Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Librarians' Line-Up: Favorite Book to Movie

We talk a lot on here about upcoming books being turned into movies, and we tend to critique that the book is always better. While that's pretty true, there have been good movie adaptations of our beloved books, so we round some up for you today. Share your favorite in the comments below!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I really liked the Hunger Games series as it was adapted for the screen. I loved books one and two, Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and thought they did a really good job in getting the story across on screen. In fact, I actually liked the movie version(s) of the third book Mockingjay better as movies than as a book. All in all, I recommend both the book and the movies. Great job done all around.
~Mary P.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
One of the few book-to-movie adaptations I can really comment on would be Lord of the Rings, as it's one of the few instances in which I actually read the book before watching the movie. I'll be the first to admit it isn't a purist adaptation; the actual battle scene in Two Towers, for instance, consumes far more of the movie than it does the actual book. Still, I believe Jackson's passion for Tolkien's work led him to remain largely faithful to the books, thereby resulting in an adaptation that, I'm sad to say, hasn't remained in the public consciousness nearly so well as I would have liked.
~Nathan D.

I could pick any of the three films that make up Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy; but my favorite has to be the first in the series, The Fellowship of the Ring. What can I say?  I’m a lady who loves world-building, and Jackson did an amazing job bringing J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy realm of Middle-earth from page to screen. Who doesn’t want to live in The Shire or Rivendell after seeing those rolling hills lined with Hobbit holes and the majestic Elven architecture in the towering trees? Three hours might have been asking a bit much for the uninitiated, but hardcore Tolkien fans like myself left the theater drooling—all three or four times we paid to see it. (Who’s counting?)
~Ariel J.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Recently, I decided to re-read some of my favorite childhood books. The first one I picked up was Holes by Louis Sachar. This is a quirky book with a lot of action and humor. I enjoyed reading this book just as much as an adult. The movie Holes (2003) continues to be one of my favorite book to movie adaptations. It does a great job of bringing Sachar's characters to life while maintaining the humor of the book. I would recommend both the book and the movie to children and adults alike.
~Ragan S.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley

My favorite book to movie adaptation is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World based on the Scott Pilgrim six volume graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The movie is a love letter to geeks and gaming and has one of the most incredible casts ever assembled. You've got Michael Cera as the titular Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the object of his desire, Ramona Flowers. That's not all, you'll also see Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, and Jason Schwartzman. Add in a great soundtrack featuring Metric and you've got the makings of one of my all time favorite films.
~Meredith T.

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Someone else here is probably covering the same territory, but my favorite book to film conversion recently is last year’s Carol (based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt). This was a challenging project, because so much of the novel centered on Therese’s inner monologue, and that’s hard to capture in the medium of film. Some people who saw the movie thought it was cold, maybe because we don’t have access to Therese’s inner life, but I thought that Todd Haynes and Edward Lachman created a sparse and beautiful movie that manages to convey the same depth of emotion in a different medium.
~John F.

Above: Harrison, Below: Hopkins
Legends of the Fall by James Harrison

My favorite book to movie is Legends of the Fall by James Harrison. Legends of the Fall stars a young Brad Pitt as a Montana youth whose impulses toward rugged individualism turn to wildness. Pitt’s character fights a grizzly bear (twice), and manages to seduce a beautiful woman by breaking a horse and not looking at her. Anthony Hopkins plays Col. Ludlow, who has a stroke and devolves into a grunting, elephant-gun-wielding, buffalo-skin-wearing, Old West caveman. Oddly, Hopkins in the film is a dead ringer for author James Harrison in real life:
~Travis F.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

As someone who reads a lot, I find it really difficult to choose a "favorite" book in any category, so this is one of a top five at least. The book Bridget Jones's Diary is written in diary form by Bridget Jones, "spinster" in her 30s trying to get by in life. She has a constant goal to improve herself, is close to her friends and family, but doesn't always make the best decisions. For one, she's a touch judgmental about people, and when she meets Mark Darcy, she judges him instantly and it takes her awhile to come around. There are parts of the book I miss in the movie and parts of the movie I enjoy that weren't in the book, but the film is true to the Pride and Prejudice inspired novel, and it's the best of Fielding's books, in my opinion.

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