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From Page to Screen: Literary Roots of the 2024 Oscar Nominations

Literary Roots of the 2024 Oscar Nominations

The 96th annual Oscar nominations, announced on January 23, 2024, spotlight a vibrant intersection of literature and film, with half of the Best Picture contenders adapted from books. 

This year’s literary-to-screen adaptations range from profound novels to riveting historical nonfiction, underscoring the depth and diversity of storytelling that cinema and literature collectively offer.

Alasdair Gray's | Poor Things

poor things

Alasdair Gray's Poor Things comes to life in a film exploring the bizarre and emancipatory journey of Bella Baxter, a woman resurrected for experimentation, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), and more.

Martin Amis | The Zone of Interest 

the zone of interest

The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis, a novel set against the harrowing backdrop of a concentration camp, has been transformed into a critically acclaimed film, receiving nominations for Best Picture and Best Director (Jonathan Glazer), among others.

Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin | American Prometheus 

american prometheus

Oppenheimer, adapted from American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, delves into the complex life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Christopher Nolan), and several other categories.

Percival Everett's | Erasure


Percival Everett's Erasure serves as the foundation for American Fiction, a film that explores Thelonious [Monk] Ellison's critique of cultural stereotypes through a pseudonymous novel that unexpectedly becomes a bestseller. The film has earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Jeffrey Wright), Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

Alice Walker | The Color Purple

the color purple

Alice Walker's The Color Purple, a seminal novel about the enduring bond between sisters Celie and Nettie against the backdrop of early 20th-century America, inspired a film adaptation nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Danielle Brooks).

David Grann | Killers of the Flower Moon

killers of the flower moon

Killers of the Flower Moon, based on David Grann's investigative work into the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI, received nominations across multiple categories, including Best Picture and Best Director (Martin Scorsese).

Diana Nyad | Find a Way


Diana Nyad's memoir, Find a Way, recounting her historic swim from Cuba to Florida, inspired Nyad, a film that highlights Nyad's relentless pursuit of her dream, earning nominations for Best Actress (Annette Bening) and Best Supporting Actress (Jodie Foster).

ND Stevenson | Nimona


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The animated feature, Nimona, draws from ND Stevenson's graphic novel about a shape-shifting girl and a villain with a vendetta, showcasing the innovative storytelling potential of graphic novels in animation, and is nominated for Best Animated Feature.

These adaptations not only celebrate the narrative richness and thematic diversity found in books but also underscore the collaborative magic of translating the written word to screen, offering audiences new dimensions of engagement with the stories. 

As the Oscars approach on March 10, 2024, these films and their literary origins present a compelling case for the enduring power of storytelling across mediums.

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