Archive for January, 2013

The second major awards event in Hollywood took place on Sunday: the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. With its focus on the performances in this year’s films, the SAG awards are often predictors as to who will win the Best Actor/Actrees and Best Supporting Actor/Actress at the Oscars. Perhaps this will help you to determine the Oscar winners for the library’s Pick The Oscar Winners! contest.

Check out the winners and nominees by clicking on –> SAG logo
Click –> OscarContest graphic   for the post with our contest details.

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The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards will be determined at tonight’s awards ceremony.

Click on –> Screen Actors Guild statue to go to their website.                          Click on –> SAG logo  to go to their page about the SAG organization. We’ll have more on the winners next week!

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OscarContest graphic

Beat the winter doldrums! It’s time at Lisle Library to Pick The Oscar Winners 2013 contest! Once again, we’ll be offering patrons a chance to see if they can guess who the Oscar winners will be in 5 main categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Picture. We will be picking 5 winners who come closest to getting all 5 categories correct.
Winners will get our Oscar Movie Package: a bag of gourmet popcorn, a box of theater candy, and their choice of a free DVD from 5 of the Best Picture nominated films!

Here are the details:

Ballots and the ballot box, will be available at the Connections desk on Friday, January 25th.
One ballot per person please!
• Balloting will end Saturday, February 23rd at 5:00 p.m.
• The Oscars broadcast will be on Sunday, February 24th on ABC at 7:00 p.m. CST.
• Picks should be made based on who you think will win, not necessarily what you think should win.
Winners will be announced on Monday, March 4th.

Good Luck! 

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Poster of Show Boat [1936] With this month’s film, the 1936 version of Show Boat, Just Between Frames (JBF) is off to a good start with its first exploration of American Musicals. It was a rare showing of the film which starred the four leads from its initial Broadway debut: Helen Morgan playing Julie, Charles Winninger as Cap’n Andy, and the legendary Paul Robeson as Joe. Critics also raved about the chemistry both musically and in acting that flows between leads Irene Dunne as Magnolia and Allan Jones (father of Jack Jones) as Gaylord Ravenal.

Reviewers also identify the 1936 Show Boat as the musical that broke with the light song & dance tradition that characterized most musicals before it. There are very serious themes concerning racism, bigotry, social abandonment and financial hardship among them. Members appreciated the depth that it gave to the film, and that the music reflects and enhances them. We talked a bit about how American musicals can be seen (particularly here in Show Boat) as a more general public version of opera. In both cases it is the music that is driving the story and proving an emotional focus that straight narrative films lack. We also noted that this idea was recently validated when the Lyric Opera of Chicago made Show Boat one of its productions in 2012. Interestingly, Irene Dunne (who plays Magnolia) had a background in vocal study and even auditioned for the Met.

One cast member deservedly noted for his performance as Joe, is Paul Robeson. It is one thing to read about how powerful his performance in this is, and quite something else to get the full effect on the big screen. Members said that during the song Ol’ Man River “he just mesmerizes you”. We talked about his career both in show business and as a key figure in the Civil Rights movement. During the McCarthy era, he was blacklisted, but remained true to his principles. (We’ll be posting more about him in the near future.) Some of us commented on how the performances of all the actors were well-done and believable. Both Helen Morgan’s version of “Bill” and Irene Dunne’s singing of “After the Ball” were mentioned for being heart-felt and real. Another member particularly enjoyed Cap’n Andy’s rendition of “what you would’ve seen, if the show had continued” – a masterpiece of storytelling and a gymnastic-level acting it out.

All members agreed that this black & white version of Show Boat was definitely worth seeing – and that it is in fact better than the 1951 color version with Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel and Ava Gardiner. Do you agree? Please share your comments with us!

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Ben Affleck with one of his two Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture & Best Director

Did you agree with the selections made by the Hollywood Foreign Press? Were you shocked that Ben Affleck walked away not only with Best Picture, but Best Director as well? Post a comment below and let us know! The link to the Golden Globes in the previous post now shows who won in each category, but you can also click here — to go to the official Golden Globes list.

As promised, here are the nominated films (in all categories) that we have so far at Lisle Library — with links to the catalog:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mirror, Mirror
Moonrise Kingdom
The Pirates: Band of Misfits
Snow White & The Huntsman

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Golden Globe Awards graphic

Golden Globe Awards – Courtesy of IndieWire.com

Start your own countdown to the Hollywood awards season by checking out the 70th Golden Globe Awards that will be presented this Sunday, January 13th at 7:00 p.m. CST on NBC. Click here to go to the official Golden Globe Nominations page. As nominated films are made available on DVD, we’ll be posting what’s on order at Lisle Library for you to check out. What films and performers are you rooting for? Share your comments here!

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