If you, like me, are looking forward to the 84th Academy Awards, then you have already seen this year’s nominees and, quite likely, you have formed your own opinions. Still, if you are an “undecided” movie buff and you want to get more information about movie makers, actors or the industry itself, your public library can be just the place for you to turn.
For example, do you know that “The Descendants” (directed by Alexander Payne) is based on Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel, which – you guessed right – we have in our collection? Do you or your children want to read Brian Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the basis of Martin Scorsese’s film “Hugo”? We can also offer you Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help,” John Le Carré’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” Stieg Larsson’s “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and Michael Morpurgo’s “War Horse,” as well as “The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture” and the “Albert Nobbs” movie score (on CD).
Those interested in the life and careers of major American actors should not miss “George Clooney: The Last Great Movie Star” by Kimberly Potts. (I myself believe that that distinction belongs to Paul Newman, but you may be younger than me.) Also, while you are waiting for “The Iron Lady” (directed by Phyllida Lloyd) to come to Columbia, you could be watching the A&E biography “Meryl Streep.”
Do you want to learn more about the silent era of film? Read Neil Sinyard’s “Silent Movies,” or Emily Leider’s “Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino.” And do take a look at “Singin’ in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece” by Earl J. Hess. (Watch the old classic, too!) Not only will it increase your knowledge, but it will also give you another perspective on “The Artist” (directed by Michel Hazanavicius), the movie that is very likely to win this year’s competition.
And, if, come February 26, your expectations are not realized (happens all the time; I am still angry about “The English Patient” being chosen over…well, okay, I don’t actually remember over what, I just remember being intensely upset), then wait a year and you’ll get another shot.