This week, don’t put off your Oscar frenzy just yet: celebrate the winners of the 84th Academy Awards by reading books that were adapted into Oscar-winning films, remembering memorable Academy Awards moments, and gaining insight into an Oscar-nominated writer’s process.
On Your Kindle
Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom
It’s rare to find a movie adaptation that’s as good as the book that spawned it. But the pairing of Forrest Gump the novel and Forrest Gump the movie (Best Picture Oscar Winner 1994) is unceasingly entertaining, complete with Tom Hanks’ spot-on rendition of the titular character of Grooms’ 1986 novel. Gump’s story is a hilarious one: Through a series of accidents, the loveable, dim-witted protagonist manages to insert himself into nearly every major event of the 1960s. The reader and audience cheer Forrest on throughout his endeavors, hoping for his success as he stumbles charmingly into it.
On Your Smartphone
9 Memorable Oscar Moments, Boston.com
When you mix highly successful professional divas, fancy clothes, and acceptance speeches, the result can be an assortment of amusing and outrageous moments. If you stayed up late watching last night’s ceremony and want to relive some of the funniest or most absurd Oscar moments from years past, check out Boston.com’s slideshow—complete with photo and video multimedia—that culls together nine memorable Oscar moments of years past. Perfect for a quick commute and a fun way to ease you into your week.
On a Podcast
This podcast is a one-stop hub for any questions you might have (or answers you might want) on films—whether or not it’s Oscar season. Every year, host Jeff Goldsmith holds an “Oscar-nominated Screenwriters Podcast.” Tune into the conversation among Annie Mumolo (nominated for Bridemaids), Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (nominated for The Descendants), JC Chandor (nominated for Margin Call), and Peter Straughan (nominated for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). The podcast is a fun blend of in-depth questions on the craft of screenwriting and more lighthearted, funny commentary (Annie Mumolo is largely to thank for this). This is great for a long commuter or for a film aficionado.
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
In the third-ever Academy Awards, the film adaptation of Remarque’s 1929 novel won Best Picture. The book is captivating and heart-breaking, offering a rarely-portrayed glimpse into the life of a German soldier during WWI. The First World War generated an incredible volume of literary creation: Veterans disillusioned by the horrors of battle and particularly by the magnitude of deaths that arose as a result of new technology turned their horror and depression into poetry and prose. This is the experience of the novel’s protagonist, Paul Baumer, who anticipates glory when he enlists in the German army with his classmates, but becomes more and more jaded as he watches them suffer and die. This is a masterpiece of both the page and the screen.