CommunityFDL Main Blog

FDL Book Salon: The Obligatory Oscars Weekend Post — Book To Film

chermackie.jpg

Ah, the delightful days of Cher on the red carpet.  (And does the fact that I love Cher make me a bad person?)  The surprises of yesteryear at the Oscars — how I miss them.  It almost makes me long for that Bjork swan ensemble.  (Almost, but not quite.  I haven't completely lost my mind.)

Things are so well choreographed these days, that even the possibility of bumping into an ex is planned out in advance with escape routes and strategic make-up maneuvers practiced just in case.  (You think I'm kidding?  Read on.)

Apparently, Joan Rivers will be back prowling the Red Carpet with her acid tongue.  I think she's one of those "love her or hate her" types.  (I'm in the "grates on my last nerve" category with her, myself, because her humor is so forced that it is painful.  But I have to say that at least celebrities are working with better stylists these days on the whole, so at least that's sort of a net plus, minus the surprises that no longer creep into the mix.)  I don't know who else will be covering things from the red carpet level, but the pre-show that the networks put on has been ghastly the last few years. 

What I want is a good look at the gowns, the shoes, the jewelry, the make-up and hairdos — you know, the superficial stuff that I'll never be able to afford in a billion years — and the occasional conversation with an actor or musician or director about the craft of what they do, their creative process — as in something that actually matters to me.

Instead, we keep getting treated to these weird flash shots and goofy interviews from people who clearly haven't bothered to read up on much of anything, including the body of work that someone like Helen Mirren or Judy Dench or Peter O'Toole bring to the table.  Please.  Make it stop. 

The weird thing about having a young child and no substantial access to babysitting is that these days, I sit down to watch the Oscar telecast and see awards given out to movies that I haven't even begun to see yet.  Basically, the Oscars telecast becomes my netflix queue add-on list.  Is it like that for all the other parents out there, or is it just us?

What I'm looking forward to this year, in no particular order:

Al Gore on the red carpet.  You just know that Tipper has some lovely frock picked out, and that they will have a blast.  (No public tongue kissing.  That's all I'm asking.)  If he wins, will he or won't he in the speech?  Ooooooh, pass the popcorn…

— And on the subject of Al Gore and his environmental documentary — there is a "green car" movement for arrivals at the Oscars.  Let's play spot the hybrid limo!  And the WaPo says that people are calling him "the Goracle."  (I have to sy thatI, personally, have never heard him called that.  Anyone else?)

— Love, love, love Jennifer Hudson.   I have a confession:  I was an American Idol junkie in the early years of the show.  And Jennifer Hudson was my fave the year she competed.  You didn't see her?  Let me help you — watch this.  I so want her to win, even though it may make that cute little girl from Little Miss Sunshine a bit bitter.  (Honey, we can't all be Anna Paquin.)

— I so agree with this article in Australia's The Age.  The best that we can possibly hope for during the Oscars telecast is that Jack Nicholson will arrive so drunk that he'll grab someon's ass on camera.  (Ooooh — who should it be?  Discuss.)

— Let's be honest:  aren't we all pulling for Scorsese to win an Oscar at this point?

—  And it's my sentimental link-up to my old college newspaper.  Hey Sophian, have a little spare traffic — and some interesting picks for Oscar night, I must say.

— Looks like the entertainment line-up will be a good one this year — three Dreamgirls songs, James Taylor (from a song that he did for the Cars soundtrack) and Melissa Ethridge (for a song that she did for An Inconvenient Truth) will all be performing.  (Wonder if they will be surrounded by weird jazz hands dance number people?  Does that weird anyone else out, or is it just me?  Maybe I'm just a traditionalist, but a modern dance number in the middle of a love power ballad just never works for me visually.)

— And the NYTimes has set up a whole page of nothing but Oscars articles.  Go wild, entertainment junkies.  Yee.  Haw.

You can find a link to all of the nominees in all categories here on the official Oscars website, along with all sorts of other information.  So, who or what are your faves this year?  How about your favorite Oscar moments or movies or winners?

