Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oscar Nominees – Read the Book

Six of the nine nominations in this year’s Best Picture category at the 84th Academy Awards are based on books. Three recent winners of the Best Picture Award have also been adaptations from books – No Country for Old Men in 2008, Slumdog Millionaire (Q & A) in 2009 and The King’s Speech in 2011. Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is based on the children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo. It is about a young boy who enlists in the British Army to find his horse that has been sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Another Oscar nominated film based on a children’s book is Martin Scorsese’s Hugo - an adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Hugo is the story of a 12-year-old orphan who lives in a Paris railway station and a mystery involving his late father and a robot. Moneyball is an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to assemble a competitive team. Beane is played by Brad Pitt in this film based on the book Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings tells the story of a land baron’s attempts to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident. George Clooney plays the lead role in the film of the same name. The book The Help by Kathryn Stockett has been a huge word-of-mouth success since its publication in 2009. The book is about an aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s who decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. On its American release back in August 2011, the film of The Help took an impressive $166 million at the box office. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer was first published in 2005. The film of the same name, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, tells the story of a nine-year-old who searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center.

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