Books dominate Oscars

Scorsese's Hugo heads up Oscar nominations as book adaptations rule

The Oscar nominations are out and the news is that Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (pictured) is, to many people’s surprise, leading the pack ahead of The Artist – and that book adaptations once more rule the silver screen awards season.

Scorsese’s first 3D film, a fantastical children’s paean to the beginnings of cinema – and typing that, it doesn’t seem so surprising the Academy lapped it up – has been somewhat quiet at the box office, yet has 11 nominations, including for its director and for best picture. The Artist, the (mostly) silent film thought to be the favourite, trails with ten, while The Descendents, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, has five.

Two-thirds of the best picture nominees are book adaptations: The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (book by Jonathan Safran Foer), The Help (Kathryn Stockett), Hugo (Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret), Moneyball (Michael Lewis) and War Horse (Michael Morpurgo). The exceptions are Woody Allen’s Hemingway fantasy Midnight in Paris, Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life and Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist.

Elsewhere there were plenty of shocks. Gary Oldman did, as predicted here, make the nomination for best actor, though Michael Fassbender and Leonardo DiCaprio did not. Rooney Mara was a surprise nominee for best actress in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (one wonders what the astonishing Noomi Rapace, star of the Swedish version, makes of that).

The best adapted screenplay nominees were Hugo, The Ides of March (from a play by Beau Willimon), Moneyball and Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy (le Carré’s spy classic starring Oldman) – a tough category but which one hopes will introduce readers to some fantastic and varied books over the coming months.

See the complete list of nominees on IMDB.

Trailers for the best picture nominees and other categories from Apple.

The winners will be announced on 26 February.

Hugo images courtesy of Paramount/Entertainment Film.

Tags: films Oscars