Saturday, January 17, 2015

Zero - The 2015 Oscar Best Picture Nominations and Fiction Adaptations

In the continuation of a long standing post series, I have continued to track the impact on award nominations for best picture coming from the adaptation of novels.

Last year, the 2014 nominations resulted in zero of the 9 nominees coming from novels (5 original works and 4 based on non-fiction sources).

I thought this might be a one off year where we might see a quick bounce back considering the works of fiction that were being adapted in 2014...yet films like Gone Girl, Inherent Vice, and The Hundred Foot Journey didn't make a significant splash (for these three films specifically the films were each directed by best picture nominated directors -- but not these films).

The 87th academy awards, honoring the films of 2014 seemed to show a repeat aversion to fiction adaptations.That's right zero of the 8 films nominated for best picture were adapted from fiction. This year's films include:

  • 4 Original works (Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash)
  • 4 Non-fiction sources (American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything

The previous 10 years still show that 1 in 4 films (exactly 25%) nominated for best picture came from fiction. And beyond that 20% of winners from the past 10 years won based off adapted-fiction source material (Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men). But the trend of books-to-film-to-awards isn't looking so hot based off the last two year's track record.

But perhaps the year in 2015 film will be different?



§§

Nominees for Best Picture from Novel from the Previous 10 Year (2004-2013 films)

• 2013 films best picture nominees: 0 of 9 adapted from a novel

• 2012  films - best picture nominees: 3 of 9 adapted from a novel (Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, Matthew Quick's Silver Lining Playbook)

• 2011  films - best picture nominees: 5 of 9 adapted from a novel (Kaui Hart Hemmings' The Descendants, Jonathan Safron Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Kathryn Stockett's The Help, Brian Selznick's Hugo, and Michael Murpurgo's War Horse)

• 2010 films - best picture nominees: 2 of 10 adapted from a novel (Charles Portis' True Grit; Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone)

• 2009 films best picture nominees: 2 of 10 adapted from a novel (Saphire's Push [source material for Precious]; Walter Kirn's Up in the Air)

• 2008 films best picture nominees: 2 of 5 adapted from a novel (Vikas Swarup's Q & A [source material for Slumdog Millionaire]*; Bernard Schlink's The Reader)

• 2007 film best picture nominees: 3 of 5 adapated from a novel (Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men*; Ian McEwan's Atonement; Upton Sinclaire's Oil! [source material for There Will Be Blood])

• 2006 films best picture nominees: 0 of 5 adapted from a novel

• 2005 films best picture nominees: 0 of 5 adapted from a novel

• 2004 films best picture nominees: 1 of 5 adapted from a novel (Rex Pickett's Sideways)


*won the Oscar for best picture

This years percent of Oscar nominees from Novels - 0 of 8 nominees : 0%

The percent of Oscar nominees coming from Novels over the previous 10 years - 18 of 72 nominees: 25%

Additionally, 2 of the previous 10 years saw the winner coming from a novel.

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