Best of 2021 on DVD at SPL

Best of 2021 on DVD at SPL

It may be a bit early for a “Best of 2021” list since it’s not quite the end of the year, but these movies are getting buzz on “best of” lists popping up on the web. So consider this a “Best Movies of 2021 So Far Available on DVD at SPL in No Particular Order” list. Not quite as catchy, but far more accurate!

The Green Knight

Based on the Arthurian legend, King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, embarks on a quest to prove his worth to his family and kingdom–by confronting the Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men.

Starring Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander; directed by David Lowery.


In the Heights

In this musical, bodega owner Usnavi saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life; meanwhile, his tight-knit community faces the challenge of gentrification, losing their homes while trying to better themselves and hold on to their cultures.

Starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace; Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer and composer.  Also in Blu-Ray.


Land

A bereaved woman finds herself unable to stay connected to the world she once knew, and retreats to the magnificent, but unforgiving, wilds of the Rockies. After a local hunter brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.

Starring Robin Wright (in her directorial debut) and Demián Bichir.


Nobody

An underestimated father and husband–a nobody–becomes a lethal vigilante in the aftermath of a home invasion in order to save his family from a vengeful drug lord.

Starring Bob Odenkirk and Connie Nielsen; directed by David Leitch. 


Pig

A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregon wilderness must return to his past in Portland in order to search for his beloved, kidnapped foraging pig. Interestingly, a documentary film about truffle hunting, The Truffle Hunters, is also getting buzz as a “Best of 2021.” Who knew it was the year of the truffles?

Starring Nicholas Cage, Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin; directed by Michael Sarnoski.


Riders of Justice

Recently deployed soldier Markus is forced to return home to care for his his teenage daughter following the death of his wife in a tragic railroad accident. But when a survivor of the acident turns up claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect that his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission of revenge to find those responsible.

Starring Mads Mikkelsen; directed by Anders Thomas Jensen.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

In this entry to the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi must face the past he thought he left behind and confront his father, leader of the dangerous Ten Rings organization. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets, well, pretty much any Marvel movie.

Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh. Also in Blu-Ray.


The World to Come

Somewhere along the mid-nineteenth century American East Coast frontier, two neighboring couples battle hardship and isolation, witnessed by a splendid yet testing landscape, challenging them both physically and psychologically.

Starring Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott, and Casey Affleck.


Coming soon…

Keep your eyes open for The Last Duel, The Card Counter, and Saint Maud.

Clean Movies for Grown Ups

Looking for a movie with little to no sex or violence? Check out these first-rate PG/PG-13 DVDs from the Sewickley Public Library collection.

Arrival

When mysterious spacecraft touch down around the world, a team–including linguist Louise Banks–is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. To find them she will take a chance that could threaten her life–and quite possibly humanity.

Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. 2016. Also in Blu-Ray.


The Art of Racing in the Rain

This heartfelt tale is narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo. Through his bond with his owner Denny, an aspiring Formula One racecar driver, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition and understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.

Starring Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried. 2019.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love, and forgiveness. Based on a true story.

Starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


Becoming Jane

Events from the life of the author Jane Austen inspired this romantic historical drama, which speculates of a romance that may have had a significant impact on her life and work.

Starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. 2007.


Gifted

Frank Adler is a single man raising a child prodigy, his spirited young niece Mary, in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn, whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.

Starring Chris Evans and McKenna Grace. 2017.


The Greatest Showman

Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, the musical tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams. 2017. Also in Blu-Ray.


Hidden Figures

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe. 2016. Also in Blu-Ray


Knives Out

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. A tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie and a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect.

Starring Daniel Craig and Chris Evans. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


Lion

Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family.

Starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara. 2016.


Little Women

Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the story of the March sisters–four young women determined to live life on their own terms. Based on the classic novel by Louisa Alcott.

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


Mr Holmes

In 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement.

Starring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney. 2015.


The Queen of Katwe

Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Starring Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, and Lupita Nyong’o. 2016.


The Second Best Marigold Hotel

As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy–posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals–Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.

Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, and Richard Gere. 2015.


 

New DVD Arrivals

Looking for something fresh to watch? Find new motion picture DVD releases below, paired with “watch-alikes” (similar, older titles from the SPL collection), just in case the new movie is out or you want more like it!


Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Starring Scarlett Johanson. Also available in Blu-ray.

Watch-alikes: Other than pretty much any Marvel movie? Atomic Blonde (2017), Red Sparrow (2018), Kill Bill (2004)


Blithe Spirit

A writer who is struggling to finish his first screenplay inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife, and finds himself stuck between his two wives and their increasingly over-the-top attempts to outdo one another. Starring Dan Stephens.

Watch-alikes: Beetlejuice (1988), Extra Ordinary (2020), Ghostbusters (1984)


The Boss Baby Family Business

Now adults, Theodore Templeton and his estranged brother take a magical formula that transforms them into babies for 48 hours. Together, they must now go under cover to prevent an evil genius from turning fellow toddlers intro monstrous brats. Starring Alec Baldwin (voice).

Watch-alikes: Besides Boss Baby (2017), try Storks (2016), Onward (2020), The Secret Life of Pets (2016)


Censor

After viewing a strangely disturbing film, a film censor sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance. Starring Niamh Algar.

Watch-alikes: Relic (2020), Midsommar (2020), Get Out (2017)


Cruella

The story of Estella Miller, an aspiring fashion designer in 1970s London who explores the path that will lead her to become the notorious Cruella de Vil. Starring Emma Stone.

Watch-alikes: Maleficent (2014), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), 102 Dalmations (2000)


Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

In this sequel, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive, and discovering they’ve all played the game before. Starring Taylor Russell.

Watch-alikes: Besides the original Escape Room (2017), try Ready or Not (2019), Truth or Dare (2018), The Hunt (2020)


F9: The Fast Saga

In the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, Dom and the crew take on an international terrorist who happens to be his estranged brother. Starring Vin Diesel.

Watch-alikes: Besides other movies in the series, try spin-off Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Baby Driver (2017), Faster (2011), Overdrive (2017)


Free Guy

A bank teller, who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story, one he rewrites himself. Starring Ryan Reynolds. Also available in Blu-ray.

Watch-alikes: The Lego Movie (2014), Ready Player One (2018), Gamer (2010)


Green Knight

Based on the Arthurian legend, King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, embarks on a quest to prove his worth to his family and kingdom–by confronting the Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Starring Dev Patel.

Watch-alikes: Dragonslayer (1981), Labyrinth (1986),  Last Knights (2015), A Knight’s Tale (2001)


Space Jam: A New Legacy

An algorithm named Al G Rhythm captures famed basketball player LeBron James and his son Dom. Al G challenges LeBron to a basketball game against Al’s digitized champions. LeBron gets the help of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes to win the basketball game and get his son back.

Watch-alikes: Besides the original Space Jam (1996), try Detective Pikachu (2019), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mary Poppins (1964)


The Vigil

A young man agrees to fulfill the duties of a shomer, the practice of looking after a dead body over the course of one night. However, he soon finds himself opposite a malevolent entity. Starring Dave Davis.

Watch-alikes: The Possession (2012), The Nun (2018), The Lodge (2019)

More From Page to Screen

Books continue to inspire both large and small screen adaptations. Here are several added to the SPL collection during the past year.

Call of the Wild

The story of a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

Based on the classic novel by Jack London, this 2020 feature motion picture stars Harrison Ford.
Available on DVD and Blu Ray Combo.


News of the World

Five years after the Civil War, Captain Kidd moves from town to town as a storyteller. In Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna, a ten-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier. She is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.

Based on the 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles.
Available on DVD and Blu Ray Combo.


Nomadland

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

This Academy Award winning 2020 film is based on the 2017 nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder.
Available on Blu Ray only.


The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox is a prickly and unloved ten-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they suddenly die, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, where she begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her sickly cousin Colin, who has been shut away in a wing of the house. Together, these two damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other through their discovery of a wondrous secret garden.

Based on the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Available on DVD.


The Turning

Newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.

This 2020 motion picture is based on Henry James’s novella, The Turn of the Screw.
Available on DVD.


The Undoing

From writer David E. Kelley, this HBO limited series focuses on Nicole Kidman’s Grace Fraser, a successful therapist, and her devoted husband, Jonathan (Hugh Grant), and their young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. A chasm opens in Grace’s seemingly perfect life: a violent death, a missing spouse, and a chain of terrible revelations.

Based on the novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2014).
Available on DVD.


His Dark Materials

This HBO series follows Lyra Belacqua, a brave young woman from another world. Lyra’s quest to find her kidnapped friend leads her to uncover a sinister plot of a secret organization, encounter extraordinary beings and protect dangerous secrets.

Based on the beloved trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman. Seasons 1 and 2, following the arcs of the first two novels, have been released so far. A third and final season is expected, probably in 2022.
Available on DVD.


Defending Jacob

An assistant district attorney and his wife’s comfortable life is turned upside down when their son is accused of murder. Part thriller, part courtroom drama, this series explores the lengths parents will go to protect their child.

Based on the 2012 novel by William Landay, this AppleTV+ limited series stars Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery.
Available on DVD.

Blair Recommends: DVDs

Blair Recommends: DVDs

Sewickley Public Library staff member, Blair, has great recommendations! Whether it’s books she’s personally read, movies she’s watched, or rave reviews she’s noted from patrons – she collects lists of both popular and underrated materials you may have not yet checked out. We’re featuring these titles in a new series we’re calling “Blair Recommends.”  Up first: DVDs!


Foreign

Cover ImageAsh is the Purest White [2018]

In an industrial city in China, a young dancer named Qiao falls in love with a mobster named Bin. When a fight breaks out between rival gangs, Qiao uses a gun to protect Bin and is sent to prison for five years. When she is released, she seeks Qiao out to renew their relationship.

 


English Language

Cover ImageThe Public [2018]

An act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

 

 


Documentary

Cover ImageKen Burns American Lives

This collection presents seven episodes of Burns’ American Lives series, which delves into the biographies of historical figures whose accomplishments helped shape the fabric of America: Thomas Jefferson (1996), Lewis And Clark: The Journey of the Corps Of Discovery (1997), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1999), Mark Twain (2001), Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip (2003), and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson (2004).

 


Cover ImageHondros [2017]

Photojournalist, Chris Hondros, sought to reconcile peerless beauty with unfathomable atrocity, and Greg Campbell’s film follows suit. Hondros covered every major world event from behind the scenes since the late 1990s. Greg Campbell’s documentary tells the untold stories of many of Hondros’s most iconic photographs.

 


Cover ImageLast Men in Aleppo [2015]

The year is 2015. Syria’s brutal civil war has been ravaging the country since the government responded with force to civil protests during the Arab Spring in 2011. Regime, Kurdish, ISIS and rebel forces all occupy various parts of the city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria. A volunteer group called the White Helmets provides emergency services to traumatized residents in the rebel-occupied areas of the city. A crucial part of their efforts is rescuing survivors: After air attacks reduce buildings to rubble, the men of the White Helmets dig through the debris and pull survivors to safety. They are nothing short of heroes. The White Helmets are the subject of Last Men in Aleppo, the searing documentary directed by Feras Fayyad that won the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.


Cover ImageThe Nightmare [2015]

What is so striking is the similarity of the stories. People describe lying in bed, awake, unable to move. There is a tingling sensation, like static, like nerve endings shorting out from overuse. People describe a feeling that something is approaching, from behind them, or towards them. Along with that approach comes an overwhelming sense of evil. Dark amorphous shadow figures appear, somewhat human-like, leaning over the person lying in bed, appearing at the door frame. Sometimes the dark figure wears a hat. Something terrible is going to happen and the person is unable to move or to react. This is the experience commonly known as “sleep paralysis” and is the subject of Rodney Ascher’s engaging horror-film-like documentary, “The Nightmare.”

Memorial Day Movies

This Memorial Day, remember the fallen with award-winning movies that show the human cost of war.

