Top Ten Tuesday: Book to Movie Adaptations
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!
Very excited about this post, but how to narrow it down? After thinking long and hard, I think I’ve gotten my favorites in here. Caution: Long post ahead!
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy — Easy choice. Peter Jackson did the books justice; something I don’t think a lot of people thought could happen. I know he cut out some and changed a bit, but the movies stay true to the main stories of the books. Also, the cinematography is just amazing! Those landscapes, those sets, those wide shots! How could it get any better. As an added bonus, I loved the portrayal of Eowyn and Faramir in the movies. They even made last week’s Top Ten Tuesday: Love Stories. Great movies. BTW they must be watched from the extended editions. None of this theatrical version crap! (I love The Fellowship of the Ring, so had to add that poster)
2. Persuasion — Has anyone picked up that I love Jane Austen? And specifically Persuasion? My favorite Austen of all. Of course, for this post I had to pick an Austen adaptation and I do so love this one. The 2007 ITV version aired on PBS as part of the Jane Austen marathon on Masterpiece Theater. I was so excited to sit in front of my antenna-only TV and watch Jane Austen adaptations for two months of Sundays. This was far and away my favorite adaptation. (Northanger Abbey was my second favorite) Sally Hakwins plays Anne Elliot as quiet and demur, but with strong emotions and opinions just beneath the surface. Exactly how I pictured her! And Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth! Divine casting! I know this version took some liberties with the book, but I felt that they were all done keeping the heart of the book intact. My favorite change is the scene after Sally gets Wentworth’s letter and goes racing through Bath to find him. Awesome camera work and music! Love it, love it, love it!
3.Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events — I sped through the book series in about two months. (I was late to the band wagon and didn’t start reading them until they were all published). And then I found out they were making a film version. The film does condense the first three books of the series, but again the changes kept true to the heart of the books. Hmm… Jim Carrey as Count Olaf. I’m not the biggest fan of him, but this was perfect casting. And the Baudelaire children were perfect. I loved the supporting cast! Billy Connolly, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Catherine O’Hara, Craig Ferguson, Cedric the Entertainer, Jane Lynch, Luis Guzman, Jennifer Coolidge and Jude Law’s narration. How did they get all those people into this movie! It really makes the movie a lot of fun. And those sets!!!! Like a fairy tale! And the costumes!! Amazing! I want Violet’s dress. So adorable.
4. Where the Heart Is — I liked the book by Billie Letts, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. And then I saw the 2000 movie, and absolutely fell in love with it. Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd are adorable. I think my favorite character from the book and from the film is Sister Husband played by Stockard Channing. I love her to death. I want her to take me in when I give birth to a baby in the Walmart! And her death was just so tragic. I cry every time I watch the movie.
5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams is a genius for writing the series. And the 2005 film was a great adaptation. Of course with cast of Martin Freeman (so adorable on The Office), Zooey Deschanel (love her!), Sam Rockwell (crazy as usual), Mos Def (great Ford Prefect), Bill Nighy (he plays such a range of characters), and Alan Rickman (who doesn’t love Alan Rickman) how could it not be good! My favorite part of the book series is the Guide interludes. I’m excited that the film included a few with exciting animation. My favorite: definitely the Volgons! And speaking of Volgons, how awesome was that puppetry. They looked just fake enough to be real but comical. I loved all of them. And the opening Dolphin song… genius! (BTW opening narration by Stephen Fry is the best casting I’ve heard in a long while)
6. Coraline — Okay so I saw the movie before I read the book. I loved the creepy sense of wonder in the movie version. The Other Mother is very scary (understandably so) in the final battle. And the black cat… I’ve always thought that cats were creepy, this just confirmed it for me. After seeing the movie, I went and read the book. Great story, but the visuals really didn’t it for me. I got the graphic novel from the library the other day. After this post, it’s moved up on my TBR list.
7. Interview with a Vampire — I was too young to see the movie when it was released in theaters, but I did start reading Anne Rice about that time. I loved (still love) her writing and especially the first four of the Vampire Chronicles. I had definite images of all the characters in my head before seeing the movie. The movie versions don’t really match, but that’s okay. I see the movie and the book as two different entities. They are definitely not the same, but that’s okay. I think the movie did a great job reimagining Rice’s novel. And Rice wrote the screenplay and was a consultant during the filming. My fave from the movie: Stephen Rea as Santiago… very sinister.
8. The Secret Garden — There is only one movie version of The Secret Garden and it’s the 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame version. I remember watching this movie as a young child. The opening scenes in India scared the begeezus out of me. And they were supposed to. The transition to the moors of England sets the mood for the entire book. I love it! The sets are wonderful and full of atmosphere. The music is extra moody at all the right times. The actress who played Mary gave her just enough spunk and defiance. I recently let C borrow the movie because she wanted to show it her daughters. She agrees, this is the only version of the book.
9. Harry Potter Series — I love the books. And I love the movies. They are different, but related. I understand that the movie makers had to cut things out of the books to fit onto the screen. There’s just too much going on in the books to put everything on screen. I’ve read the books, so some of the movie scenes (especially from the 5th and 6th movies) make more sense. But I still love the movies. My favorite, hands down, is The Goblet of Fire. I love the book and the movie did great job showcasing my favorite scenes. The final task: the labyrinth is awesomely shot with special effects and zooming camera angles. I loved it so much. I am so excited and so sad to see the last movie this July. It’s already on my calendar!
10. Little Women — Another favorite childhood book. I loved the March sisters and would read and reread the book growing up. The movie version is one of my favorite movies from my younger days. The adaptation is true to the book while allowing for the transition to film. The actors are wonderful. I loved Winona Ryder as Jo March. She plays her just how I pictured. Susan Sarandon gives a great performance as the matriarch of the clan. I would love to have her as a mother. And I have to mention Christian Bale as Laurie… so dreamy! I really love him as an actor. My only problem (and it’s a problem with the book, not just the movie) Laurie should have ended up with Jo not Amy! Alas, I must live with the story as is. It’s still one of my all-time favorites.
The best part of this list — I own all the movies listed. So I can watch them again and again!