Home / News / From the printed page to the big screen, many of this year’s Academy Award nominees started with books

From the printed page to the big screen, many of this year’s Academy Award nominees started with books


Lights… camera… read! From the box office hit “Oppenheimer” to the critically acclaimed comic book adaptation, some of this year’s hottest Oscar nominees were inspired by works of literature.

In fact, five of the 10 nominees for best picture were based on books. Even though the 2024 Academy Awards are fast approaching, there’s still plenty of time to grab some popcorn and sit down to one of these cinematic stories.

“American Prometheus” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

The first full-scale biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, this book covers World War II. It tells the story of the brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the construction of the atomic bomb during World War II and later found himself confronted with the moral consequences of scientific progress. Both biography and history are important in understanding our recent past and our choices for the future. The movie “Oppenheimer” was nominated for best picture, best director and 10 other awards.

“Poor Things” by Alasdair Gray

In 1880s Scotland, Archibald McCandless finds himself fascinated by the intriguing creature known as Bella Baxter. When desire turns into obsession, Archibald’s goal to free Bella is revealed to be as selfish as the scientist who resurrected her. But Bella has her own passions to pursue, and she knows it’s up to her to decide what true love means in her life. “Poor Things” was nominated for best picture, best director and nine other awards.

“The Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann

The Osage Indians in Oklahoma became the richest people in the world after oil was discovered beneath their lands. Then they started to be killed one by one. As more and more Osage die under mysterious circumstances, the newly formed FBI and the remaining Osage begin to uncover one of the worst conspiracies in American history. “The Killers of the Flower Moon” was nominated for 10 awards, including best picture, best actress and best original score.

“Erasure” by Percival Everett

Thelonious “Monk” Ellison’s writing career has hit rock bottom. He seethes with rage on the sidelines as he watches the meteoric success of “We Live in Da Ghetto,” the debut novel of a woman who once visited “some relatives in Harlem for a few days.” In response, he tosses aside a novel he never intended to be taken seriously, let alone become “the next big thing.” How Monk deals with personal and professional problems drives this daring and subversive novel. “Erasure” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor and best supporting actor.

Annette Bening (left) and Jodie Foster were nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in “Nyad,” based on Diana Nyad’s book “Find a Way.”

“Find a Way” by Diana Nyad

On September 2, 2013, at the age of 64, Diana Nyad emerged from the Atlantic Ocean onto the sands of Key West after swimming 111 miles in 53 hours, from country to country, from Cuba to Florida, a feat of both endurance and epic proportions. human will. This is the gripping story of an athlete, a hero, a brave mind. This is a stirring meditation on facing fears, participating in our lives full throttle, and living each day without regrets. “Nyad” was nominated for best actress and best supporting actress.

“How do you live?” By Genzaburo Yoshino

Following the death of his father, Copper must confront inevitable change, including the betrayal of his best friend. With the help of his uncle’s diary full of advice and knowledge, Copper uses his discoveries about the heavens, the earth, and human nature to find answers to the question of how to live. “The Boy and the Heron” was nominated for best animated feature.

Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Ralph Fiennes in the movie “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”

Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Ralph Fiennes "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar."


Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Ralph Fiennes star in the Academy Award-nominated short film “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” based on a story by Roald Dahl.

“The Wonderful Story of Sugar Henry and Six” by Roald Dahl

Henry Sugar is a man with an incredible gift: He can see with his eyes closed. So will he use his power for good or for personal gain? A clever mix of fact and fiction, this book also includes the story of a boy who can understand animals, the magical true story of the Mildenhall treasure, and Roald Dahl’s own account of how he became a writer. “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” was nominated for best live-action short film.

“Nimona” by ND Stevenson

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for evil. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to cause some serious damage. As small acts of mischief escalate into a violent battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as dark and mysterious as her past. “Nimona” was nominated for best animated feature.

Ashlee Conour is a marketing specialist at the Naperville Public Library.


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