Oscars 2016 Must-read books before seeing the movie

I’ve been a movie lover my whole life so Oscar season is the most wonderful time of the year.  When I was studying theatre in university, I dabbled in playwriting a bit and so my favourite categories are Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay.  As Oscars 2016 predictions started being released this week, you should know that these are the books next on my list as they inspired the predicted nominees for Best Adapted Screenplays this year.
1. Aaron Sorkin, “Steve Jobs” based on book by the same name by Walter Isaacson.

Walter Isaacson said in the opening to his book “The Innovators” (which I’m reading now) that he was writing The Innovators for over a decade and interrupted it to complete his biography on Steve Jobs.  Matt Whitely wrote the screenplay for the 2013 movie called “Jobs” (starring Ashton Kutcher) but his research isn’t as complete as Isaacson.  I guess there were some people (like Steve Wozniak) who were upset about the 2013 movie and this justifies a movie in a new direction with this screenplay.  The performance of Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs is already earning nominee nods for Best Actor.
2. Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn” based on the book by the same name by Colm Toibin

Actress Saorise Ronan (best known for her roles in The Lovely Bones(2009) and The Grand Budapest Hotel(2014)) is supposed to be outstanding in the movie and will likely garner a nomination for Best Actress.  This book, published in 2009, has been nominated many times, including the Man Booker prize longlist.
3. Phyllis Nagy, “Carol” based on the book “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith

This movie is already being predicted as a nominee for Best Director, Best Actress for Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress for Rooney Mara and Best Director for Todd Haynes.  The narrative sounds delicious.  I can’t wait to dive into this one.

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu & Mark L. Smith, “The Revenant” based on the book “The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge” by Michael Punke

This book looks hardcore.  It’s a book about human survival and revenge after a man is brutally mauled by a bear and then abandoned by his friends.  The lead character is played in the movie by Leonardo Di Caprio and the performance is already being predicted for Best Actor.  As well Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (best known for having directed Birdman (2014) and Babel (2006)) is predicted as being nominated for Best Director.

5. Emma Donoghue, “Room” based on the book by the same name and the same author

Who hasn’t read “Room?” Me.  I know, I know.  I’m extra hopeful about this movie based on the book, because Emma Donoghue herself has written the screenplay.  I’m not at all familiar with director Lenny Abrahamson’s work.  The main character is played by Brie Larson who has a long list of secondary and tertiary roles in her filmography but this will certainly be her breakout role.

6. Lucina Coxen, “The Danish Girl” based on the book by the same name by David Ebershoff
 People are going to go and see this movie because Eddie Redmayne’s performance is going to be outstanding.  The book is Ebershoff’s first novel and is said to be based loosely on a true story.
7. Cary Fukunaga, “Beasts of No Nation” based on the book by the same name by Uzodinma Iweala
In his debut novel of 2006 Iweala won many many many awards that support this authentic, original voice.  I’m hoping that the movie will do the book justice.  Read it first.
8. Drew Goddard, “The Martian” based on the book by the same name by Andy Weir
The Martian isn’t just supposed to be a great book, it’s supposed to be a science teacher’s dream!  The science that the main character uses to survive is supposed to be highly realistic.  Of course since Matt Damon is playing an astronaut (again??) this movie is going to be awesome.
9. Adam McKay & Charles Randolph, “The Big Short” based on the book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
Just look at the cast!!  Like “Wolf of Wall Street” no one is going to like to hear how the biggest bank bailouts were preventable, but this looks to be a very personal and comedic take on the story.
10. Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, “In The Heart of The Sea” based on the book by the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick
This is director Ron Howard’s contribution to the Oscars this year and our chance to see actor Chris Hemsworth in a more historical film.  Remember Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander ?  This sweeping epic of seabound superstition is bound to carry us all away.
11. Andrew Haigh, “45 Years” based on the short story “In Another Country” by David Constantine
Based on a true story, the main character is asked to identify the bodies of a former lover whose body has been preserved in the ice during a climbing accident on the eve of his 45th wedding anniversary.  The news casts all sorts of doubts on the marriage. Both the movie and the short story sound fantastic.  I’m looking forward to the movie for scenes shot in Norfolk, England which I have spent time in with my husband’s family.
12. John McNamara, “Trumbo” based on the book by the same name by Bruce Cook
Dalton Trumbo was one of the Hollywood screenwriters who was jailed and interrogated and subsequently blacklisted under suspicion of being Communist.  If you’ve been wondering what Bryan Cranston has been up to since the end of Breaking Bad, he stars as Trumbo and his performance is said to garner an Oscar nomination.
In 2004 Mary Mapes, producer at CBS News, helped Dan Rather to break the in-depth story of then president George W. Bush’s military involvement.  They lost their jobs over this story, rather be silenced.  This is their story.  Cate Blanchett plays Mary Mapes and Robert Redford plays Dan Rather in the film version.

14. Billy Ray, “Secret in Their Eyes” based on the book “The Secret in Their Eyes” by Eduardo Sacheri

The film is an Americanized version based on Sacheri’s book originally set in 1970s Argentina.  The cast stars Julia Roberts, Chiwetol Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman.  Director and screenwriter Billy Ray also adapted last year’s Captain Phillips and Hunger Games previously.

15. George Miller, Brendan McCarthy & Nick Lathouris, “Mad Max: Fury Road” based on the graphic novel Mad Max: Fury Road by Brendan McCarthy
Once you’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road you’ll know that it was conceived by an artist.  The movie actually came out before the graphic novel so that Brendan McCarthy could concentrate on bringing the film to life.  Charlize Theron is getting a best actress nod and steals every scene she is in.

16. Scott Cooper & Mark Mallouk, “Black Mass” based on the book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob” by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill

Authors Lehr and O’Neill were actually two Boston Globe reporters who covered the entire story start to finish.  The movie stars an amazing cast including Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton who are getting nods for their acting work here.  Sure to be captivating in print and on screen!

17. Marielle Heller, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” based on the graphic novel Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures by Phoebe Gloeckner
Set in 1970s San Francisco, the main character loses her virginity to her mother’s boyfriend and then spends the rest of the novel flirting with other adult activities.  Relative newcomer, actress Bel Powley, is already starting rumours of winning an Oscar for her performance in this movie.  Warning: this is a restricted movie and adult graphic novel.  This is Marielle Heller’s directorial debut and the cast also includes Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig.  I can’t wait to see it!

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