Join us on Wednesday, February 18 @ 1 p.m
This month’s Midweek Movie is a spy thriller based on a novel by John le Carré and features a German espionage agent seeking to do the right thing against all odds. View the trailer here.
This movie is rated R for language.
Register at the Reader's Advisory Desk or online today!
Film Club’s selection this month is a dystopian drama about a future world. View the trailer here.
Register at the Reader's Advisory Desk or online today!
2015 Oscars: Nominees
The list of Academy Award nominees has been announced, and this year's award ceremony promises to be a real nail-biter. Before you watch the pomp and pageantry on Sunday, February 22, treat yourself to a viewing of a nominated film or featured performance from the library's DVD collection:
January & February Theatrical Film Releases
It's a brand-new year, and that means a number of highly-anticipated film releases are on the horizon. Here's a selection of movies to watch for this January & February:
January Movie Highlights
Taken 3 (Jan. 9) starring Liam Neeson and Forest Whitaker
Blackhat (Jan. 16) starring Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis
Escobar: Paradise Lost (Jan. 16) starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson
Still Alice (Jan. 16) starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin
The Wedding Ringer (Jan. 16) starring Kevin Hart and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting
Black Sea (Jan. 23) starring Jude Law
The Boy Next Door (Jan. 23) starring Jennifer Lopez and Kristin Chenoweth
Mortdecai (Jan. 23) starring Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow
Red Army (Jan. 23) documentary featuring former Detroit Red Wing player Slava Fetisov
February Movie Highlights
Jupiter Ascending (Feb. 6) starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis
Seventh Son (Feb. 6) starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore
Kingsman: The Secret Service (Feb. 13) starring Colin Firth and Michael Caine
The Last Five Years (Feb. 13) starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan
Fifty Shades of Grey (Feb. 14) starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Feb. 20) starring John Cusack and Rob Corddry
McFarland, USA (Feb. 20) starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello
The Lazarus Effect (Feb. 20) starring Evan Peters and Olivia Wilde
Focus (Feb. 27) starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie
Little Boy (Feb. 27) starring Emily Watson and Kevin James
Maps to the Stars (Feb. 27) starring Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska
Fantasia 75th Anniversary
Seventy-five years ago this year, Walt Disney's creative vision combined animation sequences with classical music for a unique viewing experience that presaged the modern music video. This full-length film, Fantasia, expanded on the concept of Disney's musical "shorts" series, the Silly Symphonies, and offered viewers exposure to the extraordinary talents of some of the era's top animators.
Disney conceived Fantasia in the 1930s, and it was an undertaking that his creative team returned to time and again, even as animators labored to fulfill another of Walt's dreams: the first full-length animated feature, Snow White. With the success of Snow White, Disney and his artists were emboldened to pursue the on-screen concert combination that became Fantasia.
Fantasia is eight animated segments accompanied by classical music, with interludes of live performers and narrative introductions. One of Disney's project coups was his collaboration with the prominent conductor Leopold Stokowski, who conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra to create the movie's musical accompaniment. Innovative and ahead of its time, Fantasia became the first film to use stereophonic sound for recording.
From the dancing broomstick in Mickey Mouse's Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence to the delicate footwork of tutu-clad hippos swaying to Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours, Fantasia allowed Disney and his team to create a singular musical realm that has captivated film audiences for generations. More than 1,000 animators and artists collaborated on this monumental project.
Featured Actor: Mary Wickes
Mary Wicke's nearly 60-year film, stage, and television career stretched from Hollywood's golden era to 1996. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1910, Wicke's tall, lanky figure seemed to destine her for comedic roles, and she soon earned a reputation as a plain-talking scene stealer in many of her films.
Wickes honed her acting chops by treading the boards in Broadway plays and summer stock. Her big acting break came when she starred as Miss Preen in the Kaufman/Hart Broadway comedy, The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Selected to portray the same role in the movie version of the play, Wickes was part of an ensemble cast that included Bette Davis and Ann Sheridan. The film was a runaway hit upon its release in 1942 and resulted in the launch of Wickes' lengthy movie career.
Despite an unconventional appearance (by Hollywood standards), Wickes soon found success playing smart-alecky support roles alongside such top-notch talents as Lou Costello, The Andrew Sisters, Robert Montgomery, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, and many others.
In the '50s and '60s, Wickes' acting abilities made an easy transition to the new medium of television, where she played such memorable roles as Lucille Ball's tough-taskmistress ballet instructor on an episode of I Love Lucy. Wickes also held her own while acting alongside some of the comedic greats of the era, including Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Jimmy Durante. A well-known Wickes role during this period was her portrayal of Miss Cathcart in the TV series Dennis the Menace.
In later years, Wickes was also a frequent guest star and recurring performer in many top TV shows, including Sanford & Son, M*A*S*H*, The Father Dowling Mysteries, and Murder, She Wrote.
As she aged, Wickes found success playing curmudgeonly old ladies. Her best-known later film role was cranky Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. One of her final movie portrayals was in 1994's Little Women, where she played Aunt March to Winona Ryder's Jo.
Check out some of the library's DVDs featuring the unforgettable Mary Wickes: