Oscar nominations: Many films came from the page (+video)

Many of this year's Oscar-nominated films – including '12 Years a Slave' and 'Philomena' – have literary origins.

By , Staff Writer

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    '12 Years a Slave,' which stars Michael Fassbender (l.), Lupita Nyong'o (center), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (r.), is based on the memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup.
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The Oscar nominations for this year included movies that have been frontrunners throughout the season (“12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity”) as well as some films that snuck in despite pundits believing they had less of a chance to make it (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “August: Osage County”).

And as has been the case in recent years, many of the movies that received the nods are based on literary works of some kind.

In the Best Picture field, one of the leading contenders for the prize, “12 Years a Slave,” is based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, who is played by Best Actor nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor. Meanwhile, the movie “Philomena” is drawn from the book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by journalist Martin Sixsmith, portrayed by actor Steve Coogan in the film.  “The Wolf of Wall Street” used as its source material two memoirs – "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street" – both written by Jordan Belfort, the movie’s protagonist. In addition, the movie “Captain Phillips” is based on the book “A Captain’s Duty,” which is a memoir written by the movie’s main character Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks).

Recommended: Famous opening lines: Take our literature quiz

“12 Years a Slave” also received nominations for Best Director for Steve McQueen, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress, and for Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Philomena” got nods for Best Actress for Judi Dench, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Wolf of Wall Street” snagged nods for Best Director for Martin Scorsese, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Supporting Actor for Jonah Hill, and Best Adapted Screenplay. “Phillips” received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi as well as nominations for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film “August: Osage County,” for which Meryl Streep received a Best Actress nomination and actress Julia Roberts received a Best Supporting Actress nod, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tracy Letts.

Best Animated Feature nominees “Ernest & Celestine,” “Frozen,” and “The Wind Rises” also all have literary roots. “Ernest” takes its source material from various books for children written by author and artist Gabrielle Vincent, while “Frozen” is based on the Hans Christian Andersen legend “The Snow Queen.” The film “Wind” is based on the movie’s director Hayao Miyazaki’s manga, which he was inspired to create after reading the book “The Wind Has Risen” by Tatsuo Hori.

The movie “The Great Gatsby,” based on author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic of the same name, was nominated for Best Costume Design (and also for Best Production Design), as was the film “The Invisible Woman,” which used the Charles Dickens biography of the same name by Claire Tomalin as its source.

The film “The Book Thief,” which is based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak, received a nod for Best Original Score. Meanwhile, the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the movie of the same name was nominated for Best Original Song. “Alone” is based on the book of the same title by author Tracy Leininger Craven. “Let It Go” from Frozen received a nomination for Best Original Song as well.

Best Animated Short Film nominee “Room on the Broom” is based on the children’s book of the same name by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler and Best Live Action Short Film nominee “The Voorman Problem” is based on the David Mitchell book “number9dream.”

Best Sound Editing nominees “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “Lone Survivor” both have literary roots as well – “Hobbit” is based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and “Survivor” is based on the book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell.

Best Visual Effects nominee “Iron Man 3” is based on the comic book character created by Stan Lee.

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