On Sunday, March 2, 2014 we held our 10th Annual Oscar Night Party. It was a roaring success. We had almost 70 attendees, all of whom enjoyed the show and winning the fantastic door prizes.

As for the Oscar winners, there were very little surprises over-all. At our Year in Movies: 2013 program on February 25, 2014, I announced the top picks, based on previous award wins. Seven of the top eight on that list ended up winning Oscars, the only non-winner being Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave”. And I was also off some with my picks. I picked six of the eight top winners, being only wrong with American Hustle for both Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Here are the Top Winners:

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oscar

On Tuesday, February 25, we had the program The Year in Movies: 2013. It was an encapsulation of the films of 2013 and a little bit of an Oscar preview. Here is a wrap-up of the program:

Based on awards already won, here are the front runners for the Oscars on Sunday, March 2:

BEST PICTURE: “12 Years a Slave”

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón - “Gravity”

LEAD ACTOR: Chiwetel Ejiofor - “12 Years a Slave”

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oscar

If you feel as passionately about film and the Oscars as I do, join me (Cecilia, Adult Services Librarian) as I review and discuss the best and the worst of Hollywood on Thursday, February 25, 2014 at 7:30pm.

I will talk about the major films of 2013, what the critics thought, and even have some good tips on predicting Oscar winners. I will guess who I think will walk away with the Oscars come Sunday, March 2, 2014 or better yet…what long-shots I would love to see carry awards home.

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Schell

Of Austrian and Swiss heritage, Maximilian Schell won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Judgment at Nuremberg, which as only his second Hollywood film. Never really becoming a megastar, Schell took smaller roles in a variety of interesting and artistic films, though he did get two more Oscar nominations, one for Julia (Best Supporting Actor) and one for The Man in the Glass Booth (Best Actor).

Check out these Maximilian Schell movies at the Niles Public Library:

Abraham

A Bridge Too Far (blu-ray)

The Brothers Bloom

Coast to Coast

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dbc

Much like several recent Oscar-winning and nominated films of the past years (Saving Private Ryan, The Hurt Locker, Amour), Dallas Buyers Club is not a movie I’m going to RUN out and re-watch. It’s a tough movie to watch…the subject matter is harsh, the characters are sad and highly flawed, the dialogue is filled with homosexual abuses. All that said, is this still a movie you should watch? Yes. One reason: the performances. This is not to say the story is not good. It is. And the entire film on the whole is worth watching. But, the focus here should be the performances, since I feel they make this hard movie well worth watching.

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shirley

Young Shirley Temple was one of the biggest, brightest stars in the 1930s. She even won a special “Juvenile Award” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1934. Basically, she was the biggest LITTLE moviestar ever!

Then, she grew up! Hollywood, at first, did not know what to do with “teenage” Temple. But, eventually, she came into her own, easing successfully into young adult and even adult roles. She never came close to matching her level of childhood fame, but she still was able to work in Hollywood for years, until she decided to retire from entertainment and switched her focus to politics and ambassadorships.

Check out these Shirley Temple movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

Fort Apache

Heidi (J)

Hollywood Singing & Dancing: 1930s (791.4361 H746th)

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Prisoners

One feeling kept me going throughout the entire time I watched the film Prisoners: FEAR. At over two and a half hours, you would think that I could not possibly have been afraid for the entire film. Well, I was. And, most likely, you will be too.

In addition to instilling fear from minute one, Prisoners also continually surprised me. I thought it was going to be just a simple revenge movie. But, this is so much more than that. Filled with leaps and twists and unexpected turns around every corner, Prisoners is more than a thriller. It is an adrenaline ride.

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oscar

Our Pick the Winners Oscar Contest starts today (Feb. 1)!  Vote in eight of the major Oscar categories for your chance to win “A Night Out in Niles” with gift cards to Portillos and to the theaters in Golf Mill Shopping Center.

Pick up a ballot at the Second Floor desk or fill one out here.

All of this Oscar mania leads up to our 10th Anniversary Oscar Night Extravaganza on Sun., Mar. 2 at 6:30pm. Registration for that begins today for Niles cardholders and on Mon., Feb. 10 for all. Register now!

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BEFORE-MIDNIGHT-stills

The third and last (?) in the Richard Linklater directed and Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke starring series, Before Midnight again features more dialogue and banter between characters than plot. But, after three movies, we are used to that and we know these characters so well, we pretty much know what they are going to say and do. Not that this is a good or bad thing…but it’s comfortable. Like an old pair of slippers, these films have charmed us, endeared us, and romanced us. A little refresher on the series: Before Sunrise (1995) is set in Vienna and has Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) meeting on a train and taking a risk by spending the whole day with each other. They talked and walked and laughed and talked and walked and laughed some more. As they fell in love, so did we with them.

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