The Oscar nominations were announced this week and, as a bibliophile and movie lover, I was excited to learn how many of the best picture nominations were based on books! Hugo, War Horse, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Help, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close were all based on best sellers and popular reads. Explore three of my favourite movie contenders and their accompanying books, all of which can be found in our library:
War Horse by Walter Morpurgo
War Horse created quite a splash on the stage and won six Tony awards, including best play and best scenic display for the recreation of the western front during World War I. In 1914, Joey, a young farm horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him. War Horse, the movie directed by Steven Spielberg, is up for six Oscars, including best picture.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help was a best seller in 2010 and only increased in popularity with the release of a movie based on the book. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early to mid 1960s, the story follows Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan as she searches for a publication-worthy project. She interviews two African American maids about their relationships with their employers. Their personal stories of raising white peoples' children, though living in poverty and unable to raise their own children, highlight many social problems. Dangerously violating integration laws, the women collaborate on a book that breaks new ground. The Help is up for four Oscars, including best picture.
Moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game by Michael Lewis
Moneyball was a bestseller almost a decade ago, but clearly interest in both the book and the game has not diminished. The book explains how Billy Beane, general manager of baseball's Oakland Athletics, came in first place in the American League West in 2002. The novel examines Beane's use of computers, statistics, and scouting to achieve success despite a minor league budget. The movie is up for six Oscars including best picture and a best actor in a leading role for Brad Pitt.