And the Oscar Goes to...

Movies Based on Books Dominate 2012 Academy Award Nominees

In respect to movies, 2012 may go down in history as the year of the book!  Six of the 12 movies nominated for Best Picture are based on books. Some of the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees are also for films that are based on books.

Check out some of the books on which these Oscar nominees are based:

The Descendants book coverThe Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  Matt hasn't had a very good month. His wife is in a coma; his daughters are practically strangers to him; and he is in charge of making a very large decision for his extended family, the descendants of Hawaiian royalty. This is the story of how Matt learns to cope with both his wife's infidelity and impending death, while getting reacquainted with his daughters, and deciding what sort of legacy he will leave behind for his own descendants.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close book coverExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is a budding physicist whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This is the story of Oskar's quest to uncover clues related to a mysterious key found hidden among his father's things.

The Help book coverThe Help by Kathryn Stockett. Skeeter is a recent graduate of Old Miss in 1962, when people seem to be less concerned with her dreams of being a writer, and more concerned with why she isn't married. Skeeter enlists the assistance of the black maid of a friend, Aibileen, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, to tell the story of "the help" who are trusted to raise the children of white families, but not share their bathrooms.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret book coverHugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. When 12-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toy-seller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

Moneyball book coverMoneyball by Michael Lewis. The true story of how the 2002 Oakland A's managed a winning record while having the smallest payroll of any major league baseball team.

War Horse book coverWar Horse by Michael Morpugo. Joey the horse recalls his experiences growing up on an English farm, his struggle for survival as a cavalry horse during World War I and his reunion with his beloved master.

Best actress nominees come from the following movies that were based on books:

Girl with the dragon tattoo book coverRooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.

My week with Marilyn book coverMichelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark.

...and Viola Davis for The Help.

Best actor nominees are no exception to the book rule:

George Clooney for The Descendants.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy book coverGary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre.

....and Brad Pitt for Moneyball.

Finally, lest we forget Supporting Actors and Supporting Actresses:

Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Max Von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jessica Chastain for The Help
and Octavia Spencer for The Help

The full list of 2012 Academy Award nominees may be found on the Academy Awards website.

The Help and Moneyball are both also currently available on DVD from the library.