American Hustle – Con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. The film is a fictionalized telling of the Abscam (short for Arab scam) scandal of the late 1970s and early 1980s, an FBI operation that began as an investigation of trafficking in stolen property, but was later expanded to include political corruption. This was nominated for 9 Oscars and won a Golden Globe.
Book Thief – While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by Liesel’s adoptive parents. The movie was based on the (fantastic!) book by Mark Zusak. It was nominated for one Oscar (Original Score).
Broken Circle Breakdown – Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial. This movie was also nominated for an Oscar (Best Foreign Film). Has English subtitles.
Frozen – Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. Animated, Disney film. Frozen won Best Animated Film and Best Original Score for the song “Let It Go.” This statement is near the end of the credits. “The views and opinions expressed by Kristoff in the film that all men eat their own boogers are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Walt Disney Company or the filmmakers. Neither The Walt Disney Company nor the filmmakers make any representation of the accuracy of any such views and opinions.”
Homefront – A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord.
Inside Llewyn Davis – This is a Coen brothers’ film and shows a week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. The cat in the movie has more screen time than some of the human actors. (Read more about the cats.) As Joel Coen explained at the Cannel Film Festival last May, “The film doesn’t really have a plot. That concerned us at one point; that’s why we threw the cat in.”
Kill Your Darlings – A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Stars Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Idris Elba who plays Mandela is also known for his role as DCI John Luther in the BBC series Luther. You can check out Luther here at the library.
Out of the Furnace – When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. Stars Christian Bale.
Saving Mr. Banks – Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. Laura here : I have read and re-read Travers’ Mary Poppins many times. They are nothing like the Disney movie except for having the same characters. This is a movie I really want to see. I’m #75 on the holds queue. Ugh.