Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get to Know the 11 Oscar Nominees Adapted from Books

I'm sorry to say that this year I'm not going to be able to watch the entire Academy Awards show. I love watching but will probably get home about halfway through the airing. I suppose I'll still make it in time for all the good stuff though. ;) Like the best picture nominees, two-thirds of which are book adaptations. (And we know how much I love adaptations!)

The Huffington Post day gives us a recap of the 11--that's right, ELEVEN--nominees based on books. I'm not sure why I didn't see this article until today, less than a week before Oscar night, but what can ya do:

HUGO based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Who knew Scorcese has such a sweet spot for kiddie lit? The director of "Hugo" thanked author Brian Selznick--the man behind the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book that inspired the film--in his Golden Globe acceptance speech. Selznick's source material is the stuff of magic, incorporating illustrations to help tell the tale of an orphan boy on the adventure of a lifetime.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

While the film version may have brought in lackluster numbers at the box office, the novel and its two sequels are still hovering on bestseller lists. Rooney Mara's performance was a stunner, but there's something about reading the trials of Lisbeth Salander that will keep you awake long after you've finished the trilogy.

THE HELP based on The Help by Kathryn Stockett

We were wowed by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain (all nominated for their stellar performances) in "The Help," and the Academy agreed. If your book club hasn't already picked up this bestseller, make it your February pick.

THE DESCENDANTS based on The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The movie version of this book might make you wonder who in their right mind would ever cheat on George Clooney, a nominee (and Golden Globe winner) for Best Actor. The book version will push you head first into the complexities of marriage and parenthood, life and death, and leave you wondering if there is such a thing as true paradise.

MONEYBALL based on Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis's 2003 bestseller about Billy Beane revolutionizing how baseball clubs are built has been praised by sports fans and novices alike. Plus, this film scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (for Brad Pitt) and Best Supporting Actor (for Jonah Hill). As we near tail end of the football season, it's a good time to pick this one up--pitchers and catchers isn't that far off!

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN based on My Week With Marilyn by Colin Clark

A young Colin Clark served as assistant director on "The Prince and the Showgirl," a film that saw bombshell Marilyn Monroe (played by nominated actress Michelle Williams) act alongside Sir Laurence Olivier (portrayed by nominated actor Kenneth Branagh). What Clark least expected was to get the chance to see the woman behind the sex symbol. Lucky for us he wrote down his experiences with the screen legend in two diaries, which were eventually published as a book.

THE IRON LADY based on The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer's Daughter to Prime Minister by John Campbell

Two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep landed her 17th nomination for her portrayal of the Britain's first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. This film is not without controversy: Author John Campbell, who wrote the biography on which the movie was based, has openly criticized it for inaccuracy. The book is worth the read for the history, and to help you spot the embellishments on screen.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE based on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oscar heavyweight Tom Hanks plays a father (married to Oscar winner Sandra Bullock) killed on 9/11. This Best Picture nominee has received mixed reviews but the book, which is narrated by the 9-year-old son Hanks's character has left behind, shows how the human spirit is able to connect in times of tragedy.

ALBERT NOBBS based on Albert Nobbs: A Novella by George Moore
Glenn Close secured a nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of a waiter in 19th-century Dublin with a very big secret. Clocking in at a little over 100 pages, this is an easy read to fit in before you head to the movie theater.

TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY based on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

Gary Oldman scored his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of British intelligence agent George Smiley. The definitive Cold War espionage novel, which is the first in a trilogy, was originally published in 1974, and had been previously adapted for both radio and television.

WAR HORSE based on War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

The successful stage production and Steven Spielberg's nominated movie adaptation are both based off of Morpurgo's children's novel, set against World War I. While this film nods to classics like "Black Beauty" and "National Velvet," it goes to darker places before reaching its bittersweet finale.

See the original post--with trailers!!--HERE

I haven't seen all of these adaptations, though I wanted to. But, of the ones I did see, I'd have to say that THE DESCENDANTS and EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE are tied for my favorite.

What about you? What's your favorite Oscar-nominated adaptation?

1 comment:

  1. If we're going with just big-category nominees this list is complete, but let's not forget that Deathly Hallows part 2 is nominated for makeup or costuming or some other piddly category.

    My favorite adaptation, that I know of, would have to be Lord of the Rings. Sorry, I went there. On this list, for this year, The Help even if I've never read the book.