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Literary adaptations score big at this year’s Oscars

The 81st annual Academy Awards ceremony was held last night, and literary adaptations scored very well in high-ranking categories.

The big winner (and, in this Quillblogger’s opinion, the year’s most overrated movie) was Slumdog Millionaire, based on Vikas Swarup’s novel Q&A, which took home statues for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for cinematography, editing, original song, score, and sound mixing.

Kate Winslet finally picked up an Oscar for her portrayal of an illiterate Nazi who has an affair with an underage teen in The Reader, Stephen Daldry’s adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s Oprah-approved novel. And The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, won for art direction, make-up, and visual effects.

Revolutionary Road, the corrosive adaptation of Richard Yates’s even more corrosive novel, was shut out, although a case could be made that Winslet’s award was actually a twofer, since she also appeared in it, opposite her Titanic co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Also shut out of yesterday’s ceremony (admittedly due to the fact that they weren’t nominated for anything) were adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Which may not bode well for early literary aspirants for next year’s Oscars, which to date include Confessions of a Shopaholic and He’s Just Not That Into You.