Thursday, January 20, 2011

What makes it measure up?

I love movies. LOVE them! We are a majorly movie family. But I always dread seeing ones made from books I've read, because 9 times out of 10, those will disappoint me. Very rarely will a movie surprise me and measure up to the standard set in a novel. Obviously, they can't put in every detail that the written word can express. Think of Harry Potter...I mean, the last book already had to be split in two. If they'd really put everything in there, the movie would be a three-day event. Pull up a blanket, take a couple days off from work, and pitch that tent in the theater! Oh, and bring your own popcorn, because you'd have to take out a loan to buy movie popcorn for three days.

And even then...would it really be the same? Do the actors portraying the characters fit what you designed them to be as you read about them? Hard shoes to fill, I think, since each reader forms their own image.

On this topic, I immediately thought of many movies that did not come through for me. Lovely Bones, for instance...loved the book, hated the movie. Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief...enhhhh. The above mentioned Harry Potter movies...all great movies but really, either read the books or watch the movies, not both. Too frustrating to compare.

One movie I can honestly say fulfilled my expectations, was The Secret Life Of Bees. Surprise you? Kinda did me. But from beginning to end, the integrity of the story remained intact. The actors chosen were perfect. The narration was dead on. They didn't stray or add anything that I can recall, and even at the end when I was worried how they'd handle the scene with her dad....they still stuck to it. I was so excited.

from...            to....  Le secret de Lily Owens Poster

The crying wall, May's issues, the description of the house....all handled wonderfully. That's my pick!
What's your favorite movie from a novel...and why?  What makes that work for you?


Travis Erwin said...

I would go with Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo and then starring Paul Newman.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hmm, maybe The Shipping News, but I can't remember if the movie followed the book or if I just really loved the movie -it made me cry! - that I owe to Keven Spacey!

randine said...

I never did watch The Lovely Bones because I heard it was absolutely horrible.

The last movie I watched that was based on a book that I read was Shutter Island. I thought it was actually really well done. It followed the book pretty closely.