Where does Hollywood get many of their ideas? Comic books? Yes. TV shows from the 1970s? *Sigh* - yes. But also from books! Real books! This year's Academy Award nominations were announced this week, including 5 films for Best Adapted Screen Play - 4 of which are based on books. The fifth film, Toy Story 3 is based on a original treatment of the first movie (or something).
If you liked these movies - you might try the original too! I know I am adding several of these to my to-read list.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
This memoir is the basis for Danny Boyle's film 127 Hours and tells the amazing true story of a hiker who had to make a terrible decision after being trapped and injured alone in the desert for over five days. As a sometimes solo hiker, I am intrigued by this story. Both movie and book are on my list.
The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
Writer Aaron Skorkin transformed this "juicy, fast-paced, unputdownable" book (as quoted by Kevin Spacey) into The Social Network - a movie with dialogue that flew fast and furious. Mezrich's account may or may not be entirely true (same goes for the movie), but he is nothing if not a storyteller.
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
From billionaires to the poverty stricken Ozarks we go. Ree, 16, has learned that her father has put their house up as bond for his meth-related arrest and as the court date appears, is nowhere to be found. Despite caring for her younger brothers and ill mother, Rees tries to find her father even though it means encountering unhelpful and often dangerous family members. The novel portrays the bleakness of rural poverty and the harshness of a meth community, but is also filled with hope and promise.
True Grit by Charles Portis
I have seen both the 1969 version with John Wayne and the new Coen Brother's versions of this film, and it might be high time to put this western on my list too. With reviews like these, it would be a crime not to:
"An instant classic... Read it and have the most fun you've had reading a novel in years, maybe decades."--Newsday
"Skillfully constructed, a comic tour de force."--The New York Times Book Review
"Charles Portis details the savagery of the 1870s frontier through an astonishing narrative voice: that of the 14-year-old Mattie Ross, a flinty, skeptical, Bible-thumping scourge"--Wall Street Journal
So while many people are watching new movies before the Academy Awards in the spring, reading a few seems like a good idea too.