Wow! The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were recently announced and there are some strong contenders based on books or with major book connections. This isn’t really surprising since there are tons of great movies out there that began life as novels or short stories or plays. I’m sure you could name a small raft of them right off the top of your head. When I think of the book-big screen connection, a number of films spring to mind.
There’s Gone with the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel. And Exodus, drawn from another epic novel of the same name by Leon Uris. There’s To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. The list goes on and on.
When February 24 rolls around, It ill be fun to see if any of this year’s bookish nominees snag an Oscar. Major bookish contenders:
BlacKkKlansman, based on Ron Stallworth’s memoir Black Klansman: Best picture; director (Spike Lee); supporting actor (Adam Driver); adapted screenplay (Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee)
Black Panther, based on the Marvel comic book character: Best picture
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, based on Lee Israel’s memoir: Actress (Melissa McCarthy); supporting actor (Richard E. Grant); adapted screenplay (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin: Supporting actress (Regina King); adapted screenplay (Barry Jenkins)
The Wife, adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s novel: Actress (Glenn Close)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, based on a Marvel comic book hero: animated feature
It’s great to know that a wonderful novel or story can be given new life as a film, isn’t it? While some screen adaptions seem to fall flat, in the hands of an gifted director and cast, there are also some films that actually reveal exciting new layers of character and plot. But in the end, it all comes down to a good story well told, doesn’t it? So why not grab some popcorn and be inspired? And why not think of those bookish movies that really grabbed your heart and ponder exactly how they did it. Write on!