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Oscar nominees owe debt to books

The Oscar nominees for best picture owe a huge debt to books -- and the creativity of authors. Most of the top films are screen versions of tales that were woven by printed words (or digitized versions).

That's not taking anything away from the writers who adapt a novel or work of non-fiction. I'm slogging my way through Victor Hugo's Les Miserables now, and it is a wonder that a hit musical and movie could be distilled from the sprawling 1800s.

Here are other adaptations that join Les Mis in the best picture category:

-- ‘'Lincoln,’’ drawn from "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

-- ‘'Life of Pi,’’ from the Yann Martel novel about spirituality.

-- ‘'Silver Linings Playbook," from Matthew Quick's debut novel.

-- ‘‘Argo,’’ drawn from Joshuah Bearman's article "Escape from Tehran." It also generated a tie-in, "Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History," by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio.

-- "Beasts of the Southern Wild," adapated from Lucy Alibar's play "Juicy and Delicious."


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