The Library Lowdown

The Elm Grove Public Library, established and supported by the citizens of Elm Grove, provides access to library facilities, resources, and services necessary to meet the informational, educational, and leisure needs of all the people in the community. It assembles, preserves, and administers an organized collection of print and non-print materials to fill those needs. It places special emphasis on stimulating interest and life-long appreciation for reading and learning among children and adults alike

Get Ready for the Oscars with these Great Books and Best Picture-Winning Films at the Elm Grove Library.

Academy Award season has arrived once again to give us temporary respite from the doldrums of winter. This Sunday’s telecast will mark the 86th year that the little gold statue has been given to honor the year’s best achievements in movies. The film industry has certainly come a long way in 86 years. The very first Best Picture winner in 1927’s “Wings,” a silent film about two World War I fighter pilot friends, both involved with the same beauty, was produced for under $2 million dollars. In 2013, the top honor went to “Argo;” with a production cost of nearly $40 million, it was actually considered a bargain. And it seems that every year, the competition gets steeper and steeper, as this year’s 9 picture race for the top prize is considered wide open at this point. To get ready for this year’s Oscars, stop by the Elm Grove Library today, and take home these and other Academy Award related books and Best Picture winning movies, all available for check out:

The Academy Awards: the complete unofficial history, by Jim Piazza and Gail Kinn

The Academy Awards : the complete unofficial history

The Academy Awards is the most popular, most comprehensive, most lavishly illustrated, and most enjoyable history of the Oscars, complete with each year's facts, highlights, and controversies and told with authority and wit. Written by film experts Jim Piazza and Gail Kinn, and beginning with the very first Academy Awards in 1927, this edition covers every aspect of every year's ceremony through the 2005 awards, including a detailed overview of the year in film and profiles of the winners in the major categories, including Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting roles, and honorary awards. A complete list of every nominee in every category is also included, as well as fascinating little-known facts about the films, the actors, and behind-the-scenes details and gossip from the night of the ceremony.

The Big Show: high times and dirty dealings backstage at the Academy Awards, by Steve Pond

The big show : high times and dirty dealings backstage at the Academy Awards

An unprecedented look at the machinations behind everyone's favorite Hollywood circus and what it reveals about the business of moviemaking. The Big Show is a chronicle of a fifteen year cycle of the Academy Awards, the most tumultuous decade in Oscar's seventy-six year history. Written by the only journalist ever given carte blanche access to the planning, production, and backstage intrigue of the Oscars, it offers an unguarded, behind-the-scenes glimpse of this singular event, along with remarkable insight into how the Oscars reflect the high-stakes politics of Hollywood, our obsession with celebrities (not to mention celebrities' obsession with themselves), and the cinematic state of the union.

Pictures at a Revolution: five movies and the birth of the new Hollywood, by Mark Harris

Pictures at a revolution : five movies and the birth of the new Hollywood

Explores the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde, and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever.

The Godfather 1972 Best Picture

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"Don" Vito Corleone is the head of a New York mafia 'family.' His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father's business. Not given a choice, the business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and benevolent to those who give respect, but gives in to ruthless violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family. An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don's influence to further his plan. A clash of old world values and the new ways will exact a terrible price, especially from Michael.

Chicago 2003 Best Picture

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At a time when crimes of passion result in celebrity headlines, nightclub sensation Velma Kelly and spotlight-seeking Roxie Hart both find themselves on Chicago's famed Murderess Row. They also share Billy Flynn, the town's slickest lawyer with a talent for turning notorious defendants into local legends. But in Chicago, there's only room for one legend!

Forrest Gump 1994 Best Picture

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The story follows the life of low I.Q. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and his meeting with the love of his life Jenny. The film chronicles his accidental experiences with some of the most important people and events in America from the late 1950's through the 1970's including a meeting with Elvis Presley, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, fighting in Vietnam, etc. The problem is, he doesn't realize the significance of his actions. Forrest comes to embody a generation.

The Sound of Music 1965 Best Picture

The sound of music

As Nazism takes over Austria, a governess and a widowed father fall in love and escape the country with his large family of musically-talented children.

Slumdog Millionaire 2008 Best Picture

Slumdog millionaire

Jamal Malik is an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" When the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up. He describes their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Every chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible questions. When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers watch to find out if he can answer the question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.

The Departed 2006 Best Picture

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In South Boston, the state police force is waging a war on Irish-American organized crime. Undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate, which is run by gangland chief Frank Costello. Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence. Colin Sullivan is a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for the syndicate. Colin is rising to a position of power within the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there's a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly thrust into danger. Afraid of being caught and exposed to the enemy, they each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself.

Amadeus 1984 Best Picture


It's 1781 and Antonio Salieri is the competent court composer to Emperor Joseph II. When Mozart arrives at court, Salieri is horrified to discover that the godlike musical gifts he desires for himself have been bestowed on a bawdy, impish jokester. Mad with envy, he plots to destroy Mozart by any means. Perhaps, even murder.

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