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The Academy Awards: Read Between the Oscars

Learn more about the 2016 nominees behind the scenes before Hollywood's big night.

The Academy Awards: Read Between the Oscars

Photo: Prayitno / Thank you for (9 millions +) views / Flickr

They’re almost here: The Oscars. That night when Hollywood’s finest strut their stuff all in the name of celebrating their craft. However, before you tune in, you may want to know more about some of the nominees than just who they’re wearing. Thankfully, we’ve put together a curated list of fantastic reads that go beyond the red carpet and into the minds of some of cinema’s most influential players.


 

85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards, by Robert Osborne

You know him as the host of Turner Classic Movies. And now he’s unleashed his exhaustive knowledge of film in massive comprehensive guide that gets updated every five years, and it is your ticket to each and every ceremony the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ever held. Walk the red carpet with Katherine Hepburn and eavesdrop on Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep. With rare photographs and original poster art for each and every best picture nominee since 1927, this is a cinephile’s dream work.

Buy it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective, by Richard Schickel

If you adore candy-loving aliens, fear the ocean, and believe dinosaurs can be spawned from ancient mosquitoes hardened in blocks of sap, then you, too, have been worshiping at the church of Spielberg. A legendary icon whose talents know no bounds, Steven Spielberg is one of the world’s most recognized and respected filmmakers. So it’s no surprise his latest contribution to the industry, Bridge of Spies, is up for Best Picture. Get to know the man behind the friendly expression in film critic Richard Schickel’s ultimate retrospective.

Buy it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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The Art of Mad Max, by Abbie Bernstein

If you’re like us, you went balls to the mother-you-what walls last spring as Mad Max: Fury Road steamrolled across the big screen like a bat outta hell. Then did it again when George Miller and his film were nominated for Oscars. Well, don’t you think your coffee table would also enjoy such a rush? Stacked with exquisite film-set porn and concept artwork that will send even the biggest action-film haters into a tizzy, Abbie Bernstein’s behind-the-scene companion piece to the film is a must-have for anyone who calls oneself a movie buff.

Buy it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott, by Adam Barkman

It’s right there in his name: He’s a riddle. Case in point: His work spans the gamut of epic displays of females kicking serious tail (Thelma & Louise, Alien) to male-dominated dramas war dramas (Black Hawk Down). And now with The Martian, which is nominated for Best Picture, no less, he can go ahead and add the Mars mission to his repertoire. So do yourself a favor and unlock Scott’s gazillion years of genius with Adam Barkman’s essay-driven masterpiece.

Download on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Alejandro González Iñárritu, by Celestino Deleyto and Maria del Mar Azcona

As eccentric as the aberrant characters he directs, Alejandro González Iñárritu is the anomaly behind much of the forward-thinking cinema gracing the screens today. Think Birdman, 21 Grams, and, of course, his latest The Revenant. Fresh off a 2015 win for Best Picture, the director is again nominated for his work behind the lens, along with Best Picture and Best Actor noms for his film. And, thankfully, writing duo Celestino Deleyto and Maria del Mar Azcona have crafted a brief, albeit extensive, peek into the mind of one of today’s bravest trailblazers.

Download on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Tom Hardy: Dark Star Rising, by James Haydock

Though we feel British bad boy Tom Hardy was severely overlooked when it came to his twinning performance in mob flick Legend, we’ll go ahead and get on board for a supporting actor nom for The Revenant. One—if not, the—hottest properties working in Hollywood today, Hardy is the star of James Haydock’s biography, which covers the actor’s path from modeling to drama class to star—and every drug overdose and rebellious act along the way.

Download on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

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Creativity, Inc., by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Dubbed the best book about business by Forbes, Creativity, Inc. maps the success of a little company founded by Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter: Pixar Animation Studios. Fans of heartstring tuggers including Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and this year’s best animated feature nominee (and most likely winner) Inside Out can finally see where, how, and why their beloved creatures are spawned. Part how-to for biz wigs, part homage to the co.’s nearly 20 years of animation domination, Creativity, Inc. is your first-class ticket to the actual happiest place on earth.

Download on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

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