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Read it First! Film adaptations headed to theatres near you. Special Oscars Edition!

Elizabeth Graney, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department,
movie theatre image

Each February, the Academy gathers to honor the best films produced in the previous year and this is quite the literary season for these prestigious awards. Most of the films nominated for the highest accolades were adapted from books! Below we've rounded up all of these nominees. There's still time to speed read one (or two) before the big day!


Four men

The Big Short by Michael Lewis is the true account of the events that led to the housing and credit bubble of the 2000's and the ensuing financial crisis. Following both those who predicted the inevitable crash and those who made and lost billions of dollars betting for and against it, Lewis' frank record shines a light on hazardous investment practices.

Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 

A woman in a dress leans against a brick wall. Movie poster

In Colm Toibin's Brooklyn, Eilis Lacey leaves Ireland to find opportunites for a better life in early 1950’s Brooklyn. But adjusting to a new culture and life on her own is harder than she anticipated. As she struggles through an unfulfilling job and night school, Eilis meets and falls in love with Tom, a plumber. Just as life in America seems to be turning around, however, a tragedy back home forces a confrontation between her two lives, rupturing both in the process.

Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 

Two women

The Price of Salt (being released cinematically as Carol) is the story of two women who find friendship, comfort and love with each other. When Therese and Carol meet they are both stuck in lives that don't fit, with people they don't love. In each other, they discover how much more life can offer. But their newfound happiness is threatened when Carol's estranged husband uses their relationship to threaten her custody of her daughter. How can a person choose between love and family?

Nominated for : Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Cinematography, Costume Design, Music (Original Score), Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 

A woman in a blue dress running off camera. Movie poster

A re-telling of the classic tale. After the death of her father, Cinderella is forced to wait upon her stepmother and stepsisters. But when the prince throws a ball, she can take her subjugation no longer. With the help of a fairy godmother, a few trusty house mice and a beautiful ensemble, Cinderella will take the steps necessary to change her life forever.

Nominated for : Costume Design

Two people

Roughly based on the life of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in sexual reassignment surgery, The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff follows Einar Wegener, a painter in 1920's Copenhagen.  After agreeing to stand in for a female model for his wife's painting, Einar struggles with the feelings this exciting and, for the era, illicit act brings out in him. As he explores his growing sense of self, Einar discovers strength and peace in his new female identity as Lili. Ebershoff's moving tale is one of self discovery and love.

Nominated for : Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Costume Design, Production Design

A man in a suit and a woman embrace, facing the camera. Movie poster.

A young, innocent college student is drawn into the dark and seductive world of a rich entrepreneur. The first in a wildly popular trilogy, E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey introduces the now (in)famous couple Anastasia and Christian.

Nominated for : Music (Original Song)


In the titular story of David Constantine's collection In Another CountryGeoff Mercer receives news that the body of his first love has been found, preserved in the glacier that took her life and that of their unborn child 60 years before. Geoff finds his peaceful life upended and his marriage threatened by the ensuing emotional turmoil. Constantine's story is an examination of love's unhealable wounds and the weight of time on one's soul. 

Nominated for : Best Actress in a Leading Role

A man in a space suit faces the camera. Movie poster

After a catastrophic windstorm forces the rest of his team to hastily abandon their Mars landing site, botanist Mark Watney finds himself alone on a distant planet.  Using his mechanical engineering skills and profound resourcefulness, Mark does everything he can to survive until a rescue attempt can be made. At once laugh out loud funny and nail bitingly tense, The Martian by Andy Weir is an exceedingly believable science fiction tour de force.

Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 

A man with a large beard covered in snow faces the camera. Movie poster.

After being savagely attacked by a grizzly bear while scouting for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, Hugh Glass's compatriots strip him of everything he owns and leave him to die in the 1823 wilderness. Empowered by rage, Glass embarks upon a perilous trek of survival and revenge. Michael Punke's The Revenant is a tale of vengeance bought any any cost.

Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects

A woman lifts up a small boy in a room painted to look like the outside. Movie poster.

To Jack, the Room is his school, his home, his playground. It is all he has ever known. But for his mother, the Room is a jail cell. Held against her will for seven years by the mysterious Old Nick, Jack's mother knows time is running out to keep Jack in ignorance of the true nature of his world and of her own desperate need to escape it. Room by Emma Donoghue is a powerful and painful look at the innocence of childhood in the face of monstrous circumstances. 

Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Directing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 


The story of the techonological visionary and his mercurial success. In Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson offers a frank look at the man behind some of the 20th and 21st centuries most iconic innovations. 

Nominated for : Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role
A man with a cigar, sitting in front of a typewriter, faces the camera. Movie poster.

Bruce Cook's Dalton Trumbo is the true story of the 1940's screenwriter who was jailed and blacklisted during the McCarthy era. As one of the “Hollywood Ten," Trumbo was cited with contempt of court for refusing to testify on the supposed Communist activities of other entertainment industry professionals before the House of UnAmerican Activities. Despite it all, Trumbo never gave up his craft and went on to win two Academy Awards. Through interviews with Dalton Trumbo, Cook's book details his life during this tumultuous time.

Nominated for : Best Actor in a Leading Role