Monday, February 28, 2011

And the Oscar Goes to...

Oscar Night.

For some a dream come true. For others just an "honour to be nominated." For me, just an excuse to sit at home watching TV critiquing and gushing about the talented (Natalie Portman) and not so talented (Gwen Paltrow), the handsome (Javier Bardem) and not so handsome (Justin Timberlake - Sorry, ladies. I just don't get it), and great (Anne Hathaway) and significantly less great (James Franco - I wanted to enjoy him, but he just seemed so bored).

But, whether you watched for the glamour, the celebrities, the fashion, or the pure love of movies, with 10 Best Picture nominees it was clear to see that it was a good year for movies.  And I would argue, with 4 of those nominees being adapted from books, I'd say a good year for books, too! (That's 40%... Or nearly half. Commence being shocked by my math skills. Impressive, I know).

Today I have just a brief hommage to those books.

The movie: 127 Hours starring James Franco
Based on the novel: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
This novel first gets my vote based on the hilariously appropriate title given the subject matter. I have no intentions of spoiling any of these stories, so I'll just say that it's the incredible true story of a man who gets himself trapped while hiking in a remote area, and the lengths he went through to get himself home.

The movie: True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld
Based on the novel: True Grit by Charles Portis
Given the fact that the first movie remake of this 1968 novel won John Wayne the Lead Actor Oscar in 1970, it was hardly shocking to see it receive so many nominations this year. (Though it turned out 0 winners).  The story stayed the same.  A young girl witnesses the shooting of her father and sets out to avenge his death.

The movie: The Social Network starring Jesse Eisenburg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake (etc.)
Based on the novel: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
If you don't know what Facebook is I'm either going to assume you haven't left your house or turned on a computer, TV, or radio in the last 4 years or so. (I'll also wonder how you ever found this blog). Regardless, the novel and movie tell "the high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook." (quote from

The movie: Winter's Bone starring Jennifer Lawrence
Based on the novel: Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
This was one of the few movies nominated this year that I had not heard of prior to award season, but after some "research" it certainly sounds like an amazing read.  It is the story of struggle, poverty, drug addiction, and depression, as a young girl must track down her father (who has skipped bail) in order to keep her home and family together.

Honourable Mentions go out to the likes of Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, both of which received nominations in other categories and are also obviously based on books.

So, if you're looking for something good to read, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science clearly recommends those above mention stories.  I would think it's safe to say all would be enjoyable!

I can't wait to see what award winning adaptations come our way this movie season...

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