Only two book adaptations nominated for Oscars Best Picture 2023

27 January 2023

All Quiet on the Western Front, written in 1928 by Erich Maria Remarque, and Women Talking, written in 2018 by Miriam Toews, are the only two book to film adaptations to be nominated in the best picture category for the 2023 Oscars. This is a far cry from the substantial number of best picture nominations in earlier years, including 1956, 1959, 1972, 1980, 1991, and 1995, when all best picture contenders were adaptation of books.

In accounting for this dearth of nominations, Eliza Smith, writing for Literary Hub, suggests more books are being made into TV shows, film producers chose the wrong books to adapt, and — perhaps unsurprisingly — many of the book to film productions were plain bad:

…and then there were the bad adaptations. See: Spiderhead, The Gray Man, Three Thousand Years of Longing, Persuasion, White Noise (reviews are mixed on this one — I’m firmly a thumbs down), Firestarter (which got a whopping 10% on Rotten Tomatoes), Death on the Nile, and Deep Water (though my colleague Dan insists this one is so bad it’s good). To be fair, some were good and just not Oscars material (see: Bodies Bodies Bodies, Bullet Train, and Confess Fletch).


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