Several big winners at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards were — you guessed it– adapted from books. Three are novels, one is from the true-crime genre, and the fifth is an award winning play:
1. The Night Manager by John Le Carré
The Night Manager is the latest work by prolific novelist John Le Carré to be adapted for the screen. Tom Hiddleston took out the gong for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and his co-star and countryman, Hugh Laurie, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
Published in 1993, The Night Manager, was le Carré’s first post-cold war espionage novel. Its eponymous hero, a former elite-forces soldier, is persuaded to join an undercover operation to bring to justice a billionaire arms trader and drug dealer.
2. The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin
Jeffry Toobin’s The Run of His Life: The People v O.J. Simpson inspired the television series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. It won the award for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and Sarah Paulson took out Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Jeffrey Toobin has been called “the foremost legal journalist of our time.” The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson is a true crime page turner that probes not just the crime but also shortcomings in the criminal justice system.
3. “Oh…” by Philippe Djian
Philippe Djian’s controversial novel, “Oh…” inspired the film, Elle. Isabelle Huppert won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama and the film triumphed as Best Motion Picture-Foreign Language.
As one reviewer said, “Oh…” by Philippe Dijan, “wouldn’t win any awards for political correctness” although it did win the Prix Interallié, a prestigious French award for novels written by journalists. The novel begins with the rape of a successful business woman; it takes place in her own home. Her reaction is to clean up the scene and resume her life as if nothing has happened. But, as the story unfolds, we come to understand that this victim has something very specific in mind for the perpetrator of the crime.
4. Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
The title characters of Wright’s novel have been divorced and estranged for many years when Susan receives a copy of Tony’s novel, Nocturnal Animals. It’s a grim story of murder and revenge, yet Susan finds it compelling for reasons that might be linked to their former life together.
4. Fences by August Wilson
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture, was awarded to Viola Davis for her role in Fences which was adapted from the play by August Wilson.
Before it made it to the screen, August Wilson’s play had already won a slew of accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. It is the story of Troy, a trash collector, who might have played Major League Baseball but was barred from pursing his dream by the color of his skin. Now, in middle-age, bitterness begins to take hold, affecting the lives of those closest to him.
The works listed above inspired the shows and movies that won the awards but many of the nominees also started life on the printed page. The Golden Globes are a pointer to the Baftas, Oscars and Emmy Awards so it’s likely we’ll see more book-inspired winners in the coming weeks and months.
YouTube Channel: NBC
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