Have you ever seen The Neverending Story? Yes, it’s a children’s movie, but I loved it. Not because of Falcor, the big, fluffy flying dog, but because it visualized in movie form, my love of reading books and storytelling.
Movies and Books
When I am really engaged in a good book, it’s as though I am part of the story. If I am really getting involved in an especially good book, the characters become like friends and you can’t put the book down until you find out what happens to them. Some people say they read in bed and it puts them to sleep.
I never read in bed, because I will stay up until 4:00 in the morning to see if all is well with my new-found friends in the book. I play out the scenes and cast the characters with the appropriate movie stars and make a movie in my head. And then the book really comes to life, just as Atreyu becomes real to Bastian.
Often I will read and enjoy a book and anxiously await the movie version. Two of my favorite things together. Movies and Books. It like chocolate-peanut butter pie.
It’s all good!
But sometimes it’s not so good. I am talking about how Hollywood can turn a perfectly good book into a bad movie. Or at least a movie that doesn’t capture the book.
The Blue Stockings Society hosted a Lit Flicks Challenge about this topic. (So I guess I am not alone in this opinion). They also have a great list of movie adaptions you may want to check out. The Guardian’s 50 Best Film Adaptations
Oh! The Disappointment
Cold Mountain. The movie adaptation stars Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Rene Zellweger.National Book Award-winning
The story follows Inman, a wounded and weary Civil War soldier on his odyssey back to Ada, the woman he left behind.and Jude Law are good as the lead characters.
Rene Zellweger gave a stand-out performance as the uneducated, but wise and hardworking Ruby. When I saw her performance, I said to myself, Rene is going to get an Oscar for this. And she did.
After reading Charles Frazier’s novel, Cold Mountain, Rene’s portrayal was exactly the way I thought Ruby would be.
I don’t know… Something was lacking. Kind of like an under-seasoned stew. You know it doesn’t taste right, but you are not sure if it wants more salt or less garlic. But it needs something.
Lost in Translation
Memoirs of a Geisha
Sometimes They Get It Right
The Secret Life of Bees
The film adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, was right on the money.
Ok…Yes, a few minor plot elements were changed, a few scenes altered and even the final scene was changed slightly. But none of that was enough to alter the story.
The casting ofas Lily was perfect. As was Jennifer Hudson, who proved she really can act in her role as Rosaleen. , Sophie Okonedo, and turned in stellar performances as the Boatwright sisters.
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood did an incredible job of bringing these characters and the story to life.
The Secret Life of Bees was just like the movie that played in my head while I was reading the book.
The Devil Wears Prada
Meryl Street was incredible as the boss from Hell, Miranda Priestly in the movie based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel The Devil Wears Prada The was good, but how could you miss seeing all the GORGEOUS designer clothes in this wonderful movie?
Anne Hathaway is lovely as the style-challeged intern at a high fashion magazine. Keep your eye on Emily Blunt. She is hilarious as Amanda Preiestly’s beleagered assisant.