Literary adaptations received the lion’s share of top awards at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards.
The 81st annual ceremony for the prizes, which honor movies and television programs, was held at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Oppenheimer, which received the award for best drama film, is based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a biography of the prime mover behind the development of the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer also won Golden Globes for best actor (Cillian Murphy), best supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr.), and best director (Christopher Nolan) in the drama category, as well as best original score.
The winner for best musical or comedy film was Poor Things, adapted from Alasdair Gray’s 1993 novel, Poor Things: Episodes From the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D., Scottish Public Health Officer. The film also took the prize for best actress (Emma Stone). The award for best actress in a drama film went to Lily Gladstone for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon, based on David Grann’s 2017 book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of FBI. Gladstone’s win marks the first time an Indigenous woman has won a Golden Globe.
Not all literary adaptations fared as well on awards night. The Zone of Interest, a Holocaust film based on the late Martin Amis’ 2014 novel, received three nominations but was shut out. The film American Fiction, based on Percival Everett’s 2001 novel, Erasure, and The Color Purple, a film musical of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer- and National Book Award–winning 1982 novel, each received two nominations but did not win.
Mark Athitakis is a journalist in Phoenix.