With the Academy Awards approaching, there's been plenty of buzz about this year's best picture nominees — but did you know that six of the films were inspired by written works? Life of Pi and Les Misérables are well-known novels, but Silver Linings Playbook is also based on a book and three of the other nominees stem from a biography, a one-act play, and a magazine article. Before the Oscars on Feb. 24, take a look at the original words behind this year's most critically acclaimed films!
The film starring Quvenzhané Wallis stems from Lucy Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious ($10). Her play tells the story of a young child, Hushpuppy, who lives in the South with his dad and has to prepare himself for a life without grown-ups. Lucy cowrote the film version with the movie's director, Benh Zeitlin, and the Beasts of the Southern Wild script expands on her original work.
Argo, the film starring and directed by Ben Affleck, is actually a dramatization of a 2007 Wired article by Joshuah Bearman, which outlined details of the 1979 government rescue called the "Canadian Caper." The film takes a few creative liberties, but the article illustrates the true story of how the CIA and the Canadian government teamed up to save a group of Americans from Iran.
The Oscar-nominated film is based on Yann Martel's 2001 bestselling novel of the same name, Life of Pi ($10). Both the book and the movie capture a story of adventure and survival, following 16-year-old Pi Patel through the aftermath of a shipwreck that leaves him stranded with a tiger, a zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan.
Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated movie Lincoln is based partly on Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln ($12). The book, which took her 10 years to write, dives into the lives and relationships of Lincoln and his core team.
The French historical novel Les Misérables ($25) by Victor Hugo inspired the popular Broadway musical and this year's film adaptation. The book was originally published in 1862, and since then, the story has been transformed into one of the most well-known musicals in history.