Woman in Gold

April 25, 2016

Media Item of the Month:

Woman in Gold

The film tells the true story of an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), who is attempting911eeNX03ZL._SL1500_ to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family during the Nazi occupation.

The film opens in the late 1990s, when Austria was under pressure to examine its Nazi past, with Maria realizing she might have the opportunity to get back a painting commissioned by her uncle of her aunt and stolen from the family by the fascist regime. The painting, “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” or “Woman in Gold”, by world-famous Gustav Klimt is an elaborate and elegant portrait considered “the Mona Lisa of Austria”, and one the country will not be quick to relinquish.

Maria enlists the help of a friend’s son, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a young attorney, whose family also has Judeo-Austrian ancestry. Together the duo over the course of several years take on the Austrian government in a legal battle that takes them as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mirren is superb and Reynolds surprisingly impressive as the plucky couple. Their chemistry is magic to watch as the tale unfolds.

The film includes not only courtroom battles, but also flashbacks to Maria’s youth and her flight from Austria. There is never a dull moment, and if you’re a fan of Klimt or interested in World War II history, you’ll find it especially entertaining.

Review written by Rebecca H.

Go Set a Watchman

January 21, 2016

Media Item of the Month:

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Harper Lee is most known for her Pulitzer Prize winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 61lFywIUwzL._AA300_2015, Lee published a new novel called Go Set a Watchman.

Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman in the mid-1950s but did not publish it until recently. Go Set a Watchman tells the story of 26 year old Jean Louise Finch (more commonly known as Scout) when she returns to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father. In the book, Jean Louise learns some hard truths about her family & friends and she must learn to face a transforming South.

Go Set a Watchman is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, and humor. Although it was written in the 1950s, many of the lessons of the book are still relevant today.

Go Set a Watchman is available as an audiobook in our Media Center.


All the Light We Cannot See

November 19, 2015

Media Item of the Month:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural 9781442369375History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

All the Light We Cannot See is available for checkout on audiobook in the Media Center on the 2nd Floor. We also have the book in print in our Leisure Reading section. It is the winter of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.


Wild (DVD)

October 23, 2015

The movie Wild featuring Reese Witherspoon tells the real-life story of Cheryl Strayed. In her early 20swild-dvd-cover-03, Cheryl (played by Witherspoon) is leading a life of self-destruction. She is doing drugs and having sex with random men to cope with the loss of her mother.

With nothing to lose, Cheryl makes a rash decision to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. She decides to do this on her own without any training or experience.

Wild is a story of self-healing, strength, and rediscovery. This movie will take you on an emotional roller coaster and leave a lasting impression.

Wild is available for checkout on DVD at the VC/UHV Library Media Center on the 2nd Floor.

Fahrenheit 451

October 8, 2015

Media Item of the Month – Fahrenheit 451

{3EB3B77B-F12F-45C8-88ED-2469D0050C99}Img100Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

The VC/UHV Library has Fahrenheit 451 available on audiobook. You’ll find in on the 2nd Floor in our Media Center.

And if you are looking for some great entertainment, check out the movie Fahrenheit 451. It is a film from 1966 (complete with 1966 special effects) staring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, and Cyril Cusack. The movie is also in our Media Center.

Fury (DVD)

August 25, 2015

Media Item of the Month: Fury (DVD)

fury In the spring of 1945, the Allied forces began their final drive towards Germany. Fury follows a crew of six men and their Sherman tank. The crew is commanded by an Army sergeant named Wardaddy played by Brad Pitt.

Wardaddy and his crew have been together since the North Africa Campaign. Together, they’ve been through thick and thin. One member of the tight-knit crew was killed in the last battle so the Army sends Wardaddy a replacement and Wardaddy is less than impressed.

The new tank crewman, Norman Ellison, has only been in the Army eight weeks and was trained as a typist. He doesn’t fit in so the tank crew harasses Norman as he adjusts to life on the battlefield.

Fury is full of triumphs and sadness. It will make you think about the roller coaster of emotions faced by soldiers during war.

Fury is available for checkout at the VC/UHV Library. You’ll find it in the Feature Film collection on the 2nd Floor.

Gone Girl

June 19, 2015

Media Item of the Month: Gone Girl [DVD]

gone-girl-dvd-cover-21In Carthage, MO, former New York-based writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his glamorous wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) present a portrait of a blissful marriage to the public. When Amy goes missing on the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.The resulting police pressure and media frenzy cause the Dunnes’ image of a happy union to crumble, leading to tantalizing questions about who Nick and Amy truly are.

This movie exceeds brilliance that provides tightly styled entertainment that will not disappoint and keep you on your feet. If you are looking for a good movie for those Saturday nights, Gone Girl is the choice for you.

Gone Girl is available for checkout at the VC/UHV Library. You’ll find it in the Feature Film DVD’s on the 2nd Floor.