Literary works dominate Golden Globe nomination list

December 19th, 2011 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Brad Pitt New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) Indian filmmakers may stay away from literature, but it seems the international film fraternity simply loves to sift through books, novels, short stories and plays for inspiration. A case in point is the nomination list for the 69th Golden Globe Awards where six movies vying for “best film” are inspired by literary works.

Be it the story of a father trying to reconnect with his daughter in “The Descendants” or the journey of African maids in “The Help” or political thriller “The Ides of March”, directors from different countries decided to adapt beautiful stories to connect with the audience.

The other three in the best film category are “Hugo”, “Moneyball” and “War Horse” — all with a literary connection. The awards will be presented Jan 15 in Los Angeles.

Director Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” is a screen adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel and brings on screen the story of a land baron, played by George Clooney, who tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife suffers an accident, while author Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel “The Help” became the subject of Tate Taylor’s directorial venture of the same name. Set in the 1960s, the lighthearted drama narrates African maids’ relations with a white woman they work for.

The list has another Clooney film - the political thriller “The Ides of March”, directed by and featuring the star and this one is an adaptation of Beau Willimon’s play “Farragut North”.

Brad Pitt starrer “Moneyball”, a biographical sports drama by director Bennett Miller, is the screen adaptation of Michael Lewis’ 2003 book by the same name that talks about the Oakland Athletics baseball club and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to make it competitive.

Veteran Steven Spielberg isn’t far behind. He delved into books to pull out a war story as the theme of his movie “War Horse”, based on the children’s novel by the same name by British author Michael Morpurgo, and its 2007 stage adaptation.

Even the 3D adventure drama “Hugo” is based on Brian Selznick’s novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, about an orphan who owns an enigmatic toy shop at the Paris railway station. None other than acclaimed director Martin Scorsese helmed the movie, while the screenplay is by John Logan.

If this list isn’t enough, there are more screen adaptations which have helped actors like Gelnn Close and Rooney Mara find a place in the prestigious nomination list.

Mara is nominated as best actress for playing Lisbeth Salander in the crime thriller “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s bestseller.

A short story by Irish novelist George Moore inspired director Rodrigo Garcia to make the movie “Albert Nobbs” and Glenn Close has been nominated in the best actress list for playing a woman passing off as a man to get work in 19th century Ireland.

Tilda Swinton has secured a place in the best actress nomination for her performance in “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, a British American thriller adapted from author Lionel Shriver’s novel by the same name.

British drama “My Week with Marilyn”, nominated in the Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical category, about the making of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier starrer - the 1957 film “The Prince and the Showgirl”, is based on two books by Colin Clark.

Jodie Foster has found a place in the list for her performance in the “Carnage”. Described as a black comedy, the film written and directed by well known French-Polish director Roman Polanski, is based on the play “God of Carnage” by French playwright Yasmina Reza.

In the Foreign Language film category, Chinese movie “The Flowers of War” is a screen adaptation of the novel “The 13 Women of Nanjing”, while well-known Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” is said to be loosely based on the novel “Tarantula”.

(Arpana can be contacted at

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