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Cover Image of Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing published by Carroll & Graf
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Academy Awards 2005: BookBuffet’s Best Guess

abstract:BookBuffet lists the movies nominated this year that were adapted from books or available as original screenplays. We hope you will read the work that inspired the film. Click on titles or images for links to purchase.


February 24, 2005

February 27th 8pm EST/5pm the 77th Academy Awards will determine which movies warrant being called the best of 2004.  For a list of the nominees, (see below) or go to for a printable ballot for your own Oscar party. 


The Books

Sideways, by Rex Pickett; St. Martin’s Griffith (2004)  Two un-likely friends and former college room mates, set out for a weeklong wine trip in the Santa Ynez Valley from San Diego.   The trip is a parting bachelor gift from best man, Miles to the groom and best friend, Jack. The differences between their personalities create the comic tension and hilarious situations they get into, which strains their friendship.  An excelent read, and a wonderful film adaptation.  Our foursome discussed it for two days after viewing on a recent ski vacation. Up for 5 Academy nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress

The Aviator: A Screenplay by John Logan; Mirimax Books (2004)  Adapted from George J. Marrett’s  biography of the legendary Howard Hughes. John was nominated for his screenplay Gladiator, which solidifies his command of the term epic. Already a four-time winner across the drink at the BAFTA Awards, this film will be the elephant in the room at the Oscars, with 12 Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound Mixing.

The Sea Inside is a powerful movie about the right to legal assisted suicide as adapted from the translated autobiography of Spaniard, Ramon Sampedro, a quadripeligic who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. As the book is not currently availible in print or translation, we link to the film novelization written by director Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil. Nominated for Best Foreign Film

Rope Burns, by F.X. Toole. The 69-year-old author of this astonishing first fiction collection written between gigs tending boxers in their corners as a "cut man" (who stanches the blood flow and allows fights to continue.) The story was first published by a small literary magazine, and then picked up for book publication by a keen-eyed literary agent.  Clint Eastwood got the film rights an proceeded to write, direct, act and compose the music (!) making it into a surprising critical success "Million $$$ Baby”  with actress Hilary Swank.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry; Newmarket Shooting Script Series.  Kaufman is one of Hollywood's top craftsmen, with previous writing credits for original screenplays like Adaptation and Being John Malcovich—he continues to stretch viewers minds and his scripts merit careful study for anyone interested in writing for film. Nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

(Motorcyle Diaries previously covered on BookBuffet, Before Sunset with brilliant dialogue is not yet released. Guardian article on actress Sophie Okonedo's nomination for her part in Hotel Rwanda will remind you why this actress deserves recognition.)


More Oscar Trivia

Having had the opportunity to tour the Academy Awards office and meet with producer Gill Cates, the longest standing producer of the Oscar Celebrations, I am reminded of his drive and originality. Check-out his Producer's Blog for an advance peek, where he writes, “This year, Oscar will introduce the hilarious Chris Rock as a first time host. I expect him to be thoughtful, edgy, contemporary and very funny.”

It was Gill Cates who fought with the board to get a short clip of the members of the academy that had passed away inserted into the show, and now it is one of the most important segments and has been adopted by every other awards show.

In the interests of saving time and allowing for more candid shots of the stars among their peers and in unscripted situations, Cates is trying something entirely new this year; rather than have all the nominees walking from their spot to the stage and doing their 1 minute acceptance speech, they intend to have all the nominees come up to the stage in some categories, and the announcer go down to where the nominees are sitting to do others. 

Variety Magazine is the trade publication that movie industry people subscribe to to see box office stats, insider news, new deals and trends.  You can find out what the celebrity stylists are recommending to their clients to wear, what items are in their Academy Awards gift bags and more fun trivia at the Variety StylePhile Weblog.

Top Categories with links to the

Best picture: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways

Best director: Martin Scorsese - The Aviator, Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby, Alexander Payne - Sideways, Taylor Hackford - Ray, Mike Leigh - Vera Drake

Best actor: Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda, Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland, Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator, Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby, Jamie Foxx - Ray

Best actress: Annette Bening - Being Julia, Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace, Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake, Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby, Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best supporting actress: Cate Blanchett - The Aviator, Laura Linney - Kinsey, Virginia Madsen - Sideways, Sophie Okonedo - Hotel Rwanda, Natalie Portman - Closer

Best supporting actor: Alan Alda - The Aviator, Thomas Haden Church - Sideways, Jamie Foxx - Collateral, Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby, Clive Owen - Closer

Best original screenplay: The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda, The Incredibles, Vera Drake

Best adapted screenplay: Before Sunset, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries, Sideways

Best foreign film: As It Is In Heaven, The Chorus, Downfall, The Sea Inside, Yesterday.

Enjoy the show and tell us what you think of the books!



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