August: Osage County, despite two Oscar nominations for its most famous actors, was kind of dead on arrival. It may offer some stellar performances, but the film as a whole is quite forgettable — which is often, sadly, the case when movies are based on heavy-hitting stage plays. Theater and film are two media that have as many differences as they do similarities; many theatrical moments do not translate well to the screen, simply because the ephemeral experiences of sitting in a theater to watch actors perform in real life cannot be replicated on film. Yet there have still been a lot of very good movies based on plays; here’s a roundup of some of the best.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F8_qdd8iho]
Miloš Forman’s film, based on Peter Shaffer’s play (and adapted for the screen by the playwright), is an epic, lavish narrative of the creative feud between composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. It garnered a ton of critical praise and received eight Oscars, including Best Picture.