And the Oscar goes to…Kevin Bacon!

Hooray for Hollywood! The 89th Academy Awards will be giving out their most coveted statue, the Oscar, in about a month. The best race this year is between Emma Stone and Natalie Portman, but we want to make a case for — you guessed it — Kevin Bacon. Here is a fun graphic taking all the lead actors and actresses and connecting them to Kevin Bacon. Maybe you can do one using all Oscar winners! For instance, Natalie Portman who is nominated for Jackie and won Best Actress for Black Swan was in Closer with Julia Roberts (Best Actress in Erin Brockovich) who was in Flatliners with…Kevin Bacon. Who are you predicting to win? Enjoy the Oscars on Sunday, February 26 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ABC.


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate

And the Oscar goes to, Kevin Bacon!

Hooray for Hollywood! The 88th Academy Awards will be giving out their most coveted statue, the Oscar, in less than two weeks. Of course, many predictors have the Best Actor Oscar going to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, but we want to make a case for, you guessed it Kevin Bacon. Here is a fun graphic taking all the lead actors and actresses and connecting them to Kevin Bacon. Maybe you can do one using all Oscar winners! Leonardo DiCaprio was in Catch Me If You Can with Tom Hanks (a two-time Oscar winner), who was in Apollo 13 with… Kevin Bacon. Who are you predicting to win? The safe bet is DiCaprio and Brie Larson in the Lead categories. Enjoy the Oscars on Sunday, February 28 at 7e/4p on ABC.

Half Price Books 2016 Oscar Nod Kevin Bacon Connection

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

21 Books that Inspired Oscar-Winning Movies

“Secret’s in the sauce,” Sipsey said.

One of my favorite movies inspired by a book is Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary-Louise Parker, based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987) by Fannie Flag. Even recent box office mega-hits like the Twilight saga and Harry Potter series first captured an audience of readers before they ever landed on the big screen. Some of the silver screen’s most loved and heroic characters were born in books – alongside the “boy who lived” are men like MI6’s “007” based on the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. Bond films began with Dr. No in 1962 and continue to thrive today with the 23rd film in the franchise, Skyfall (2012).

There are so many gifted screenwriters who have taken fantastic stories and characters from the pages of books and adapted them for film. And often those films are hailed as the “Best Picture” and “Best Screenplay” at the Academy Awards. Here’s a round-up of 21 books that inspired Oscar-winning movies. Have you read them all?


1. Gone with the Wind (1940) based on Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell • 2. The Sound of Music (1965) based on The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949) by Maria Augusta Trapp • 3. The Godfather (1972) based on The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo • 4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey • 5. Somewhere in Time (1980) based on Bid Time Return (1979) by Richard Matheson • 6. Terms of Endearment (1983) based on the novel Terms of Endearment (1975) by Larry McMurtry • 7. Scarface (1983) remake film based on Scarface (1929) by Armitage Trail • 8. Dances with Wolves (1990) based on Dances with Wolves (1988) by Michael Blake • 9. Schindler’s List (1993) based on Schindler’s List (1982) by Thomas Keneally • 10. Forrest Gump (1994) based on Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom • 11. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) based on novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, from the collection Different Seasons (1982) by Stephen King • 12. Sense and Sensibility (1995) based on Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen • 13. Cider House Rules (1999) based on The Cider House Rules (1985) by John Irving • 14. A Beautiful Mind (2001) based on A Beautiful Mind (1998) by Sylvia Nasar • 15. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) based on the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy (1954-55) by J.R.R. Tolkien • 16. Atonement (2007) based on Atonement: A Novel (2001) by Ian McEwan • 17. There Will Be Blood (2007) based on Oil! (1927) by Upton Sinclair • 18. The Blind Side (2009) based on The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game (2006) by Michael Lewis • 19. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) based on Push (1996) by Sapphire • 20. 127 Hours (2010) based on the memior Between a Rock and a Hard Place (2004) by Aron Ralston • 21. Hugo (2011) based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures (2007) by Brian Selznick.

In celebration of the 85th Academy Awards this weekend (Sunday, February 24), I give a big shout-out to all the screenwriters behind-the-scenes of each Oscar-worthy picture.

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

2012 Oscar Nominations & Frontrunners

And it’s official, the nominations are out for the 84th Academy Awards. This time last year, it was already down to a two horse race between The Social Network and The King’s Speech for Best Picture, and the best actor and actress awards were all but locked up by Colin Firth and Natalie Portman. This year, we have a few strong frontrunners, but the competition to take home an Oscar seems more challenging.

Could this be the year for George Clooney to nail down the Best Actor award for his performance in The Descendants? He was nominated two years ago in the leading category for Up In The Air and won a Supporting Actor Oscar for Syriana— and he has won the Golden Globe for The Descendants already. Clooney seems to be one of the Academy favorites these days, so if you had to make an early prediction, this might be a safe bet. I predict it will come down to him or The Artist’s Jean Dujardin.
Speaking of Academy favorites, is there any bigger favorite than Meryl Streep? This is now her 17th nomination, having won only twice for Sophie’s Choice in 1983 and Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980. Streep’s performance was spot on as Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, but there are two more to look out for in this category.

The first is Michelle Williams, who played the perfect Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. She too has a few previous nominations for Blue Valentine and Brokeback Mountain. So she may get a few voters in the Academy thinking it is her time.

Glenn Close is in the same situation, having 5 previous nominations for the likes of Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction. Close gave a very daring performance portraying a man in Albert Nobbs. Two other actresses, Hillary Swank and Linda Hunt, have won oscars for portraying men in Boys Don’t Cry and The Year Of Living Dangerously.

And lastly, when you figure in Viola Davis in The Help, we are left with one tough category to pick. Streep has to be the odds-on favorite, but as much as the Academy likes nominating her, they also liking voting for someone else in the final ballot.

That brings us to the coveted Best Picture award. With the new nomination requirements, we have a different number of films nominated this year. The Artist (with its 1920s Hollywood glamor) and The Descendants (with its modern-day family drama) are certainly the two frontrunners at the moment. Both have already won Golden Globes for Best Picture in their respective categories. But I won’t discount The Help from the race quite yet either. Based on a bestselling novel, its humble story made audiences everywhere laugh out loud and then leave the theater touched. That combination spells success.  

If you haven’t seen some of the nominated films, get out there and go see them before Oscar night (Sunday, February 26) so you can judge for yourself. Just remember: no talking or texting during the feature presentation.

— Jim