5:02 pm - 01/27/2012

Is 'Hunger Games' YA's Best Chance For A Best Picture Oscar?

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"The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence set aside her flaming bow and arrow in favor of a gilded envelope Tuesday morning to announce the 2012 Oscar nominations alongside Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak. And sadly — though not entirely surprisingly for young-adult-literature aficionados — the "Harry Potter" franchise was once again (and for the final time) overlooked for a Best Picture nomination.

Which raises the question: Does the Academy have something against YA adaptations?

Curiously, adaptations have historically been strong performers at the Academy Awards. Past statuettes have gone to the literary likes of "All Quiet on the Western Front," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Silence of the Lambs." And this year's contenders are no different. Six of the nine Best Picture nominees, including "The Descendants," "Hugo," "The Help," "Moneyball," "War Horse" and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," can be found lining the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble, while five of last year's 10 nominees were also based on bound works, according to USA Today.

The side of the equation, then, troubling Academy voters seems to be the "young adult" variable. Though to be fair, there's not much of a precedent for awards recognition seeing as mining teen lit for film fodder is a relatively new phenomenon. Sure, there are exceptions like S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" (made into a film all the way back in 1983, starring Matt Dillon and Patrick Swayze), but for every "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" or "The Princess Diaries" there are tens (if not hundreds) of seminal works, like "The Catcher in the Rye" or "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," languishing in pre-production hell or undeserved obscurity as far as film financiers are concerned.

Which leaves us with "The Hunger Games," the latest YA sensation, which blazes into theaters in less than two months. And while it's hard to predict the awards-season viability of a movie we haven't even seen yet, there are at least a few indicators to suggest it could be the first YA novel adaptation to win (or at the very least be nominated for) Best Picture. For one, Oscar's already made acquaintance with many members of the cast and crew. Our friends at NextMovie crunched the numbers, discovering that the actors and technical experts behind "The Hunger Games" boast 30 Oscar nominations — even Effie Trinket couldn't turn her nose up at that. And while a film like "Twilight" (which, let's be honest, won't be sharing a feather-strewn canopy bed with the Academy anytime soon) focuses on a fantastical, star-crossed-lovers plotline, "The Hunger Games" deals more seriously with issues of life, death and government control, likely giving it more credence with voters.

Though most of the above could surely have been said of "Harry Potter," it apparently wasn't meant to be. Hopefully with "The Hunger Games" (and the slew of approximately 4 million teen novels in various stages of adaptation) the Academy will begin recognizing artful YA adaptations as the deserving films that they are. Because we already do.

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janeeyre 27th-Jan-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
this movies needs to released now!!!
la_petite_singe 27th-Jan-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Good God, this movie had better be fucking amazing after all of this. Starting the first book in a day or two!
phnix_daft_mode 27th-Jan-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Lol no.

And this is coming from someone who thinks the movie is actually going to be good.
bcain1992 27th-Jan-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
MTE. I think it will get critical acclaim, but Oscars is a looooong shot.
drasticsigns 27th-Jan-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)

I think the movie is going to be amazing, but I don't think Oscar worthy. Maybe if they tweaked a few of the typical YA novel things from the book then I could see it.
goofusgallant 27th-Jan-2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
fruitchews 27th-Jan-2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
notoriousreign 27th-Jan-2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
onceupon_awish 28th-Jan-2012 03:19 am (UTC)
brucelynn 27th-Jan-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
senkig 27th-Jan-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
lol mtv, troll for hits harder please
imnotasquirrel 27th-Jan-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
look on the bright side, at least they're not saying this shit about cassie clare's movie.

foxtree 27th-Jan-2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
haha, silver lining. even cassie clare seems to think that her movie will suck, lol.
tobesurrounded 27th-Jan-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
you can't get say Best Picture and have those two faces on it.
theshadowpuppet 27th-Jan-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to this, but lol no.

