Recently, I came across Kathi Daley’s blog post “When a book becomes a movie”, where she identifies the different stages you go through when you find out that one of your favourite books is going to be made into a movie or TV show. This got me to thinking about my own favourites and their adaptations.
I used to be one of those “the movie is never as good as the book!” folk, but I think as I’ve grown older, my opinion has changed. So here you have it – my list of the best movie adaptations.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This film was better than the book. I know – it’s a big call. I think it comes from the fact that the author directed the film. He was able to update and change things that wouldn’t work on film, and yet still keep the integrity of the story.
True Blood: Admittedly, with this one, I started the show first. I think what makes this such a great adaptation is that the show and the books are very different, meaning you can read the books and not know any spoilers from the show (or vice versa). Personally, I found the show a lot more engaging than the books, BUT I did try to start with number three, so I’ll definitely need to give the books another go.
The Hunger Games: I found the books devoid of life or feeling or anything to keep me interested. The first book had such a long opening that I was something like a third of the way in when I stopped and the games hadn’t even started yet. Somehow a friend managed to talk me into seeing the movie, and I loved it. Yep. I think the movie is better than the book.
Then there are the ones that I hated at first, but now find really enjoyable:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: The first time I saw this movie, I was horrified. Had they just turned Harry Potter into a teen rom-com?! Then I watched it again. That was exactly what they’d done. And hey, it worked. Now I love this movie – it’s just fun.
One For The Money: I saw this one with a friend and had to bite my tongue during our viewing in the cinema to keep myself from whispering “That bit was so much better in the book!” every five minutes. But, like Harry Potter, I watched it again. Now I really enjoy it. Not as much as the books, sure, but it’s still an enjoyable watch.
And, of course, there are the movies where I haven’t read the books, but can’t imagine that they could be better than the film:
The Jungle Book: (The Disney animated version, of course.) One of my favourite Disney films of all time, which is a pretty big call considering just how much I love Disney.
Winter’s Bone: This film is perfect. Definitely in my top five films, possibly even number one. Jennifer Lawrence is always good, but this is the best performance of hers I’ve seen. This is one intense movie. You need to watch it. Now.