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Read It Before You See It - Books to Movies


The 2012 Oscar nominations for Best Picture revealed the importance of books in driving the story industry. In a previous Omni post, we pointed out that 6 out of 9 Best Picture nominees originated as books. The nominees are:


Was 2011 an anomaly? Not at all. The coming year offers a particularly stellar line-up of movies that first blossomed on the page. Here are some standouts:

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (January 2012) - OK... this movie was nominated for an Oscar this year; but it's in theaters right now, and I'm putting it on the list. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, two sure bets of cinema, star in the movie. But when Jonathan Safran Foer wrote the novel as a follow up to his brilliant and well-received debut Everything is Illuminated, it wasn’t necessarily a sure thing. The story employs humor and experimentalism as it follows the life of a precocious 9-year-old named Oskar, a boy who is searching for a lock that will match a mysterious key left behind when his father died on 9/11.


The Hunger Games (March 2012) - Is there a more anticipated movie of the year? Much of the anticipation is due to the wild popularity of the Hunger Games trilogy of books, which was published as a young adult series. That hasn’t stopped it from garnering a broad adult audience as well, as readers old and young are drawn to the riveting, thought provoking drama of a post-apocalyptic world where children are selected to fight to the death in a reality tv setting. This is the next big thing.

Cloud Atlas (October 2012) - Tom Hanks has a Gump-like penchant for showing up in movies based on books, and here’s another. For those familiar with David Mitchell’s literary genre-busting third novel, which presents six narratives written in varying styles and set in different time periods, it would be fair to ask how they’re going to pull this one off? This is a fabulous, fantastical novel—read it and you may wonder yourself.


World War Z (December 2012) – Max Brooks’ compelling book offered a firsthand accounting of experiences and testimonials surrounding “the Crisis,” a zombie uprising that was eventually put down and survived by the resourceful and the lucky. In the movie version, Brad Pitt will play a UN representative writing a report on the Great Zombie War. If this sounds like a movie you might be interested in seeing, you should read this runaway bestseller. You will not be disappointed.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 2012) – When Peter Jackson brought us The Lord of the Rings movies, he introduced a whole new army of fans to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, launching the old fantasy master’s work back onto bestseller lists and into the hearts of new readers. Now Jackson turns his directorial skills toward The Hobbit, the book that started it all. If you haven’t read The Lord of the Rings, fear not. The Hobbit stands alone as a book. And it is shorter than the others.


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