Tag Archives: book smart

Book Smart: Oscar Reads “Frost/Nixon”

Oscar time and Hollywood goes all highbrow on us, taking cues for Tony Award nominated, dramatic the-a-ter. Sure, you saw the movie, but what do you know about the play?

In “Frost/Nixon,” Richard Nixon and David Frost (British satirist-slash-serious-news-guy who used to be huge in the ’70s) face-off on national TV after Dirty Dick’s fall from grace. Adapted by Peter Morgan from his own play, the flick is up for five Oscars including Best Pic and Best Actor for Frank Langella, who actually makes you feel sorry for the former crook/prez in a weepy Shakespearean tragedy sort of way. Keep reading »

Book Smart: Oscar Reads “Milk”

Gus Van Sant’s biopic “Milk” is nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but writer Dustin Lance Black drew heavily on “The Mayor of Castro Street,” Randy Shilts’ 1982 biography of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official, played onscreen by the fiery Sean Penn.

Something that sets this movie apart from the pack of plain old biopics is its use of actual archival and documentary footage. But Black also took some liberties with the story—here’s a rundown, so you don’t get caught revising Wikipedia with “facts” from the movie that are as real as Bernie Madoff’s money. Keep reading »

Book Smart: Oscar Reads “The Reader”

Anyone can see the movie; only smarties read the book. This year all five nominees for Best Picture are stolen from based on literary sources. We’re giving you a cheat sheet to all of Hollywood’s hippest reads.

“The Reader,” by Bernard Schlink (1995) is a former Oprah-fave. Now it’s an Oscar-nommed movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet in her Golden Globe-winning role as a German streetcar conductor who has nasty secrets and a penchant for teenage boys. Keep reading »

Book Smart: Oscar Reads “Benjamin Button”

Anyone can see the movie; only smarties read the book. This year all five nominees for Best Picture are stolen from based on literary sources. We’re giving you a cheat sheet to all of Hollywood’s hippest reads.

First up is “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Based on a 1921 F. Scott Fitzgerald story, it snapped up a whopping 13 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Brad Pitt, as a man born old who gets younger each day. Pitt took the “go-ugly” requirement for Oscar Gravitas (see: Charlize Theron, “Monster”) to a new level.

The original story is 26 pages, so director David Fincher and screenwriter Eric Roth had to add stuff so the movie wouldn’t be, like, 26 minutes. After the jump, a rundown of the movie versus the book… Keep reading »

Book Smart: Oscar Reads “Slumdog Millionaire”

Anyone can see the movie — only smarties read the book. This year, all five nominees for Best Picture are stolen from based on literary sources. We’re giving you a cheat sheet to all of Hollywood’s hippest reads. “Slumdog Millionaire” scored 10 Oscar nods, which means we’re going to get to see M.I.A. wear something insane when she performs her nominated song, “O Saya,” on February 22. The movie focuses on Jamal, a chai-wallah, or tea boy, who wins the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The story is based on Vikas Swarup’s Indian bestseller Q&A. However, more than the title has been changed. After the jump, how director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufroy fiddled with the original … Keep reading »

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