Westerly Sun Column | Beat the rush to watch Oscar nominees

January 22, 2024

Awards season is well underway — the Golden Globes and Emmys have passed, and the Oscars will be here before you know it. In fact, the list of nominees is set to be released tomorrow, so today is the day to check out Oscar-related materials and beat the rush! I’m not just talking about the films being nominated, either … it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into past films the actors have starred in (and won awards for), as well as the books that inspired the movies!

It seems like just yesterday I was writing a column about “Barbenheimer,” the craze that surrounded the simultaneous release of two hit movies, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” In actuality, that was six whole months ago, and now we’re back with “Barbenheimer Part 2: The Academy Awards.” The films are both likely to receive a number of nominations, for the actors/actresses, the directors, the costume and set design, etc. … but who will win is anybody’s guess. Both are available on DVD through the library, so you can check them out, enjoy another double feature at home, and make your own predictions.

Another film that should garner a number of Oscar nominations is Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro. The film is not yet available on DVD, but you can check out the book it’s based on, which was written by journalist David Grann in 2017. DiCaprio and De Niro have both been frequent collaborators with Scorcese over the years, together racking up awards for films like “The Departed” and “Gangs of New York,” which are both available to check out. Gladstone, newer to the scene than the others, made a name for herself with the 2016 film “Certain Women” and just became the first Indigenous woman to win a Golden Globe for acting. Lots of talent, here!

Personally, I’m a fan of reading the book before the movie, so I was happy to see that some of the potential nominees were based on books that I’ve already read. “The Color Purple” (2023) is a musical adaptation of the classic novel by Alice Walker, one of the few books I was forced to read in high school that I really liked. The film “Origin” is based on Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” (2020), an eye-opening exploration of racism in America as a caste system. Some others include “American Fiction,” based on the book “Erasure” (2001) by Percival Everett, and “Zone of Interest,” a German film loosely based on the novel of the same name by Martin Amis.

Alternatively, if you’re drawn to awards shows more for the fashion, entertainment, or drama than the films’ artistic merit, you may like “Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears” by Michael Schulman, or “50 Oscar nights: The Firsthand Stories Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Prize” by Dave Karger. There is something for everyone!

by Cassie Skobrak, Adult Services Librarian

Share this story
Share this News Item on FacebookShare this News Item on TwitterShare this News Item on Linkedin