At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Brush up for the Oscars with free movies | Guest Columns

With less than two weeks until the Oscars, it’s high time to catch up on watching this year’s nominated movies. For years now, the number of films that are available on streaming services has been steadily increasing. While this is great news for some, it’s also limiting for those who can’t (or don’t wish to) pay for multiple subscriptions to view the films. The good news is, we have quite a few current nominees AND past winners here at the library.

Let’s start with the ones that are available through our consortium. “Belfast”, a coming-of-age film about a boy growing up in Northern Ireland in 1969, has been nominated for seven awards. Another popular drama is “Spencer,” a largely fictionalized look at the life of Princess Diana, starring Kristen Stewart. There are a number of biographical dramas up for awards this year, including “King Richard,” about Venus and Serena Williams’ father/coach; “House of Gucci,” starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver as members of the Gucci dynasty, and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” in which Jessica Chastain gives a memorable performance as Tammy Faye Bakker. Andrew Garfield stars alongside her, though he was nominated for a different film: “Tick, Tick, Boom,” which is unfortunately not available on DVD.

For family-friendly films, you may like “Encanto” (we don’t talk about Bruno, though), “Luca,” “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Older kids will definitely enjoy “Dune” — starring Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with Tom Holland and Zendaya, and perhaps “West Side Story” with Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler.

“Being the Ricardos” received three nominations (best actress, actor, and supporting actor); While we don’t have the movie, you can check out the cast in a number of other award-winning films. Javier Bardem won for “No Country for Old Men” (2007), JK Simmons won Best Supporting Actor for “Whiplash” (2014) and the great Nicole Kidman has numerous nominations, including “Moulin Rouge”(2001), “Lion” ( 2016), and “The Hours” (2002). You can find all of these in our Media Room!

If you need a break from movies, a few of the nominees are based on books. “The Power of the Dog,” which is up for seven awards and sure to win at least a few, was based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her acting and writing debut with “The Lost Daughter,” which was adapted from the book by Elena Ferrante. Unsurprisingly, we also have “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, which inspired “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” starring Denzel Washington. We have so many other award-winning TV shows and movies, so feel free to ask us for recommendations while you’re here!

Finally, on March 21 at 6 pm, we’re very excited to bring back our Monday Movie Night in the auditorium. Join us for a free screening of a very popular Oscar-nominated film starring Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench and Jamie Dornan. Head to our website,, for the full details!

Top requested books

1. “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

2. “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley

3. “The Maid” by Nita Prose

4. “Wish You Were Here” by Jodi Picoult

5. “One Step Too Far” by Lisa Gardner

6. “Run Rose Run” by James Patterson

7. “The Match” by Harlan Coben

8. “The Recovery Agent” by Janet Evanovich

9. “22 Seconds” by James Patterson

10. “Dream Town” by David Baldacci

Top requested DVDs

1. “Belfast”

2. “House of Gucci”

3. “All Creatures Great and Small: Season 2”

4. “The Beatles: Get Back”

5. “Sing 2”

6. “Matrix Resurrections”

7. “Nightmare Alley”

8. “West Side Story”

9. “The 355”

10. “Charm”

this week

TUESDAY — 10-10:30 am, Family Storytime – Join us on Tuesdays in the Terrace Room for a family storytime! The program will be geared towards ages birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver; 1-2 pm, Virtual Afternoon Book Discussion – New members are welcome! This month, we will meet on Zoom to discuss “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. Email Caroline at for meeting details; 1-4 pm, Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Contact her at; 2-3:30 pm, Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5:30-7:30 pm, Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting on the 2nd floor of the library. Masks are highly recommended; 6-7:30 pm, Dante Society Lecture | Sicily: A Mosaic of Cultures – Please join us for a presentation and discussion on Sicily with the Dante Society of Westerly! The lecture will take place in the library’s Auditorium on the second floor.

WEDNESDAY — 2-3:30 pm, Virtual Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our April meeting. Contact Hannah at for meeting details; 6-7 pm, Community Book Discussion | The Sum of Us – Join the Westerly Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) and Westerly Library & Wilcox Park on Zoom as we discuss “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee. Copies of the book will be on hold at the circulation desk. Register at; 6-7 pm, Virtual Cookbook Club: Dine and Discuss – We’ll be preparing and (virtually) sharing recipes from “Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love” by Ottolenghi Test Kitchen. Contact to register.

THURSDAY — 5:30-6:30 pm, Zumba in the Park and Library | Turn It Up and Tone – Please join us for Zumba with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi

SATURDAY — 10:30-11:30 am, Zumba in the Park and Library – Try out Zumba for a fun workout! Classes are FREE and will be held on the grassy area near the gazebo (weather permitting) or in the 3rd floor Terrace Room (in undesirable weather).

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.


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