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Your definitive guide to the books behind the 2016 Oscar nominations

The 88th Academy Awards are only a few short weeks away, and earlier today the nominations were announced.

It's a mixed bag not without controversy (these are the Academy Awards, after all), and we were interested to see where the bookish links were, if there were any at all to be found.

The trend over recent years for many of the nominated films to have their origins come from within the pages of a book has continued, with five of the eight films nominated for Best motion picture of the year having been adapted directly from a book:
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Revenant by Michael Punke
Room by Emma Donoghue

While Spotlight, another contender for Best motion picture, was not based on a book, it was based on a series of real stories that earned The Globe's Spotlight Team the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. And Bridge of Spies shares a name with a 2010 non-fiction book by Giles Whittell, though it is not based on Whittell's book. It is, however, based in part on a book by James B. Donovan, the character portrayed by Tom Hanks in the film. Donovan's book is called Strangers on a Bridge, and focusses on the exchange process rather than on himself.

Somewhat aptly, this just leave Mad Max: Fury Road as the only contender for Best motion picture of the year that doesn't have any roots in a book. Sure, George Miller's original 1979 film spurred an array of merchandise including comics and novelisations of the first three films, but Miller's original idea was not adapted from a singular book.

The Revenant has topped the list of nominees with 12 nominations, including Best performance by an actor in a supporting role (Tom Hardy), Best achievement in cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), and of course Best performance by an actor in a leading role (Leonardo DiCaprio). Will this be the year Leo can finally be victorious? Just quietly, we hope so!

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Image via BuzzFeed Australia

The Martian, after somewhat bizarrely winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy category, is nominated for seven awards, including The Same Category as Leo (Matt Damon). Carol (another film based on a book, written by Patricia Highsmith) follows close behind with six nominations, including Best performance by an actress in a leading role (Queen Cate). Three of the five women nominated in the Best actress category have been nominated for their portrayal of fictional characters. There's Cate, of course, Brie Larson for Room, and Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn

The Big Short has received five nominations, and Room and The Danish Girl (also based on a book, just in case you had any doubts about where filmmakers look for inspiration these days) have been nominated for four awards each. Eddie Redmayne is thought to be the largest obstacle in Leo's path for Oscars glory with his masterful performance of Lili Elbe (born Einar Wegener). Keep reading, as we've got ten in-season double passes to The Danish Girl to give away!

Brooklyn has been nominated in three categories, Steve Jobs in two, and The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and Fifty Shades of Grey (yep, seriously) have one nomination apiece. 

This concludes the booklover's look into the 2016 Academy Award nominations. To see a full list of nominations, click here. To enter to win an in-season double pass to see The Danish Girl, leave us a comment below telling us which film you think will win the Best motion picture of the year award and why.

Just before we sign off, we'd like to share one fun non-bookish fact about the nominations. Sylvester Stallone has been nominated for Best performance by an actor in a supporting role for Creed. Which character does he play in Creed? None other than Rocky Balboa, the same character that earned him a Best actor nomination 39 years ago. While Stallone isn't the only actor to receive multiple nominations for portraying the same character, the time between his nominations is without doubt the longest. Nice one, Sly.

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Posted by Global Administrator on 15/01/2016