American Sniper
The story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the struggles he suffers both as a sniper in Iraq and as a family man back at home. Based on a true story. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper. 2014


Apocalypse Now
A United States Army officer/trained assassin is sent into the depths of a southeast Asian jungle to seek out a renegade colonel and terminate his command during the Vietnam War. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; starring Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando. Available in the original 1979 version, and the extended version, Apocolypse Now Redux, released in 2001.


Courage Under Fire
When Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling is asked to review the posthumous candidacy of the first woman to receive a combat-related Medal of Honor, he finds himself plunged into an apparent cover-up surrounding the actions that led to her death. Starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. 1996.


Dunkirk
Set during the early days of World War II, the story follows the harrowing evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. Directed by Christopher Nolan; featuring Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, and Tom Hardy. 2017.


Full Metal Jacket
This film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating on a group of raw Marine volunteers, first in training and then in the field. Based on Gustav Hasford’s novel The Short Timers. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Featuring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, and Vincent D’Onofrio. 1987.


Fury
In April, 1945, as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, they face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Starring Brad Pitt and Shia Labeouf. 2014.


Glory
A fictionalized account of the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry, the first regiment of northern black soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. 1989.


MASH
The personnel of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea develop a lunatic lifestyle to cope with the military bureaucracy and the horrors of war. Based on the novel by Richard Hooker. Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, and Robert Duvall. 1970.


Memphis Belle
This fictionalized version of a true story depicts the final flight for the crew of the Memphis Belle, the first group of B-17 crewmen to fly 25 successful missions. The ensemble cast includes Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., and John Lithgow. 1990.


1917
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers are given a seemingly impossible mission to cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers. Directed by Sam Mendes; featuring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. 2019.


Platoon
The story of a naive Army recruit who faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man during the Vietnam War. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen. 1986.


Red Tails
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky, even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. 2012.


Saving Private Ryan
In the last great war, the greatest danger for eight men… was saving one. Captain John Miller must lead his men deep into enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers died in combat. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, and Matt Damon. 1998.

Mom Movies

Celebrate motherhood with these DVDs from SPL!

Bad Moms
When three overworked and underappreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long-overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self indulgence.

Featuring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate. 2016.


Show (281×400)The Blind Side
Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis’ best-seller.

Featuring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and Tim McGraw. 2009.


Freaky Friday
A single mother and her teenage daughter Anna couldn’t be more different, and it is driving them both insane. After receiving cryptic fortunes at a Chinese restaurant, the two wake up the next day to discover that they have somehow switched bodies.

Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. 2003.


The Joy Luck Club
Based on the novel by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club explores the stories of four women who were born in China and emigrated to America, as well as their often fraught relationships with their Chinese American daughters.

Featuring Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, and Ming-Na Wen. 1993.


Juno
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child in this charming comedy.

Featuring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. 2007.


Lady Bird
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mother, a nurse working tirelessly to support her family after Lady Bird’s father loses his job. Here is an affecting look at the relationships that shape use, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

Featuring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts. 2017.


Life As We Know It
When their goddaughter’s parents both perish in a tragic accident, Holly and Eric are informed that they were singled out as her caretakers in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Now, in order to raise her right, this bickering pair must put their differences aside while mastering the fine art of parenthood.

Featuring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. 2010.


Lion
Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Featuring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. 2016.


20th Century Women
The story of a teenage boy, his mother, and two other women who help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California of 1979.

Featuring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and Greta Gerwig. 2017.

2021 Oscar Nominees

Time is running out to watch the 2021 Oscar nominees before the April 25 ceremony. There are 41 feature films nominated across twenty categories, plus the shorts. To see the nominees by category, visit www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2021, or download a ballot here.

The burning question is: How can we view the nominees? Some are only available through streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, while others are available on DVD and/or Blu-Ray; some can be streamed PVOD (premium video on demand), and some are currently in theatres. See the table below for notes on where to find the feature films that are nominated.

Feature Film Nominations Availability
Another Round International Feature Film
Directing (Thomas Vinterberg)
DVD 3/30
Better Days International Feature Film DVD
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Actress in a Supporting Role (Maria Bakalova)
Adapted Screenplay
Amazon Prime
Collective Documentary Feature
International Feature Film
DVD
Crip Camp Documentary Feature Netflix
Da Five Bloods Original Score Netflix
Emma Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
DVD
Eurovision Song Contest Original Song (Husavik) Netflix
Father, The Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Hopkins)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Olivia Colman)
Adapted Screenplay
Production Design
Film Editing
In Theatres
DVD on order
PVOD 3/26
Greyhound Sound Apple TV+
Hillbilly Elegy Actress in a Supporting Role (Glenn Close)
Makeup & Hairstyling
Netflix
Judas and the Black Messiah Best Picture
Actor in a Supporting Role (Daniel Kaluuya)
Actor in a Supporting Role (LaKeith Stanfield)
Original Screenplay
Original Song “Fight for You”
Cinematography
In Theatres
DVD & Blu Ray 5/4
PVOD 4/2
Love and Monsters Visual Effects DVD
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Actor in a Leading Role (Chadwick Boseman)
Actress in a Leading Role (Viola Davis)
Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
Production Design
Netflix

 

Man Who Sold His Skin, The International Feature Film N/A
Mank Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Seyfried)
Directing (David Fincher)
Original Score
Sound
Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
Cinematography
Production Design
Netflix
Midnight Sky, The Visual Effects Netflix
Minari Best Picture
Directing (Lee Isaac Chung)
Actor in a Leading Role (Steven Yeun)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Yuh-Jung Youn)
Original Screenplay
Original Score
In Theatres
PVOD 2/26
DVD on order
Mole Agent, The Documentary Feature DVD
Mulan Costume Design
Visual Effects
DVD & Blu Ray
My Octopus Teacher Documentary Feature Netflix
News of the World Original Score
Sound
Cinematography
Production Design
DVD & Blu Ray 3/23
Nomadland Best Picture
Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand)
Directing (Chloé Zhao)
Adapted Screenplay
Cinematography
Film Editing
Hulu
In Theatres
Blu Ray 4/27
DVD N/A
One and Only Ivan, The Visual Effects Disney+
One Night in Miami Actor in a Supporting Role (Leslie Odom Jr)
Adapted Screenplay
Original Song “Speak Now”
Amazon Prime
Onward Animated Feature DVD & Blu Ray
Disney+
Over the Moon Animated Feature Netflix
Pieces of a Woman Actress in a Leading Role (Vanessa Kirby) Netflix
Pinocchio Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
DVD 3/16
Promising Young Woman Best Picture
Actress in a Leading Role (Carey Mulligan)
Directing (Emerald Fennell)
Original Screenplay (Emerald Fennell)
Film Editing
DVD & Blu-Ray
Quo Vadis, Aida International Feature Film VOD or Digital purchase
Shaun the Sheep Movie, A: Farmageddon Animated Feature Netflix
Soul Animated Feature
Original Score
Sound
DVD
Disney+
Sound of Metal Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Riz Ahmed)
Actor in a Supporting Role (Paul Raci)
Original Screenplay
Sound
Film Editing
Amazon Prime
Tenet Production Design
Visual Effects
DVD & Blu-Ray
The Life Ahead Original Song “Io Si (Seen)” Netflix
Time Documentary Feature Amazon Prime
Trial of the Chicago 7, The Best Picture
Actor in a Supporting Role (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Original Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin)
Original Song “Hear My Voice”
Cinematography
Film Editing
Netflix
United States vs Billie Holliday, The Actress in a Leading Role (Andra Day) Hulu
White Tiger, The Adapted Screenplay Netflix
Wolfwalkers Animated Feature Apple TV+
You may notice that of the Best Picture nominees, two are available only on Netflix (The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank), and another, The Sound of Metal, is available only on Amazon Prime. Don’t expect these to be released on DVD or Blu Ray until long after the ceremony.  Nomadland, on the other hand, is available for streaming on Hulu, but it’s still in theatres, and reportedly will be released on Blu-Ray two days after the ceremony. For a review of the Best Pic nominees, along with a description and where to watch, The Today Show list is a good resource.
Of course, the library has or will acquire copies of the nominated films on DVD and/or Blu Ray as they become available. Currently, the only Best Picture nominee available on DVD/Blu Ray is Promising Young Woman, although there are nominees in other categories available in those formats.
If a film availability is “DVD on order,” it means the library has preordered copies, and the release date is not yet known. Availability is as of the publication date of this post, and is subject to change.

