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And The Academy Award Goes To: Great Reads About The Silver Screen

by NPR Staff
Feb 22, 2013

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A Bengal tiger named Richard Parker plays a central role in Life of Pi, a new movie adaptation of a novel some might describe as unfilmable. 'Pictures at a Revolution' Jennifer and Cary Grant

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You may perhaps not have noticed, but the 85th annual Academy Awards are coming up this weekend. In Oscar's honor, we dug into the archives for some of the best books about the movies — and the books that became movies. And Cary Grant, because we love him even though Oscar didn't.


Three Books About Our Affair With Movies
Oscar season, of course, means you almost can't avoid thinking about movies. But for all the ways movies consume us, it's rare to find good, serious writing that analyzes our relationship to them. These three books selected by Anthony Giardina (the proud possessor of the nation's most eclectic Netflix queue) do just that. Among his picks is Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, a longtime favorite of our very own Linda Holmes. (Three Books, June 11, 2008)


When 'Unfilmable' Books Make Memorable Movies
Some books are considered unfilmable — Ulysses, for example. But that never stops filmmakers; Ulysses in particular has been filmed not once, but twice. Cloud Atlas and the Best Picture-nominated Life of Pi are two complicated, ambitious novels recently adapted for the big screen. NPR's Elizabeth Blair explores what makes some singular narratives workable on film — and what makes some fail. (Morning Edition, Nov. 20, 2012)


Coen Brothers' 'No Country' Nabs Eight Oscar Nods
For more than 20 years, Ethan and Joel Coen have written, directed and produced films together — many of them bloody, absurd and revolving around some kind of criminal enterprise gone awry. Their film No Country for Old Men was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 2008, eventually winning Best Picture and Best Director for the Coens, who became the first siblings to share a directing award. (Weekend Edition Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008)

Critic Alan Cheuse reviewed the original novel by Cormac McCarthy here.


'Good Stuff': Cary Grant's Daughter On Growing Up

For most of the world, Cary Grant was a Hollywood icon, but to Jennifer Grant he was simply Dad. Grant chronicles her close relationship with her father in her new book, Good Stuff. Despite starring in classics like Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story and North by Northwest, Grant was legendarily snubbed by the Academy throughout his career, finally getting an honorary Oscar in 1970. (Weekend Edition Sunday, June 18, 2011)

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