Friday, February 24, 2012

Reading the Oscars

It's that time of year again: the time of year when I get excited about the Oscars! They happen on Sunday, February 26th and if you are anything like me, you'll be sitting in front of the television with a wide variety of snacks ready for all the excitement.

As a blog about reading, the Oscars might not seem like the most relevant topic, except that as any film and/or book buff knows, a lot of the most talked about films these days are based on books. This year is no exception: so in time for the Oscars, here's a look at some book related films for which you might want to cheer.

The obvious place to look for book related content in the Oscar nominees, is in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay: although not exclusively, many of these are based on books. This year's batch of nominees based on books are:

The Descendants. (M) Based on the first novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. From the publisher: "Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state’s largest landowners. Matthew King’s daughters—Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old recovering drug addict—are out of control, and their charismatic, thrill-seeking mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident." Publisher's Weekly called it "sharply observed, frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking."

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. (M) Likely needs little introduction, the story is well known already both through a previous adaptation and because of the book by master spy-novelist John le Carré.

Hugo: Martin Scorsese is probably not the first name you think of when you think family-friendly film. He is the director of such classic films as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and the one he (finally) won Best Director for, The Departed. Scorsese has scored a hit this year with a film based on Brian Selznick's Caldecott Award winning children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (M), about a boy who lives in a train station in 1930s Paris.

Moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game (M), by Michael Lewis. Sports and math? Would would have thought that combo would have not only made a successful book but also a success film.?

The other remaining nominee in this category, The Ides of March is based on Farragut North, a play by Beau Willimon.

Adaptations aren't exclusively found in the The Best Adapted Screenplay category this year, several Best Picture nominees are also adaptations, including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (M) (based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer), The Help (M) (based on the book by Kathryn Stockett) ), and War Horse (M) (based on the children's book by Michael Morpurgo).

1 comment:

  1. I saw "Moneyball" the other night and thought it was a pretty good movie, but I'm definitely pulling for "The Descendants." I just think the author of the book is a doll and the cast was phenomenal! Not to discredit Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt, but they're completely different types of movies.

    I think it's seriously awesome how "human" Kaui (author of "The Descendants") seems. Seeing her in interviews and everything, she just appears to be so grateful for such an incredible opportunity and almost startled by her own accomplishments! I saw this interview the other day and thought it was adorable that she couldn't even recall the designer she was wearing at the Writer's Guild Awards. America could learn a lot more from a woman like this as opposed to the majority of people we see on Reality TV!