Edited at 2012-01-27 10:14 pm (UTC)
lolbye 27th-Jan-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Which raises the question: Does the Academy have something against YA adaptations?

most YA adaptions aren't very good?
squirrels_oh_no 27th-Jan-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
imnotasquirrel 27th-Jan-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
hdu eragon was a masterpiece
sashwizzled 27th-Jan-2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
ikr - was anyone seriously expecting Harry Potter to get a Best Picture nom? Because I want what they're smoking.
foxface 27th-Jan-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
This HP shade
dothecrunge 27th-Jan-2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
The first Narnia movie was amazing idgaf
notoriousreign 27th-Jan-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I agree with this~ <3
firedawn 27th-Jan-2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
MTE, fantastic person, MTE.
direfaces 27th-Jan-2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
ia ia
notoriousreign 27th-Jan-2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
The Harry Potter movies and the first Narnia movie were good, but lbr nobody was expecting a Best Picture nom. =P
chantonii 28th-Jan-2012 04:21 am (UTC)
steph_monster 27th-Jan-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
I just hope this movie lives up to the hype.

Still excited tho
trials_by_fire 27th-Jan-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
praying the movie is better than the book (I'm looking at you Mockingjay!!).
lucciolaa 27th-Jan-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
tbh I'm hoping they completely rewrite the third one so it's 'based on the novel' rather than an adaptation from book to screen.
highd 27th-Jan-2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
Would you want the same ending?
prettywitch 28th-Jan-2012 12:29 am (UTC)
This! Can they re-write Finnick's *SPOILER*

death, because there was really no reason for that at all. And more Jo!!!
when_itsizzles 27th-Jan-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
im reading it now. not going very well.

its to the point i am feeling second hand embarrassment for the author and also first hand embarrassment for reading it.
tobesurrounded 27th-Jan-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
if there is as little Peeta as possible then it will prob be Oscar material tbh
sapphirespells 27th-Jan-2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
aww I loved Mockingjay, obvi an unpopular opinion.
laminy 27th-Jan-2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
Fuck Mockingjay. Took me 5 months to read that, it was so bad.
dothecrunge 27th-Jan-2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
I would hope so since the books are from Katniss' limited POV whereas the films should show more. The trailer itself already indicates that since the countdown part shows Gale/Prim/etc's reactions
arabian 27th-Jan-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
IDGAF, I LOVED "Mockingjay," just liked I loved the first two. I read all three over two days a few Christmases ago and thought that the books were brilliant from word one of page one of "The Hunger Games" to the last word in "Mockingjay." Thought the same thing when I reread them a few more times. I don't get the "Mockingjay" hate, and I never will.
posh 27th-Jan-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
how about we watch the movie first and then talk, mtv ?
team_switz 27th-Jan-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
I don't know, even though Harry Potter was flawed it certainly had a better hype and failed to get any major Awards.
I think people are getting their hopes too high for this. Just enjoy it for what it is, don't try to make it the next big thing. (And I mean movie goers, not publicists because well, that's their jobs.)
spoiled_water 27th-Jan-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Can they wait until they've actually seen the movie. Good god.
lucciolaa 27th-Jan-2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
Well, no one's seen it yet. Also, not a chance.
squirrels_oh_no 27th-Jan-2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I am thinking Best Costume Design maybe and that's about it.
when_itsizzles 27th-Jan-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
i think maybe score too.
megalixer 27th-Jan-2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
yeah, I could maybeee see some technical oscars in the mix but nothing for acting or writing or anything like that.
squirrels_oh_no 27th-Jan-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, just noticed this is an MTV article.

I'm pretty sure companies just pay for articles as if they were advertisements.
solestella 27th-Jan-2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
I think Safe and Sound is definitely getting a nom. The original song category is always pretty sparse and that song is actually good.
piratesswoop 27th-Jan-2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
idts tbh, they'll probably only nominate boring shit from a random movie no1curr about
ellaellaeheheh 28th-Jan-2012 03:20 am (UTC)
the problem is that they have so many weird rules for this category. first we have to see if it can be nominated.
notoriousreign 27th-Jan-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
I could see the music awards and maybe set design/cinematography getting recognized with this movie, but not anything with the actors, directing or picture tbh.
rootooyoo 28th-Jan-2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
For what tho? Everything from the training sweats to the reaping dress and even the interview dress look like they went down to the local KMart to outfit the entire movie. Even the Capitol residents look basic.
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