Do you ever watch a movie and think “I wonder if that’s based on a book?” There are some movies where the movie’s popularity is often created by the book The Hobbit or The Book Thief come to mind. Others surprise you with their connection to the written form. During this year’s awards season here are just a few award winners and nominees with books worth reading.
The New Republic’s Dave Thompson calls Academy Award Best film Nominee 12 Years a Slave “a film that necessity and education demand seeing.” The autobiography on which it’s based, Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup, was a bestseller when published in 1853 and is considered an essential slave narrative along with those by Frederick Douglas, William Wells Brown, and others.
Another critically acclaimed movie based on true events comes from this year’s Philomena, based on the book Philomena; a mother, her son and a fifty-year search by Martin Sixsmith. Originally published under the title The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, the book is that Kirkus Reviews calls “a searingly poignant account of forced adoption and its consequences.”
This year’s The Spectacular Now is up for an Independent Spirit award and is based on the YA novel of the same name by Tim Tharp. But, while both the film and book were well received by critics for their authentic teen characters, they do deviate away from each other by the end. The reader will have to decide which version they like better of these two beautifully crafted works.