Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekly Geeks Revisited: Best Movie Adaptations 2.0

I first began participating in the "Weekly Geeks" meme back in 2009 and continued on until its end in 2011.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, "Weekly Geeks" was a weekly meme for book bloggers to discuss various aspects of reading.  Topics were given, and we would each write a post pertaining to it.  I've decided to re-visit some of my favorite posts and update my thoughts and responses.

In July of 2009, Weekly Geeks were challenged to pick some of their favorite movies based on books.  There are a lot of factors that go in to deciding whether or not a movie makes a "good" adaptation and frankly it is all pretty subjective.  With that in mind, here are some more of my favorite book - movie adaptations:

The Fault In Our Stars 2014

There are plenty of adaptations that get the big things right.  They get the main characters, the plot, and the spirit of the book.  But it is rare for an adaptation to get even the small things right.  The Fault In Our Stars does that.  Granted, this is probably due in large part to the fact that the author was heavily involved in the production, but it is still pretty awesome.  I sat there the whole time saying "That room is EXACTLY like I pictured it" or "I knew that is what he would look like in that jersey".  A+ in my book.

Hugo 2011

This was a fairly tricky book to adapt as it is made up mostly of pictures.  But Martin Scorsese did a wonderful job of capturing the book's magical qualities.  It was particularly wonderful to see some of history's earliest films come to life again for a new audience.  Add that to some terrific acting from the young cast of Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz and you have a truly stunning homage to both film and literature.

The Painted Veil 2006

This is a good example of a movie that was able to tell a different story from the book without really changing the plot.  While W. Somerset Maugham's novel focuses mainly on the personal growth of Kitty, the movie focuses on the relationship between Walter and Kitty.  It does this, however, without greatly altering the story and provides the audience with a slightly more satisfying ending.  

Captain Blood 1935

Though older movies are notorious for straying a long way from the original source material, there are those that do a solid job.  One of these is Captain Blood starring Errol Fylnn and Olivia de Haviland.  Not only does it maintain the swashbuckling and romantic attitude of the book, but it does so without throwing away a chunk of the plot.  It is also wonderfully cast and a treat to watch.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite book adaptations?  What makes an adaptation good in your opinion?  Share with us!    


hopeinbrazil said...

If I love a book, I generally hate the movie, but there are a few exceptions. I really enjoy the Amanda Root version of Persuasion (2000?) and the second Hunger Games movie is surprisingly true to the themes of the book.

Hannah said...

I haven't seen The Painted Veil or Captain Blood but I completely agree with you on The Fault on Our Stars! :) I love Hugo as well but because I haven't read the book I can't rate it as an adaptation. Other adaptations that I really love are:

- The Les Miserables musical (both the stage version and the 2012 film)
- Peter Jackson's Hobbit and LOTR movies
- North and South 2004
- Sherlock BBC
- Howl's Moving Castle
- The Princess Bride
- Little Women 1994
- The Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom of the Opera musical (only the stage version!) and the 1990 miniseries
- Sense and Sensibility 1995
- Game of Thrones
- The Prestige
- The Hunger Games & Catching Fire
- Rebecca 1940 and 1979

Erm, wow, this list is getting really long so I'll just end it there. As you can probably tell I love adaptations! I'm not a book purist. I accept that adaptations will have to be different to the books they're based on. As long as they're well cast and stay true to the book's themes I'll generally love them!