2015 Academy Award Nominees Based on Books
There have been 86 Best Picture Oscars given out since the Academy of Motion Pictures first started awarding the statuettes in 1929. 32 of the winning movies have been based on books and, even beyond the Best Adapted Screenplay category, movies based on books usually dominate the yearly Oscar nominee list. 2015 is no exception: 4 of the 8 Best Picture nominees are based on books (American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything) and all of the Best Actor nominees were nominated for performances in films based on books.
Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of ‘American Sniper,’ based on celebrated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s autobiography, is the film with the most buzz in 2015. And the most controversy. Your opinion of the movie will most likely be influenced by your political views but Kyle’s book is an absorbing and compelling read, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum. Or, if you prefer your controversy in fiction form, check out Stephen Zwieg’s ‘Collected Stories,’ which inspired the movie ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’ Zweig, who is currently experiencing a wave of popularity after decades of obscurity, inspires passionate reactions in readers: you either love him or hate him with a vengeance. One particularly vehement critic, for example, even bemoaned Zwieg’s lack of sincerity in his suicide note.
Oscar and Literature
The first film based on a book to win a Best Picture Oscar was 1930’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ which was
based on Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war novel of the same name. The most recent Best Picture winner based on a book was 2013’s ’12 Years a Slave,’ based on Solomon Northrup’s 1853 memoir about his kidnapping and enslavement.
2 of the 3 movies with the most nominations ever (11 nominations each) are based on books: 1959’s ‘Ben Hur‘ and 2003’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ (1997’s ‘Titanic’ is the third movie with 11 Oscar nominations)
Not surprisingly, the Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay categories often feature nominees who are also authors. Woody Allen, with 16 nominations, is the author who has been nominated most frequently for Best Screenplay. Notable authors who have been nominated for adapting screenplays include Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler, Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, Lillian Hellman, James Hilton, Dashiell Hammett, Irwin Shaw, Larry McMurtry and John Irving.
The Oscars are on Sunday, February 22nd.