Celebrate the movies in all of us? the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay




Celebrate the movies in all of us, reads the caption in the picture above.

The Millions has an interesting piece by Bill Morris musing on the fact that the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay used to go to a script based on a novel http://www.themillions.com/2015/02/rejoice-a-hollywood-screenwriter-read-a-novel-last-year.html

In the past we’ve had scripts adapting a gaudy galaxy of literary talents, including Jane Austen, Colette, Jules Verne, Henry Fielding, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sinclair Lewis, Harper Lee, E.M. Forster, Robert Penn Warren, Larry McMurtry, Mario Puzo, Ken Kesey, Michael Ondaatje, and Cormac McCarthy.

Last year, all of the nominations were based on non-fiction – memoir, reportage, investigative journalism. And this year only one of the five nominations, Inherent Vice, is based on Pynchon’s novel. The others – American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and The Theory of Everything – are based on memoir and biography.

Why is this?

Hollywood continues to play it safe while trying to connect with an audience that’s less and less likely to read serious fiction, says Bill Morris.

 Is it as simple as that? We’ve heard from publishers here in Australia for years that one of the most popular genres is “true crime”- highly-coloured stories based on real-life experiences. If you’re an attractive human being with an axe-murderer for a mother and a pedophile grandpa, you have a future as a writer. Why?

It all makes an interesting footnote to Michael Hofmann’s bilious lashing-out at Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North, which we wrote about here. Hofmann’s beef seems to be that the novel these days is too much in thrall to the big screen, too garish, filmic, visually sensational at the expense of subtlety and intellectual engagement.

To get on this lucrative bandwagon,  Gert’s next book will be called I ate my baby- it was best for both of us. Film rights are available.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57848917@N08/6932102843


4 thoughts on “Celebrate the movies in all of us? the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. Likewise with the struggle. to read IV. Not sure I even want to see the film though.. Paris Review has a story about “Bleeding Edge” and Pynchon’s interest in Mexican food….

  1. A few months later, and I saw the film on an overnight flight. It was weirdly captivating. It seemed to me a genuinely interesting creation in its own right, regardless of how it matches up to the book. Have you seen it yet?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s