Some of my all-time favorite movies have been the ones that have come from favorite books — especially those adaptations that have either been true to the book itself, or that have enhanced the book somehow.  In recent years, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy movies made a huge splash among SFF fans who had long loved the books — and who were initially worried that the film versions would not live up to the read.  (Thankfully, they did, visually and character-wise, in my opinion.  What did you think if you saw them?)

But for my money, some of the best book adaptations have been done in that venerable British style by Merchant/Ivory.  Films like A Passage To India, or A Room With A View or Howard's End — all adaptations of E. M. Forster novels — which pull you into such an intricate world of class differences and issues of women's rights and so many other levels of conflict and tension among the upper, middle and lower classes in the British society of the 1800s.  That the costumes and dialogue are equally well-crafted only adds to that escape into the world of the original novel when you see it unfold on the screen.

Some of my favorite visual adaptations have come from the David Lean school of filmmaking — Dr. Zhivago (based on the novel by Boris Pasternak) and Lawrence of Arabia (based on the writings of T.E. Lawrence) being two of his most well-known efforts (but he also directed and edited Passage To India, with James Ivory producing, FYI).  While the films differ from the original writings on which they are based on several levels, the visual additions from David Lean truly add so much depth to the story.  The same can be said, I would argue, for Out of Africa, the gorgeous movie based on the writings of Isak Dinesen, which has a soundtrack that matches the scenery perfectly in so many places.

There are so many great examples of adapted films that it is impossible to name them all.  Those are just a tiny sampling of my favorites off the top of my head.  I thought we could all have some fun this evening with a discussion of your favorite movies that have been adapted from books — and a few movies that you think were not so fab in the adaptation category.  We have such a rich and varied cross-section of readers and commenters on FDL that I cannot wait to see what everyone else loves.

(Somehow, I can already feel my netflix queue getting larger as I type this.)

(I tried to find a photo credit on this one, but haven't been able to track one down.  This is such iconic Cher, that I'd love to credit the photographer.  Anyone know whose work this is?  If so, leave me a note in the comments so I can link it up.  Thanks!)

Book SalonCommunity

FDL Book Salon: The Obligatory Oscars Weekend Post — Book To Film

chermackie.jpg

Ah, the delightful days of Cher on the red carpet.  (And does the fact that I love Cher make me a bad person?)  The surprises of yesteryear at the Oscars — how I miss them.  It almost makes me long for that Bjork swan ensemble.  (Almost, but not quite.  I haven't completely lost my mind.)

Things are so well choreographed these days, that even the possibility of bumping into an ex is planned out in advance with escape routes and strategic make-up maneuvers practiced just in case.  (You think I'm kidding?  Read on.)

Apparently, Joan Rivers will be back prowling the Red Carpet with her acid tongue.  I think she's one of those "love her or hate her" types.  (I'm in the "grates on my last nerve" category with her, myself, because her humor is so forced that it is painful.  But I have to say that at least celebrities are working with better stylists these days on the whole, so at least that's sort of a net plus, minus the surprises that no longer creep into the mix.)  I don't know who else will be covering things from the red carpet level, but the pre-show that the networks put on has been ghastly the last few years. 

What I want is a good look at the gowns, the shoes, the jewelry, the make-up and hairdos — you know, the superficial stuff that I'll never be able to afford in a billion years — and the occasional conversation with an actor or musician or director about the craft of what they do, their creative process — as in something that actually matters to me.

Instead, we keep getting treated to these weird flash shots and goofy interviews from people who clearly haven't bothered to read up on much of anything, including the body of work that someone like Helen Mirren or Judy Dench or Peter O'Toole bring to the table.  Please.  Make it stop. 

The weird thing about having a young child and no substantial access to babysitting is that these days, I sit down to watch the Oscar telecast and see awards given out to movies that I haven't even begun to see yet.  Basically, the Oscars telecast becomes my netflix queue add-on list.  Is it like that for all the other parents out there, or is it just us? (more…)

Previous post

Next post

Hits and Misses

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

217 Comments