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Oscars 2014: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

March 1, 2014 | Winona | Comments (0)

Pop your popcorn, place your bets, and call the fashion police: it's Oscar time again!

As always, several literary adaptations have been nominated for Hollywood's top prize. This year, five of the nine nominees for Best Picture are based on books, and there are books on film in many other categories. Read on for a list of some of this year's Oscar-nominated movies and the books that inspired them. You can get all these books at the library - and you can already place a hold for some of the movies too!

Which ones have you seen/read this year? Which was better, the book or the movie? Are there any great story-to-screen adaptations that you think the Academy missed? And who do you think will go home with Oscar? Let us know in the comments below!

American Hustle

The Sting Man by Robert W. GreeneAmerican Hustle posterLoosely based on the true story The Sting Man: Inside Abscam by Robert W. Greene.

Nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role; Actor in a Supporting Role; Actress in a Leading Role; Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Picture; Costume Design; Directing; Film Editing; Production Design; Writing.

Synopsis: "When small-time con man Irving Rosenfeld meets Sydney Prosser, an ambitious hustler who persuades him to up the stakes in his scams, they find themselves targeted by FBI agent Richie DiMaso. With the threat of prison looming, Irving and Sydney agree to cooperate with DiMaso in a far-reaching sting operation that will target prominent political figures."


August: Osage County

August Osage County by Tracy Letts movie tie-in August Osage County posterBased on the play August: Osage County by Tracey Letts (ebook).

Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role; Actress in a Supporting Role.

Synopsis: "A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them."


The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Book Thief posterBased on the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (audiobook | book club set | eaudiobook| ebook | talking book).

Nominated for: Music.

Synopsis: "While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents."


Captain Phillips

A Captain's Duty by Richard Phillips Captain Phillips posterBased on the true story A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy Seals, and My Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips  (eaudiobookebook | large print | movie).

Nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Picture; Film Editing; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Writing.

Synopsis: "When the freighter ship Maersk Alabama is pursued and captured by a handful of Somali pirates, Captain Richard Phillips faces off against Muse, the band's leader, in an effort to protect the lives of his crew. In an explosively dangerous situation, Phillips must strike a careful balance between strength and compliance if he and the men he is responsible for are to survive."


Dirty Wars

Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill Dirty Wars posterBased on the true story Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill (audiobook | eaudiobook | talking book | movie).

Nominated for: Documentary Feature

Synopsis: "One of the least-known components in the war on terror, the Joint Special Operations Command conducts its work in secret and seemingly without limitations. With no existing record of their actions or personnel, the JSOC carries out strikes against those deemed a threat to U.S. security while remaining entirely outside the scope of public knowledge."


Ernest & Celestine

Ernest and Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent Ernets & Celestine posterBased on the children's picture book series Ernest & Celestine written and illustrated by Gabrielle Vincent (movie - in French with English subtitles). 

Nominated for: Animated Feature Film.

Synopsis: "Beneath a village inhabited by bears lies a subterranean community of mice who steal from their ursine neighbors and particularly value their teeth. When Celestine, an orphaned mouse studying dentistry but dreaming of art, meets a sensitive, talented bear named Ernest, the interests they share lead to a bond between them that challenges the traditional enmity between their species."



The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson adapted by Ken Setterington Frozen posterInspired by the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (audiobook | ebook | other print editions).

Nominated for: Animated Feature Film; Music.

Synopsis: "Sisters Elsa and Anna enjoy an idyllic life in the enchanted kingdom ruled by their parents until Elsa's magical ability to create ice and snow around her proves a threat to those she loves. Emerging for her own coronation after several years of self-imposed isolation, Elsa flees her home in distress when her uncontrollable powers transform the kingdom into a frozen realm."


The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby posterBased on the Jazz Age classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (eaudiobooks | ebooks | large print).

Nominated for: Costume Design; Production Design.

Synopsis: "A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour."



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbitt by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit posterBased on the fantasy classic The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien (eaudiobook | ebooks | talking book | first Hobbit movie).

Nominated for: Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Visual Effects.

Synopsis: "The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring."


Iron Man 3

Iron Man Iron Man posterBased on the Marvel comic book hero Iron Man (first Iron Man movie | Iron Man 2) | Iron Man 3).

Nominated for: Visual Effects.

Synopsis: "When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution."


Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell Lone Survivor posterBased on the true story Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell (eaudiobook | ebook).

Nominated for: Sound Editing; Sound Mixing.

Synopsis: "Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare."



The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith Philomena posterBased on the true story The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith. 

Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role; Best Picture; Music; Writing.

Synopsis: "When Irishwoman Philomena Lee gave birth to her son in 1952, the boy was taken from her by the Catholic home for unwed mothers to which she had been consigned, and adopted out to a family in America. Accompanied by a former BBC correspondent in search of a human interest story, Philomena travels to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to find her now-grown child."


Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson Room on the Broom movieBased on the children's picture book Room on the Broom written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (book and CD set | movie).

Nominated for: Short Film (Animated).

Synopsis: "A genial witch and her cat are joined on their broom by several friends as they set off on an adventure."


12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup12 Years a Slave posterBased on the true story 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (eaudiobook | public domain ebooks | movie).

Nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role; Actor in a Supporting Role; Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Picture; Costume Design; Directing; Film Editing; Production Design; Writing.

Synopsis: "Solomon Northup, a free black man living with his wife and children in New York in 1841, is tricked by slave traders into traveling to Washington, D.C., where he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sent to Louisiana, he experiences the violence and degradation of life as a slave while clinging to the hope that he will someday regain his freedom."


The Voorman Problem

Number9dream by David Mitchell The Voorman Problem posterBased on the novel number9dream by David Mitchell.

Nominated for: Short Film (Live Action).

Synopsis: "A psychiatrist is called to a prison to examine an inmate named Voorman, who is convinced he is a god."


The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort The Wolf of Wall Street posterBased on the true story The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort (eaudiobook | ebook).

Nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role; Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Picture; Directing; Writing.

Synopsis: "In the heady financial world of the 1990s, stockbroker Jordan Belfort enjoys a meteoric rise as one of Wall Street's power players. Tossing aside ethics and legality, he embraces the excesses of the era and enters into a series of scams that will have far-reaching implications throughout the financial community."

Note: All film synopses are from the Oscars 2014 website, except August: Osage County, The Book Thief, Iron Man 3, and Lone Survivor, from Internet Movie Database.

Oscar statuette

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