The Books of Oscars 2017

It’s Oscars Weekend! Whether you tune into this awards night religiously every year or simply see the highlights on the internet the next morning, it’s THE biggest event of the year in the movie industry. Other than seeing the A-listers, what they are wearing and of course, the opening monologue, what I’m usually most excited about is to see which movie adaptations of books made the cut.

For the 89th Academy Awards, 5 movies out of the 9 nominatees for Best Picture are adapted screenplays. You know what they say…never judge a book by its movie but sometimes, they actually get it right.

“Stories of Your Life” by Ted Chiang (Arrival)

When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team, lead by expert linguist Louise Banks, is brought together to investigate. As mankind is on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. To find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

“Fences” by August Wilson (Fences)

Fences is the story of Troy Maxson, a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures)

A group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” helped launch rockets, and astronauts, into space in the 1960s. This book tells the true stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. These four African-American women lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and still, their work changed the face of NASA.

“A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley (Lion)

Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

“Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

An unpublished semi-autobiographical play, Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, better known as Moonlight, “presents three stages in the life of the main character, Chiron. It explores the difficulties he faces with his own sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he receives as a result of it.

Many other movies based on books were also nominated but under different categories:

Actor in a supporting role
Tony and Susan by Austin Wright (Nocturnal Animals)

Actress in a leading role
Oh…by Philippe Djian (Elle)

Animated featured film
Autobiographie d’une Courgette by Gilles Paris (My Life as a Courgette)

Silence by Shūsaku Endō (Silence)

Costume design and Production design
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them (J.K. Rowling)

Foreign language film
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Short film (animated)
Blind Vaysha by Georgi Gospodinov

Sound editing and Visual effects
Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours by David Barstow, David Rohde and Stephanie Saul (Deepwater Horizon)

Sound editing
Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow (Sully)

Sound mixing
13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff (13 hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi)

Visual effects
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)


What do you think about this year’s nominated books-to-movies?




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