This morning the Golden Globes announced their nominations for 2016, but the films on our list have more in common than the admiration of the Hollywood Foreign Press. These Golden Globe nominated literary holiday movies are all adapted from books.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a filmmaker these days whose work wasn’t inspired by previously written content—be it a short story, sound play, novella, or the like. And who can blame them? Why come up with your own material when deftly skilled wordsmiths have already penned perfect manuscripts?
It comes as no surprise, then, that those glorious reads serve as the backbone for some of the holiday season’s most Oscar-worthy theater fare. With Cate Blanchett (Carol), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) emerging in the lead for Oscar gold, there’s something here for every type of moviegoer this holiday season. What are you waiting for? Book it to the theater!
Based on Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
As honest as it is innocent, Brooklyn is a 1950s historical love story about an Irish girl who moves to the NYC borough and trades homesickness for an Italian boy. Colm Tóibín's award-winning novel has been adapted for the screen by Nick Hornby, a perfect choice, as his work adapting other sentimental novels, such as An Education and Wild, prove he's more into deep-rooted emotion and less into sap. Tóibín's endearing couple, Ellis and Tony, are brought to vivid life via the lovely Saoirse Ronan and newcomer Emory Cohen.
Retitled for the cinema as Carol, The Price of Salt is a 1952 gay-fiction romance novel about a pair of women, one married, one just lonely, who make each other feel alive. At the time, the novel was published under a pseudonym, Claire Morgan, because of its homosexuality through line?it's author is Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote The Talented Mr Ripley and other fantastic thrillers. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in the film adaptation directed by Todd Haynes, with a screenplay by Phyllis Nagy. And it's a feast for the eyes, from Blanchett?s streamlined coiffure to Mara's girlish fringe.
Based on Room, by Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue's award-winning best seller about 5-year-old Jack and his Ma reads like a thriller in its synopsis: A boy and his mother are held captive in a garden shed. Which would make sense for Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, who helmed the slow-burning teen cautionary tale What Richard Did, to jump on board. In reality though, Donoghue's story is an exercise in faith, love, and acceptance. Which actually makes for some of Abrahamson's best work.
Based on The Revenant, by Michael Punke
Inspired by the real-life story of American frontiersman Hugh Glass, a fur trapper and folk hero of the early 19th century, Michael Punke's vengeful tale takes readers on a gripping horseback ride on the back of Glass's saddle as he sets out across the American snowy frontier to exact revenge on those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Birdman Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu's big-screen version stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Glass and Tom Hardy as one of the unlucky he's after.
based on The Danish Girl, by David EbershoffDavid Ebershoff's 2000 novel about a 1920's husband who wants to become a woman takes a long, hard contemporary look at marriage. The film, directed by Tom Hooper, whose behind-the-lens perfection has been rewarded for The King's Speech, takes on Ebershoff's loosely based true story. Eddie Redmayne's performance in the principal role has already garnered him serious Oscar buzz.
Based on The Martian, by Andy Weir
Drew Goddard, the wordsmith behind films like World War Z and The Cabin in the Woods, sunk his teeth into Andy Weir's 2011 science-fiction novel about an astronaut who gets left behind by the rest of crew on Mars when a storm hits. And it results in some of the best comedic wordfare to grace the screen. With the help of Matt Damon, of course, who plays the eponymous Martian, and Alien's Ridley Scott, who makes his return to interstellar direction with his film adaptation.
Though the trailer will have you believe Ron Howard?s maritime story about one of the most gruesome marine disasters in history is based on Herman Melville's Moby Dick, in fact, the film has been adapted from Nathaniel Philbrick's critically acclaimed same-name nonfiction best seller, which details the sinking of the Essex, an American whaling ship that fell to a mad sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean, in 1820. Ladies, Chris Hemsworth stars.