Oscar Nominations 2011 – The Books Behind the Movies


Today is a big day for Hollywood, as the 2011 Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Since so many movies are based on books, it’s exciting to see the books behind these adaptations get the recognition they deserve. Out of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture, 4 are based on books: 127 Hours, The Social Network, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. Each of these movies also received a nomination in the Writing (Adapted Screenplay) category as well. In the Animated Feature Film category, How to Train Your Dragon, which is based on the popular children’s book, received a nomination. Here is more information about each book:

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston, an experienced twenty-seven-year-old outdoorsman, was on a day’s solitary hike through a remote and narrow Utah canyon when he dislodged an eight-hundred- pound boulder that crushed his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. Emerging from the searing pain, Aron found himself completely stuck. No one knew where he was; no one was coming to rescue him. With scant water and food, and a cheap pocketknife his only tool, he eliminated his options one by one. On the fifth night, wracked by delirium and uncontrollable shivers, Aron scratched his epitaph into the rock wall, certain he would not see daylight.

Yet with the new morning came an epiphany: if he could use the rock’s vise-like hold to break his arm bones, his blunted pocketknife could serve as a surgeon’s blade. . . .

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

Best friends Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg had spent many lonely nights looking for a way to stand out among Harvard University’s elite, comptetitive, and accomplished student body. Then, in 2003, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s computers, crashed the campus network, almost got himself expelled, and was inspired to create Facebook, the social networking site that has since revolutionized communication around the world.

With Saverin’s funding their tiny start-up went from dorm room to Silicon Valley. But conflicting ideas about Facebook’s future transformed the friends into enemies. Soon, the undergraduate exuberance that marked their collaboration turned into out-and-out warfare as it fell prey to the adult world of venture capitalists, big money, lawyers.

True Grit by Charles Portis

Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America’s foremost comic writers. True Grit is his most famous novel–first published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne and now the film by the Coen brothers starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.

It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory.

True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself.

From a writer of true cult status, this is an American classic through and through. This new edition, with a smart new package and an afterword by acclaimed author Donna Tartt, will bring this masterpiece to an even broader audience.

Winter’s Bone: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell

Ree Dolly’s father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn’t show up for his next court date. With two young brothers depending on her, 16-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. Living in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, Ree learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But, as an unsettling revelation lurks, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

How to Train Your Dragon Book 1 by Cressida Cowell

Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon. Now available in paperback!

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