Books at the Movies · Special Features

And the Oscar Goes To…Part Three

Welcome, friends and fellow bookworms, to the third and final part of our series on Oscar-winning films based on books. If you haven’t had a chance to read the first two parts and would like to, click the links below:

Part One
Part Two

As always, don’t forget to leave a comment at the bottom if any of these surprised or amused you!

oscargoesto


 

 

2010s

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2011 (83rd Academy Awards) – Alice in Wonderland (2010) A favorite of literature-lovers and Johnny Depp fangirls alike, Alice in Wonderland was a major hit and brought new life to the classic world imagined by Lewis Carroll. Many claim that this film, featuring the famous Depp/Bonham-Carter/Burton Trio, perfectly portrays the zaniness of Carroll’s Wonderland. It’s no surprise that it won two of the Oscars for aesthetic design:

  • Best Achievement in Costume Design
  • Best Achievement in Art Direction

A sequel to this film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is set to release in late May 2016.

 

 

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2012 (84th Academy Awards) – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Following a Swedish adaptation of the best-seller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was adapted again for non-Swedish audiences as the novel had become a hit in the United States. There are mixed reviews for the film, especially considering the Swedish version had been released only two years before. The film did end up winning an Oscar and it seems that there is a sequel in the works, though the sequel skips the rest of the trilogy in favor for a follow-up novel, The Girl in the Spiders Web.

  • Best Achievement in Film Editing

A bit of a sad story for this one. In 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts of the Millennium Trilogy to his publisher, author Stieg Larsson passed away.  

 

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2012 (84th Academy Awards) – The Help (2011) Based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller of the same name, The Help, though (almost understandably) missing several elements of the original novel, is a fun and insightful adaptation (though I am biased because I loved both and I happened to see the movie before I read the book). It won one of the four Oscars it was nominated for:

  • Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer

Fun fact: According to IMDb, Kathryn Stockett actually made an appearance in the film. She was one of the ladies present during one of Hilly Holbrook’s meeting almost an hour into the film. Also, musical artist Katy Perry was offered a small role but had to decline as she had recently released a new album (Teenage Dream) and had too many scheduling conflicts.

 

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2012 (84th Academy Awards) – Hugo (2011) Based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo has a star-studded cast and was directed by the esteemed Martin Scorsese. It was shot in 3D and, according to IMDb, James Cameron allegedly remarked that it was the best use of 3D in a film he had seen. The film won five Oscars:

  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
  • Best Achievement in Sound Editing
  • Best Achievement in Visual Effects
  • Best Achievement in Art Direction

Author Selznick makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film.

 

 

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2013 (85th Academy Awards) – Les Miserables (2012) Quickly becoming a cult-classic, Les Miserables was a force to be reckoned with at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. It is an interesting adaptation as it is technically based on a stage play which was in turn based on French Author Victor Hugo’s 19th Century novel. It won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for:

  • Best Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway
  • Best Achievement in Makeup
  • Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

According to IMDB, Les Miserables was the first musical to receive a Best Picture nomination in a decade. In 2003, Chicago was nominated for, and won, Best Picture.

 

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2013 (85th Academy Awards) – Silver Linings Playbook (2012) An intense movie that covers topics such as family relationships, friendship, mental illness, and love, Silver Linings Playbook is based on a novel by Matthew Quick. Heartfelt, realistic, and raw, the film is a nice reminder to try to look for the good in all situations, even when it seems hopeless and impossible. The film was a major contender at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, having been nominated not only for all four acting categories, but the other three categories of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). The film won only one award:

  • Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence

This film is one of four featuring both Lawrence and costar Bradley Cooper. The other three are American Hustle, Serena, and Joy.

 

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2013 (85th Academy Awards) – Life of Pi (2012) Adapted from Yann Martel’s bestseller of the same name, Life of Pi is about a boy and a Bengal tiger, the only survivors of a tragic shipwreck, who must share a single lifeboat in order to reach safety. It is a beautiful film about survival, resourcefulness, trust, and instinct. The film on four Oscars:

  • Best Director
  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
  • Best Achievement in Visual Effects

According to IMDB, lead actor Suraj Sharma wasn’t interested in auditioning for the role of Pi. He went to auditions to support his brother and walked away with the lead role.

 

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2014 (86th Academy Awards) – The Great Gatsby (2013) The name Gatsby was once again  big name at an Oscar’s ceremony. In this newest adaptation, with Leonardo DiCaprio playing the titular role, the parties are bigger, the music is louder, and the story is more ironic and tragic than ever. Both Oscar-winning adaptations are thoroughly enjoyable versions of the same name novel. Like the original adaptation staring Robert Redford, The Great Gatsby (2014) won both of the Oscars it was nominated for:

  • Best Achievement in Costume Design
  • Best Achievement in Production Design

Some people might not realize, but there are actually FOUR film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel.  The two most famous versions are the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow and the 2013 version featuring Leo and Carey Mulligan. There is also a 1949 and a 2000 version, the latter with Mira Sorvino and Paul Rudd.

 

 

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2014 (86th Academy Awards) – 12 Years a Slave (2013) Featuring an all-star cast, 12 Years a Slave is a true story about a man named Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York, who is captured and sold into slavery before the beginning of the American Civil War. The incredible, emotional film won three Oscars:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o
  • Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay

12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture was a huge milestone for Hollywood: it is the first film directed and produced by an African-American man (Steve McQueen) to win Best Picture. It is also the first film written by an African-American (John Ridley) to win the Best Picture Oscar category.

 

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2015 (87th Academy Awards) – Still Alice (2014)

 

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2015 (87th Academy Awards) – American Sniper (2014)

 

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2015 (87th Academy Awards) – The Imitation Game (2014)

 

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2015 (87th Academy Awards) – The Theory of Everything (2014)

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2016 (88th Academy Awards) – The Big Short (2015)

 

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2016 (88th Academy Awards) – The Revenant (2015)

 

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2016 (88th Academy Awards) – Room (2015)

 

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2016 (88th Academy Awards) – The Danish Girl (2015)

6 thoughts on “And the Oscar Goes To…Part Three

  1. He problem with re-making the Great Gatsby is that Robert Redford was basically the perfect Gatsby. It’s difficult to think of anyone else portraying Gatsby better. Sometimes, it feels Hollywood remakes movies not because there is a fresh take or it is time to re-make it, but because it’s too much effort to come up with original ideas. Case in point: Footloose, The Great Gatsby. Though I admit, the latter movie did have lovely costumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand what you’re saying! I loved Redford in the 70s version!
      As for the remakes, while I agree it is a sign that Hollywood is running out of ideas sometimes, I think I’m a a good way to introduce new generations to certain stories and characters.
      I’m conflicted, as you can tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have a point. I just don’t see the point in re-making something that was great when all you can achieve is less great. If you have a fresh take, or an alternate ending, or, in the case of a movie, the perfect person to play a particular role – okay, go for it. But don’t try to cash in on other people’s sentimentality for an old film or great book by making something subpar. Often, that’s what a re-make feels like to me.

        Liked by 1 person

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