Hooked on Books
Hollywood has been doing book-to-film adaptations for nearly a century. There have been hundreds of books turned into movies, including the popular Harry Potter series, and the award-winning The Lord of the Rings series. Many readers are staunch believers that the book is always better, and sometimes movie goers aren’t aware of the hoopla surrounding movies based on books. Most of the time, I prefer the pictures my mind conjures when reading a book and so I’ll go out of my way to ignore film adaptations of popular books. Other times, I love how a movie based on a book can be consumed in just a few hours and how costumes and accents are brought to life in ways that I just couldn’t imagine. Several of the 2023 Oscar nominated films have their roots in literature.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Based on the powerful anti-war novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German WWI veteran, this German adaptation was nominated for nine awards and won Best International Feature Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design. This is the third adaptation of the 1929 book. The 1930 movie version was the first Best Picture winner to be based on a novel. And a 1979 TV film starred Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.
The 2018 novel behind Sarah Polley’s Best Picture-nominated film was inspired by the true story of a Mennonite colony where a group of men were accused of drugging and raping the community’s women and girls. The pensive story by Miriam Toews depicts the conversations of a group of the affected women who are discussing what to do about the situation. The film won Best Adapted Screenplay.
Directed and cowritten by Baz Luhrmann, this biopic starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks could be inspired by Alanna Nash’s 2001 nonfiction book, The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley, chronicling the life of Elvis Presley’s notorious manager. The film was nominated for eight awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Cinematography.
Ana de Armas is nominated for Best Actress for her performance in this film based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates that boldly reimagines the life of Marilyn Monroe. It’s a provocative account based on a heady mix of Hollywood myth and heartbreaking reality.
The Quiet Girl
Claire Keegan’s radiant novel, Foster, inspired this Irish film, nominated for Best International Feature Film. It tells the story of a young girl sent by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when, or if, she will ever return. But in this new household, she finds an affection and warmth she’s never known.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The sequel to 2018’s Black Panther won Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Angela Bassett), Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Song, and Visual Effects. Bassett’s nod made history as she is the first woman and the first POC to be nominated for a performance in a comic book adaptation. The Black Panther franchise stands as an icon of Afrofuturism.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Fittingly nominated for Best Costume Design, this is the third adaptation of the lighthearted 1958 novel by Paul Gallico about an irrepressible British cleaning woman on a quest for couture.
You can pick up related reads and a handful of the nominated movies at your local branch of the Lennox and Addington Libraries or search our catalog at www.countylibrary.ca.