The Oscars just got nerdy

Not too many weeks ago I talked about how six of the nine Best Picture Oscar nominees were based on films and, although none of these won (the winner being ‘The Artist’), I think that literature deserves a round of applause for how well it has infiltrated the 84th Academy Awards. Of the many and varied categories, ten were won by book-based films proving, I feel, that literature is certainly not a dying art for without it, we wouldn’t have such a spectacular group of Oscar-deserving films.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys, Nerds and Bookworms, without further ado, here are the Oscar winning films that originated from within the wonderful world of books:

The Iron Lady

  • Best Actress – Meryl Streep
  • Best Makeup – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

The Iron Lady Film The Iron Lady book

The Help

  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Octavia Spencer

The Help film  The Help book


  • Best Cinematography – Robert Richardson
  • Best Art Direction – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • Best Sound Editing – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
  • Best Sound Mixing – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
  • Best Visual Effects – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning

Hugo Film Hugo Book

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  • Best Film Editing – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book

The Descendants

  • Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

The Descendants Film The Descendants Book

I adore films but I have to say, I got a nerdy thrill out of knowing that the 2012 Oscars were so thoroughly infiltrated by books!

7 thoughts on “The Oscars just got nerdy

  1. I watched the BAFTAs, in which The Artist scooped up a clutch of awards. I’m mad keen to see all of these films but, since I live in Eastern Europe, the best I can hope for is that they will appear on HBO on the Bulgarian TV channel. However, literary works don’t always make great films, but these may be notable exceptions. The screenwriter for The Artist made an interesting comment at The BAFTA awards, saying that he was delighted his work was recognised as a screenplay, because it contained no dialogue. I love Meryl Streep, too, but find her a little mannered for my taste. She’s a brilliant mimic, I would say, and very watchable when she’s being more natural (weirdly, Mama Mia was one of her most naturalistic performances, I felt). But having watched The French Lieutenant’s Woman for the third or fourth time there’s a moment when she’s distressed, relating her tale to Jeremy Irons and touches her face and her neck with her fingertips – it was so thought through and precise and flawless that it was downright irritating. However, yes, she is great….but I feel she’s got better as she’s grown older.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      I’m not sure how I feel about the artist winning an Oscar…sometimes I feel as if the Oscars choose films based on their degree of obscurity rather than on merit. But then I may have a bias against it simply because I’m not a fan of the silent film genre.
      Meryl Streep, on the other hand, I adore. I think she does a stellar job of portraying others and although yes, she’s been accused of being a textbook actress, I do find her performances captivating.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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