Some recent Academy Award nominees have come from adapted sources including plays (Finding Neverland, Chicago), short stories (Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, and Toole's Million Dollar Baby), and non-fiction books (Letters from Iwo Jima, Capote). But recent feature length films from novels...most of those haven't been making the cut.
Past 10 Years Stats
- 2006 best picture nominees: 0 of 5 adapted from a novel.
- 2005 best picture nominees: 0 of 5 adapted from a novel.
- 2004 best picture nominees: 1 of 5 adapted from a novel (Rex Pickett's Sideways)
- 2003 best picture nominees: 4 of 5 adapted from novels (Tolkein's Return of the King*, novels by Patrick O'Brian became Master and Commander, Lehane's Mystic River, & Hillenbrand's Seabiscut)
- 2002 best picture nominees: 2 of 5 adapted from novels (Tolkein's Two Towers, Cunningham's The Hours)
- 2001 best picture nominees: 3 of 5 adapted from novels (Nassar's A Beautiful Mind*, Dubus' In the Bedroom, Tolkein's Fellowship of the Rings)
- 2000 best picture nominees: 2 of 5 adapted from novels (Harris' Chocolat, Wang Du Lu's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
- 1999 best picture nominees: 2 of 5 (Irving's Cider House Rules, Stephen King's Green Mile)
- 1998 best picture nominees: 1 of 5 (James Jones' Thin Red Line)
- 1997 best picture nominees: 1 of 5 (James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential)
16/50 best picture nominations adapted from novels = 32%
2/10 best picture winners adapted from novels = 20%
It's obvious that novel adaptations do get a chance at the big prize, and have a chance for the win, but it's interesting to me that in the past couple years so few novel adaptations have made the short list.
At the same time many early predictions point to great success for various novel adaptations due out this year...could any of these be best picture nominees or are we just looking at some of the potential best adapted screenplay nods?
Novel Adaptations for 2007
- Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner
- Ian McEwan's Atonement
- John Burnham Schwartz's Reservation Road
- Upton Sinclair's Oil (move title, There Will Be Blood)
- Susan Minot's Evening
- Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men
- Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
- Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl