Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Rather Watch The Movie
Most screen adaptions vary from the dire to the just about passable. In other cases, the point of the book is lost. Time Traveller's Wife missed the poignancy of the Audrey Niffenegger novel. Eat, Pray, Love, Binge, Purge, Vomit. In my humble opinion. But occasionally I'm relieved that if I had to write a book report, couldn't be bothered to tire my eyes with reading and rented the movie instead, I would be in for a far better treat.
Atonement. Have you read Atonement? And it wasn't a set work? Ten points to you. The first hundred pages are like swimming in concrete. Then it gets marginally better. But with a creepy soundtrack, and stellar performances by James McAvoy and Madame the Pouter, Keira Knightley, hey presto, you have great entertainment.
Let's be honest. Lord of the Rings. Apart from Tom Bombadil who was chopped, Peter Jackson's masterpiece is a faithful rendition. And so much easier to get through. I'm a fan of the book, but those first few hundred pages never seemed to end.
Practical Magic? Witches of Eastwick? The adapted screenplays are completely different from the books. Sure, Practical Magic didn't win any awards, but it was enjoyable. And Witches of Eastwick had such marvellous casting, we're willing to forgive any lapses in cinematic brilliance. The books? Look John Updike is a genius, and I loved his book, but the movie version was so much more fun. Ditto Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic.
How about you? Which movie adaptions are better than the books?