The Blagger's Guide To...The books behind The Oscars

Half of this year's 'Best Films' are based on books

*David Seidler's film The King's Speech was already in pre-production when Mark Logue, the grandson of George VI's speech therapist Lionel Logue, uncovered the latter's diaries, written in pencil on Basildon Bond paper, and copies of the King's speeches annotated by Logue himself.

The film was quickly amended, but the diaries, speeches and handwritten letters from the King were used by Mark Logue and the journalist Peter Conradi in compiling their far more comprehensive book, The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy (Quercus, £12.99). Among other things that never made it to film are a Christmas cracker joke enjoyed by the King, and the contents of a letter from the Queen Mother to Logue: "[The King] was such a splendid person, and I don't believe that he ever thought of himself at all," she wrote. "I did so hope that he might have been allowed a few years of comparative peace after the many anguished years he had to battle through so bravely. But it was not to be."

*127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, is based on the 2004 autobiography of the climber Aron Ralston, Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Pocket Books, £7.99). It was reviewed by the mountaineer and writer Robert Macfarlane. "Fear-seekers will be gripped," he wrote.

*Winter's Bone, written and directed by Debra Granik, is an adaptation of the 2006 novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell (Sceptre, £7.99). Most of his eight novels are set in the Missouri Ozarks. He has coined the term "country noir" to define his work.

*Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network is based on the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, by the Harvard-educated author Ben Mezrich. He has written four other non-fiction books and seven novels. One of these, Reaper, has become a TBS network movie starring Robert Wagner. Mezrich's Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cow-boys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions (Arrow, £8.99) has been optioned as a movie with a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan, who adapted Graham Greene's The Quiet American for the big screen. (Michael Caine was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his part in it.)

*The Coen brothers' True Grit is the second film adaptation of Charles Portis's novel of the same name, which was first published as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post in 1968. Nora Ephron's book, I Remember Nothing, reveals that she dated Portis after they met at Newsweek in 1962. Portis, she writes, "was a wonderful writer with a spectacular and entirely eccentric style ... [who] was no good at all at writing the formulaic, voiceless, unbylined stories ... that Newsweek printed".

*Black Swan is a 2007 book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb (Penguin, £9.99) about "our blindness with respect to randomness". The film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, has nothing to do with random events but is based on Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, which was inspired partly by the Russian fairy tale "The White Duck". The story was included in the 1894 Yellow Fairy Book (Dover Publications, £12.99) – part of the series which, along with The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare, contain all of the best stories ever told. (Disney's version of the Blue Fairy Book's "Beauty and the Beast", for example, was the first of only three animated films ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The third is Toy Story 3, nominated this year.)

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Arts and Entertainment
Crime watch: Cara Delevingne and Daniel Brühl in ‘The Face of an Angel’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
News
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
News
‘The Late Late Show’ presenter James Corden is joined by Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks for his first night as host
news
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss