February 10, 2016
Come February 28, many of Hollywood’s finest will gather to hand out golden statuette after golden statuette at the 88th Academy Awards. It's not uncommon for Oscar-nominated films to be based on or inspired by books and this year’s nominees are no different. Eight films based on novels are nominated for this year's ceremony with a total of 43 nominations among them, including several Best Picture nods.
If you haven’t seen all (or any) of these nominated films you can still get a taste of what they’re like by reading the books they’re based on (it’s always best to read the book BEFORE you see the movie, right?). The Marathon County Public Library and its branches have copies of each of the nominated titles listed below. To reserve a copy, simply click on the title.
"The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" by Michael Lewis – Author Lewis examines the causes of the U.S. stock market crash of 2008 and its relation to overpriced real estate, bad mortgages, shareholder demand for excessive profits, and the growth of toxic derivatives in this non-fiction book. The film version is nominated for such awards as Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Christian Bale.
"Brooklyn: A Novel" by Colm Tóibín – Set in both Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, a young Irish woman, Eilis, crosses the Atlantic to make a new life for herself and becomes torn between love in America and her family back in Ireland. Brooklyn’s film adaptation is nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress in a Leading Role for star Saoirse Ronan.
"The Danish Girl: A Novel" by David Ebershoff – Written in 2000, “The Danish Girl” tells the tale of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery after realizing she is transgender. Actor Eddie Redmayne and actress Alicia Vikander, who star as Elbe and her wife Gerda, are nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively.
"The Martian: A Novel" by Andy Weir – Andy Weir’s book focuses on astronaut Mark Watney, who is accidentally left stranded on the surface of Mars after a dust storm forces his team to vacate the planet. Watney must use his science and engineering skills to survive on the planet until another space mission can return to rescue him. In addition to Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nods, star Matt Damon is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
"The Price of Salt" or "Carol" by Patricia Highsmith – Originally published in the 1950s, “The Price of Salt” (also known as “Carol”) follows two lonely women who meet and develop a passionate romance in a time when such a relationship was taboo. The film is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress in a Leading role for Cate Blanchett (who plays the titular character) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Rooney Mara.
"The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge" by Michael Punke – In this story of survival, Hugh Glass is an expert trapper and frontiersman. After being viciously mauled by a massive grizzly bear and abandoned and left for dead by his fellow trappers, Hugh is pushed to survive by one thing --revenge. “The Revenant” has 12 nominations – more than any other film this year – including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Leonardo DiCaprio (who plays Glass) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Tom Hardy.
"Room" by Emma Donoghue – In Donaghue’s 2010 novel, five year-old Jack lives in a small 11x11 room with his mother, Ma, and has never been outside the room’s walls. As he grows older, Jack learns Ma has been held prisoner there for the past several years and that there is a whole world beyond the room. Star Brie Larson is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, while “Room” is also up for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson – Isaacson’s biography of Apple CEO and visionary Steve Jobs is the basis for the biopic of the same name, starring Michael Fassbender, who is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for portraying Jobs. Kate Winslet is also nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.