The Oscars are happening this weekend, and I’m looking forward to seeing the wins, the speeches and the dresses. Many of the nominees are movies based on books, and I’ve picked out 5 books that inspired Oscar movies this year. I love both movies and books, and because they are such different mediums I enjoy both of them in different ways. It’s something special in reading something and being able to watch it again.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) and Adapted Screenplay
“Katherine Johnson knew: once you took the first step, anything was possible.”
Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Nomination: Best Visual Effects
“Thou art of the Jungle and not of the Jungle. And I am only a black panther. But I love thee, Little Brother.”
In The Jungle Book, a young boy named Mowgli becomes a member of the Seeonee Wolf Pack. A cruel tiger named Shere Khan plots against Mowgli and the leader of his pack, Akela.
A Man Named Ove by Fredrik Backman
Nomination: Best Foreign Language
“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.
This is a personal favorite of mine! It’s funny, sweet and heartbreaking all at once.
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
Movie title: Lion
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Cinematography
“My mother described her reactions better than I ever could mine: she said she was “surprised with thunder” that her boy had come back, and that the happiness in her heart was “as deep as the sea”.”
At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
Movie title: Sully
Nomination: Best Sound Editing
“We all have heard about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They act courageously or responsibly, and their efforts are described as if they opted to act that way on the spur of the moment… I believe many people in those situations actually have made decisions years before.”
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew. Sully’s story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot.
What Oscar movies have you seen? Any great books that inspired Oscar movies I left of this list? Please share!