The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
"Daisy Fuller Williams is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital the day that Hurricane Katrina hits. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud from the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life. The unusual aspect of his life is that he ages backwards, being born an old man. He is diagnosed with several aged diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival. He does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by Thomas Button, his biological father, after Benjamin's biological mother dies in childbirth, Benjamin is raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors' home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when they finally match up in age. Some of the revelations in Benjamin's diary are difficult for Caroline to read."
Sreenwriters: Eric Roth & Robin Swicord
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
"A wealthy industrialist is held captive in enemy territory and escapes by building a high-tech suit made of armor. When he returns home, he decides to use his money, talents, and suit to save the world."
Screenwriters: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby & Art Marcum & Matt Holloway
Author: Stan Lee & Don Heck
"What have we learned (and what might we have forgotten) from history's bloody backwash? Guilt, love, and history are three skeins, woven together to create human beings or, alternately, human monsters. The question of wartime culpability undergirds the May-December romance in postwar Berlin between Hanna, a weary-looking, sexually rapacious streetcar ticket-taker and Michael, a young schoolboy whom she seduces, ravenously and to his great delight. One day, Hanna is gone, with no explanation, and Michael grows into a promising young law student. His class attends a trial, where the new Germany judges the past and, by default, the lovers as well."
Sreenwriter: David Hare
Author: Bernhard Schlink
"Frank and April Wheeler live a life that appears to be perfect. They live in the Connecticut suburbs with two young children. Frank commutes to New York City where he works in an office job that he hates and has yet to figure out what his passion in life is. April is a housewife who forgoes her dream of being an actress. They are not happy. One day, April suggests that they move to Paris as a means to rejuvenate their life. Initially skeptical, Frank ultimately agrees to April's plan. When circumstances change around the Wheelers, April decides she will do whatever she has to to get herself out of her unhappy existence."
Sreenwriter: Justin Haythe
Author: Richard Yates
Slumdog Millionaire WINNER
"Jamal Malik is an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? When the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up. He describes their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Every chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible questions. When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers watch to find out if he can answer the question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love."
Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy
Author: Vikas Swarup
"The powerful story of a country music star's rocky road to redemption. Bad Blake is a boozy, broken-down singer who reaches for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the music. But will Bad's hard-livin' ways and crazy heart cost him his last chance at a comeback."
Screenwriter: Scott Cooper
Author: Thomas Cobb
"Back in the 1980s, a giant spacecraft stalled in the skies over Johannesburg. 1.8 million of the aliens that were aboard were rescued, and placed in a refugee camp--District 9. Over the next 20 years, District 9 became a teeming shantytown like so many others in the developing world. Although there is evidence that the extraterrestrials represent an advanced civilization, their lives on Earth are marked by squalor, dysfunction, and xenophobic hostility. Now, the mass eviction of the aliens is due to commence, overseen by the military/corporate entity MultiNational United. Middle manager Wikus Van De Merwe finds himself in charge, and cannot believe the good luck of his sudden promotion, until events spin out of control, and he realizes he is little more than a pawn in a horrific multinational/intergalactic experiment."
Screenwriters: Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell
Author: Terri Tatchell
"In the early 1960's, 16-year-old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in a London suburb. She is smart, pretty, and working toward her goal of being accepted into Oxford. Her life will take a big turn when she meets David, a man twice her age. Now she must decide if she will pursue an education at Oxford, or if she will choose to learn all that a charismatic older man can teach her."
Screenwriter: Nick Hornby
Author: Lynn Barber
"In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece 'Precious' Jones lives in Harlem with her dysfunctional family. She has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl. She suffers constant physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother, Mary. After getting pregnant for the second time, Precious is suspended from her school. Her principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school where her new teacher, Ms. Rain, helps Precious learn to read and she responds to this glimmer of hope. Precious also meets Mrs. Weiss, a social worker, who discovers the abuse and incest that Precious has had to endure. Her father dies of AIDS and Precious learns that she is now HIV-positive."
Screenwriter: Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air WINNER
"Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert who flies all over the world on business. Just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles, and meeting the frequent traveler woman of his dreams, his company grounds him. When Bingham goes on his last cross country firing expedition, he will learn that life isn't about the journey, but about the connections made along the way."
Screenwriters: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
Author: Walter Kirn
"...is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?"
Screenwriters: Simon Beaufoy & Danny Boyle
Author: Aron Ralston
The Ghost Writer (on order)
"When a gifted ghostwriter is hired to write the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, he quickly finds himself trapped in a web of political and sexual intrigue. Lang is implicated in a scandal over his administration's harsh tactics, and as the ghostwriter digs into the politician's past, he discovers secrets that threaten to jeopardize international relations forever."
Screenwriter: Robert Harris & Roman Polanski
Author: Robert Harris
The Social Network WINNER
"On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history, but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications."
Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin
Author: Ben Mezrich
"Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with 'true grit,' Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has his or her 'grit' tested." - Jim Beaver
Screenwriters: Ethan & Joel Coen
Author: Charles Portis
"Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly sets out to track down her father who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails to find him, she and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin's code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions, and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth."
Screenwriters: Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Author: Daniel Woodrell