Watch Wednesday

Watch Wednesday #35: Three Great Book-to-Film Adaptations

Yesterday we talked Harry Potter‘s theatrical adaptation and the music that went along with it.  This had me thinking about other book-to-film adaptations.  Translating novels into cinema has been common practice since the earliest realms of the film industry, and with Ready Player One being the most recent one to hit theatres, it’s definitely not a practice that’s ending any time soon.

While I haven’t seen every adaptation that Hollywood and beyond has given us, today’s Watch Wednesday will display three of my favorite tales in which I’ve both read the book as well as have seen the movie.

Three Great Book-to-Film Adaptations

These are randomly ordered, and each from entirely different genres, but they are three book-to-film adaptations that I not only love the books, but I also love the films.  I purposely left Harry Potter and his many adventures out because I already gushed about them yesterday, but if this was a list of my favorite of all favorites then, dude, they’d totally have their spot (or, should I say, spots) on the list!

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense & Sensibility was not only the first novel that Jane Austen published, it was also the first of Austen’s works that I ever laid eyes on.  I’m not a huge Austen fan, I’m not big on the flourishing writing styles of that century, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t adore Sense & Sensibility.  It’s brazenly romantic within a domestically built comedy which has come down in history as a commentary on the times.

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Ang Lee’s 1995 adaptation stays true to the book’s 19th-century backdrop under the softened guise of Hollywood tradition.  With such acting chops as Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, this film stands firm as the best Austen adaptation to date.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien

I love all three of the books as well as the films, but The Return of the King has to be my favorite of the Lord of the Rings Middle-earth trilogy.  The Return of the King is the closing number to Frodo and friend’s quest to bring the One Ring to destruction in Mount Doom.  Tolkien’s 1955 novel was praised as the best in its genre, and truly the man knows how to masterfully narrate the tale of a Hobbit and his adventures.  I still remember the stress of Denethor’s madness while I was reading, seriously.

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The film itself is nothing to scoff at, especially considering it won the Oscar for each of the 11-categories it was nominated for.  Fans and critics alike appreciate the film not only for its achievements in film, story, and character acting but also for the addition of a more climatic ending to the One Ring.  We all wanted to see Frodo duke it out with Gollum, am I right?

Holes was released in 1998, a novel by Louis Sachar that detailed the stunningly unlucky life of Stanley Yelnats and his unfortunate family, thanks to his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather”.  This is one of the first novels that I read and thought, “Wow, I want to create a world like this.”  The interlacing storylines that included characters both past and present, leading up to the ultimate reveal at the end of Stanley’s story–as a young girl, it was insanely compelling.  Even now I have a strange desire to eat an onion like an apple, the book just made it sound so good.

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The 2003 film was prepped by Sachar himself, which explains why it’s such an honest counterpart to the book.  Shia LaBeouf, Patricia Arquette, and Sigourney Weaver bring the novel’s characters out, in living, breathing detail, all while maintaining the book’s mystery, pacing, and distinct humor.  Also, the soundtrack was legit.

What’s your favorite book-to-film adaptation?

3 thoughts on “Watch Wednesday #35: Three Great Book-to-Film Adaptations

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