By Courtney Willis
"The book was better" is something I’ve both heard and said when coming out of a dark theater after seeing a book-to-movie adaptation. It's been highly debated among book reviewers and movie critics alike for years. Although both mediums have their perks, the Oscars seem to have a soft spot for films based on books. This year alone there are 9 movies made from books with Oscar nods, which is higher than the usual 5-7. I haven't read any of them yet, but I loved The Martian and I'm super stoked to see Brooklyn. Maybe I'll read the book first!
That being said, it’s safe to say the list of Oscar movies I haven't seen is longer than the list of Oscar movies I have seen (I'm much more of a book aficionado than an active movie goer). But in doing some research before this upcoming Academy Awards, I was pleasantly surprised by how many of them I had seen and actually enjoyed. Here's a list of my few favorites:
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
8 nods and 3 wins
This was my favorite book to study in school, and this classic black and white film was a joy to watch alongside my studies. Atticus and Scout are fantastic characters, and portrayed beautifully by their actors. Judging the difference between right and wrong, and seeing innocence through the eyes of a child is flawlessly presented on screen
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Book: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
9 nods and 5 wins
As a writer of books myself, what won me over was the relationship between the sparring main characters, and how well they played against each other - the stakes kept getting higher. Not to mention the fantastic supporting characters, and how well they were developed by the final climactic scenes.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Book: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
7 nods and 1 win
I’ve been reading Jane Austen for more than half my life, so to say I’m an avid fan is an understatement. I remember falling in love with this story as a teen, and then seeing it come to life before my eyes thanks to gems such as Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant. But there will never be another charming and reserved Colonel Brandon. For me, it will be Alan Rickman. Always.
The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
Book: The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien
30 nods and 17 wins
Note: these books are still on my TBR (I know, I’m always late to the party). However, I have fond memories of going to see the films as they were released every year on Christmas Day. The acting, the story, the cinematography: these movies had everything going for them, but especially the music. It’s still magical for me to this day.
The Blind Side (2009)
Book: The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game by Michael Lewis
2 nods and 1 win
Not only was Sandra Bullock's win well deserved, but this was a fantastic (and true!) story of overcoming history and writing one's own future. With the right mind set and support system, we can each do hard things. A great lesson for us to learn!
Big Hero 6 (2015)
Graphic Novel: Big Hero 6 by Marvel Comics
1 nod and 1 win
Originally a comic book, Big Hero 6 brought Disney and Marvel together again, and created a movie for kids with some heavy themes and lots of heart. I only recently saw this movie (like I said, always late) but I was blown away by the impeccable character development that drove the plot. It’s something I plan on studying further because #nerdstatus.
What some of your favorite Oscar wins or nominations that came from books? Sound off in the comments and let me know!