Award
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler: SAG
  • Nebraska: Academy Award
  • Philomena: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Academy Award

January Book Clubs

booksIt’s the start of a new  year, which means New Year’s resolutions. If your goal is to make new friends, read more books, or tiptoe out of your comfort zone, come to the library! With six book clubs for adults, covering a variety of genres and reading interests, the library is here to help you make your goals a reality.

For more information about the book clubs or to pick up a copy of this month’s selection, stop by the first floor Reference Desk and talk to a librarian.

After Austen Book Club (Monday, January 27, 7:00 pm) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Afternoon Book Discussion (Tuesday, February 4, 3:00 pm) House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus
Inspirational Book Club (Thursday, January 16, 7:00 pm) The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
Mystery Book Club (Thursday, January 23, 1:00 pm) The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson
Nonfiction Book Club (Tuesday, January 21, 3:00 pm) Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
Paranormal Book Club (Monday, January 13, 7:00 pm) City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Hope to see you this month in one of our book clubs!

A Modern Christmas

Christmas at DisneyworldChristmas is here again,
Stand up and cheer again.
Let’s leave our heartaches and sorrows behind.
- "Christmas is Here Again", Roger Whittaker

I know I say this every year, but it bears repeating: Christmas is my most favorite time of year! I love everything associated with the Christmas season and have since I was a little girl. I love decorating the Christmas tree with White Christmas playing in the background, baking cookies while singing along to my favorite Christmas tunes, and wrapping piles of presents late into the night. There are so many traditions associated with the Christmas season, but perhaps my favorite of these involves gathering around the TV with my family and watching beloved Christmas movies.

Last year, I wrote about the classic movies that had shaped my childhood Christmases. I still love those movies today and cherish the memories they bring (e.g., like the year I first discovered White Christmas and watched it every day for two weeks straight!), but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my love for some of the more recent Christmas movies Hollywood has brought us. Some of the movies are funny and some are bittersweet. Some of the movies focus on the holidays, while others only happen around Christmas. But no matter the story, the joy of Christmas can be felt running through each movie. 

If you’re in the mood for a more modern take on the holidays this year, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie today!

Turkey Day

thanksgiving cookiesWith its tradition of big meals and family gatherings, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is also the most overlooked of the fall holidays, stuck in between the fun of Halloween and the cheer of Christmas. No sooner has the Halloween candy been eaten, than we are skipping ahead and preparing for Christmas, with only a meal and shopping to celebrate Thanksgiving. Even Hollywood seems to have bypassed Thanksgiving for the more obvious Christmas plots. Thanksgiving movies may be few and far between, but there are still enough to remind us what the holiday is really about: food, family, thankfulness, and pie. Always pie.

If you are in the mood for a Thanksgiving movie this season, browse the HCPL catalog and request one today!

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

hunger gamesIt’s an opening night watch party! Dress as your favorite Hunger Games character, play games, win prizes, and watch The Hunger Games (the first movie in the trilogy). Bring pillows, snacks and friends. Party is open to all ages, but movie is PG-13. Meet in the first floor Meeting Room on Thursday, November 21 from 6:30-9:00 pm.

For more information, call the library at 832-559-4200.

The Art of The TV Marathon

tv remoteIt’s no secret that I love TV. I eagerly anticipate new episodes of my favorite TV shows each week and despair when they go on hiatus. Season premieres are cause for celebration, while season finales are crushing. But I have noticed that there are some shows that are simply better when watched all at once. I confess to collecting all the episodes in one season of some shows (Game of Thrones & Downton Abbey) on my DVR to watch one after another over a long weekend. This does, unfortunately, leave room for potential spoilers, but at least I don’t spend the days in between episodes in a state of cliffhanger-induced anxiety.

But there is something to be said about waiting until the series finale airs before tackling a whole TV show from start to finish. About building a pillow fortress on the couch, putting on comfy clothes, collecting tasty snacks and settling in for a no holds barred TV marathon. It’s sometimes my favorite way to experience a new TV show. With the last season of Breaking Bad in the bag and the DVDs set to release in a few weeks, I am looking forward to an epic marathon of what, I’ve been promised, is a spectacular show. No spoilers, please!

If you’re in the mood to take a break from family (or gather family together!) and marathon a TV show this holiday season, check out the list of great shows to watch from beginning to end!

The Hills are Alive...

music  notesIn 2004, the American Film Institute released a new list in their 100 Years series, this one celebrating iconic songs in movies. I have confessed my love for movie musicals many times on this blog, but there is something to be said for that one song that can define an entire movie. What would Dirty Dancing be without that final performance to (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life? How many of us still passionately sing along with Celine Dion and think of Jack and Rose when My Heart Will Go On plays on the radio? And is a Bond movie really complete without a new, killer theme song?

When AFI first released the 100 Years...100 Songs list, my college roommate and I were obsessed. It was our goal to collect all 100 songs and put them in one playlist and, by the end of the year, we had almost succeeded! Below, I have listed some of my favorite movie songs. Browse the entire list and let me know if your favorite song was included!

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