Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Read the book . . . catch the show!

It should come as no surprise—good books make winning movies, witness this year's Academy Award nominees.  Four of the 9 nominees for Best Picture are based on books:  Captain Phillips (A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips); Philomena (The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty-Year Search  by Martin Sixsmith); 12 Years a Slave (Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup); and The Wolf of Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort).

What books are coming to the big screen in 2014?  For starters, Labor Day, based on Joyce Maynard's domestic drama about a lonely adolescent, his fragile mom, and the convict who changes their lives, just opened in local theaters.

Next, The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Bill Murray arrives in theaters Friday.  Based loosely on Robert M. Edsel’s book, the film depicts a coterie of middle-aged soldiers, culled from the unlikely ranks of curators, art historians, conservators, and museum directors, who undertake the daunting task of saving Europe’s priceless paintings, sculptures, and tapestries from Nazi looting. The picture on the left, taken in 1945, shows Dale V. Ford and Harry Ettlinger with a Self Portrait by Rembrandt in Heilbronn, Germany.  Watch the trailer at IMDb.com.

Expect more book-based blockbusters later in the year: Divergent opens March 14.  The Fault in Our Stars, a moving story about two teens with cancer, by Indianapolis author, John Green, arrives in June.  (Warning: the trailer may make you cry.A recent USA Today article talks about Esther Earl, nerdfighter, posthumous author, and Green's online friend, who died four years ago from cancer.  Esther's story, told in her own words through e-mails, diary entries, and online video posts, was just published as This Star Won't Go Out.  And then in August, Hollywood's version of The Giver, Lois Lowry's classic dystopian novel, is slated for release.

And did I mention that Gillian Flynn’s bestselling psychological thriller Gone Girl is being made into a movie starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck?  Look for it in October.

Read more about these and other upcoming movie-based flicks at BuzzFeed Books.

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