And the Oscar Doesn’t Go To

The Academy Awards ceremony often confounds expectations, no more dramatically than it did last night when, just as the La La Land producers were celebrating their win for Best Picture, it was announced that the winner was actually Moonlight.

9780735216686_c42dbExpectations that books would take center stage were also confounded. In spite of multiple nominations for films adapted from published material, only Fences, based on the August Wilson play, won a major award, for Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress.

Even the category of adapted screenplay did not net a win for books. In fact the winner isn’t even  based on a published work, but on an unpublished play that was written as a drama school project, Moonlight.

9780525433675_58d39Despite five nominations, including Best Director, Arrival, based on a story by Ted Chiang, won just one Oscar, for Sound Editing and the books that showed the largest sales boosts from the nominations, Hidden FiguresLion, and A Man Called Ove, went home empty-handed.

9780425276198_292f1Those books are still doing well, however. The memoir that is the basis for LionA Long Way Home, continues to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of pre-Oscars attention, including People magazine’s “The True Story Behind Lion: How Lost Child Saroo Brierley Found His Birth Mother More Than 20 Years Later.”

The two book-based nominees for Best Animated Feature lost out to the original screenplay, Zootopia. It does, however, have several tie-ins.

Hollywood shows no signs of falling out of love with books, announcing new adaptations each week. As they say in show business, “There’s always next time.”

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