Native American Heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month. Celebrate by exploring works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and film by indigenous American authors from the SPL collection.

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo (2019)
Check out the current Poet Laureate’s latest collection of poems, entwining reflections on her personal history with the history of her tribe.
“Rich and deeply engaging, An American Sunrise creates bridges of understanding while reminding readers to face and remember the past.”
Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post, 8/13/2019. Available in print and eaudiobook.
Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984)
Erdrich’s groundbreaking debut novel tells the interconnected stories of the Kashpaw and Lamartine families on a Chippewa reservation in Minnesota. Told from various points of view and spanning generations, it is recommended for fans of magical realism and character driven novels. Available in print only, but other titles by Erdrich are available in ebook and eaudio format from Hoopla and Overdrive.
Louise Erdrich is member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

There There by Tommy Orange (2018)
Preparing for the Big Oakland Powwow is no small feat. Orange effortlessly weaves together the distinct voices of his large cast of characters in this debut novel, illustrating both the diversity and commonality of experience of First Nations peoples through the various threads of story. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Available in print, cd audiobook, ebook, and eaudiobook.
Tommy Orange is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma.

Winter Counts by David Weiden (2020)
In this gritty thriller set on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation, Virgil Wounded Horse is paid to dispense justice when the law can, or will, not. When his teenage nephew becomes involved with drugs, the issue becomes personal, and Virgil is drawn into a battle with the cartel that supplies the reservation. Compelling characters and the authentic portrayal of native life make this more than your standard vigilante hero fare. Available in print, ebook, and eaudiobook.
David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation.

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer (2019)
This nonfiction book provides a much needed counternarrative to the standard European American view of Native American history. A finalist for The National Book Award. Available in print, ebook, and eaudiobook.
David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Also recommended: Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian, available in ebook and eaudiobook. “A deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian–White relations in North America since initial contact”–Overdrive description.

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (2017)
Alexie, who won a National Book Award for his bestselling young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, processes the complicated relationship he had with his mother in this poignant and raw memoir. Available in print, cd audiobook, Playaway, ebook, and eaudiobook.
Sherman Alexie is a A Spokane/Coeur D’Alene Indian. 

Indian Horse (Film, 2017)
Saul Indian Horse is sent to a Canadian residential school as a young boy. Despite the deprivations and abuse he endures there, he discovers ice hockey and becomes a star player. The film is based on the 2012 novel by Richard Wagamese. Available in DVD.
Richard Wagamese was an Ojibwe from the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations.

Funny Scary Movies

Like some laughter with your suspense? Some giggles with your frights? Check out these quirky horror comedies from the SPL collection.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
A slacker must man up to save his friends and family from a zombie invasion. (DVD)

Ready or Not (2019)
To fit in with her husband’s family, a new bride must first survive her wedding night. (DVD and Blu-Ray)

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Five friends in a secluded cabin. What could go wrong? (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Coraline (2009)
A girl discovers a door into an alternate existence, but will she be able to find her way back home? Based on the book by Neil Gaiman. (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Happy Death Day (2017)
A college student is doomed to relive the day of her murder until she solves the identity of her killer. (DVD) Sequel alert: Happy Death Day to You (2019) (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Get Out (2017)
When a young black man visits his white girlfriend’s family for a weekend, the meeting takes a terrifying turn. (DVD)

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Made more for laughs than frights, this film spoofs the Frankenstein story. (DVD)

What We Do In the Shadows (2015)
This mockumentary documents the “real life” of a group of modern day vampires. (DVD or stream through Hoopla)