Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Want to Win an Oscar? Base Your Movie on a Book

Bruce Davis, former Director of the Academy, Runs the Numbers

February 26, 2016  By Brangien Davis

As celebrities make their way down the red-carpet this weekend, carefully negotiating issues as deep as the politics of race in Hollywood and as superficial as boob tape, their minds will not likely be on literature. But books will be there amid the sparkling smiles, if only as subtext. Of the eight movies nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this year, five are book adaptations: The Martian (novel by Andy Weir), Room (novel by Emma Donoghue), The Big Short (nonfiction book by Michael Lewis), The Revenant (novel by Michael Punke) and Brooklyn (novel by Colm Toibin). 
This lit-heavy list reflects a reality rarely discussed during Oscar season: the high incidence of Best Picture winners based on books. Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1989 to 2011 (who is currently writing a book about the history of the Oscars and is also my dad), digs into the stats and the story behind them.

Brangien Davis: Reading through the list of Best Picture Oscar winners over the years, I was surprised by how many were based on books. Is there a tally of how many Best Pictures were book adaptations, versus original screenplays?

No comments: