Gratifying it was for us boovie lovers to watch the 2008 Academy Awards. There was tuxedoed Cormac McCarthy smiling each time his No Country for Old Men won an Oscar. It beat out three other books and a short story to win the award for best adapted screenplay. It also won Oscars for best picture, best directing, and best supporting actor by Javier Bardem, with his chilling portrayal of evil incarnate.
The Kite Runner received an Oscar nomination for original score.
Ian McEwan’s Atonement was yet another bestselling book paired with a movie adaptation.
That makes three bestsellers that those commenting on this Well-Read Life blog had already crowned as boovies before Oscar did. (A boovie is that welcome serendipity of both the book and the movie being good, if not great.) The Academy apparently agrees with our readers.
The Oscar-nominated short story was Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” which formed the basis for Sarah Polley’s screenplay for Away from Her. Searching online, I see that a book has been issued under the same name as the movie, with a cover showing Julie Christie. Sounds like a great opportunity to do a reverse boovie—watch first and then enjoy a quick read of the book’s 96 pages.
The other short book, at 144 pages, is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Its brevity is understandable. The now-deceased author, Jean-Dominique Bauby, was left paralyzed and speechless after a stroke. He wrote the book by blinking his left eye.
All of the above are relatively new writing. The outlier, in terms of its age, is There Will be Blood, for which Daniel Day-Lewis snagged the Oscar for best actor. This movie was based on the 1927 novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair. For an historical description of this relatively unknown work by the author famous for The Jungle, see this fascinating piece by movie reviewer and biographer Scott Eyman.
Personally, I’m going to do reverse boovies with Away from Her and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have discovered either of the books if the movies hadn’t achieved acclaim. But happy days! Boovies lead us from one good art form to another.
As “Once” composer Glen Hansard said as he held his Oscar aloft, “This is amazing! Make art! Make art!”
How about you? Are you enjoying a boovie, or reverse boovie, now? Let me know what art you discover while pursuing your viewing and reading. Just click on the Comments link below. (If you’re reading this as an email, click here and you'll connect to Comments).