The Oscars would not be where it is today without some iconic book-to-film adaptations. Here are the best of 2022.
The Oscars may have been overshadowed by Will Smith’s overzealous need to defend his wife’s honour (did Chris Rock deserve it? I’ll leave that up to you to decide). Aside from that drama, the night had a lot to celebrate, particularly in the world of book-to-film adaptations.
Novels have always been prime territory for Hollywood remakes — if you’ve already got a great yarn, the script writes itself, doesn’t it? While we know that assumption to be demonstrably untrue, this year’s Oscars had a handful of novel adaptations that are bound to go down as classic films.
The Power of the Dog
The big winner of the night was Jane Campion, who took home best director for The Power of the Dog. Based on Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name, the film examines what it is to be a male, from the perspective of a homophobic, yet closeted, rancher. The Power of the Dog is a visceral, complex, and deeply satisfying read – relevant now as it was when penned in 1967.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Dune (adapted from Frank Herbert’s original) scored six Oscars, winning in categories for cinematography, editing, score, visual effects, production design, and sound. Part Two is not set for release until 20 October 2023, so you still have some time up your sleeves to read it before it hits the big screens. Dune is considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time.
Drive My Car (Men Without Women)
Drive My Car, directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, won the Oscar for best international feature. Based on a short story in Haruki Murakami’s bestselling collection Men Without Women, the story centres around a widowed actor who hires a twenty-year-old woman to be his chauffeur. Drive My Car is a meditative exploration of the human need for connection and our inherent desire to be understood — even if we dont realise it.
Nightmare Alley — directed by Guillermo del Toro and based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name — was nominated for four awards. Nightmare Alley is a classic tale that follows a grifter working within the world of vaudeville and magic. His journey at times engages with the metaphysical, and the dangerous.
The Lost Daughter
Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for the best-adapted screenplay of Elena Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter. Ferrante investigates what it means to be a mother and a woman, and brings a reflective and fresh insight into the conflicting emotions that connect and bond us to our children.
For all the details, visit the official Oscars website.