Sunday, February 22, 2015
For months now the media has been all abuzz about movies. It's the big push before the coveted Oscars. You see your movie theater bringing back the Oscar nominees for another go in the box office and you read all sorts of stellar reviews. That is, if you're into the big screen. I've always enjoyed a good movie, but when a book that I dearly loved is slated for the big screen I feel dread. It never use to be that way, but time and time again, I've been disappointed.
It's not entirely the movie industries fault that a movie doesn't translate (or translate for me) on the screen as well as the book. The director has a certain vision, there are time constraints that may hinder the full development of the movie on the screen, and as readers, we create in our minds the setting, the people, the everything from the author's words on the page. But sometimes it does work...
I'd have to say, all the Harry Potter books were great as movies. I loved the books and equally loved each movie. They "got it". The characters fit, the sets were brilliant, and the stories weren't chopped to fit the screen. The Time Traveler's Wife I thought was well done. It was amazing how they got all that time traveling pretty much on the mark, with the characters and the settings. The Shining was another amazing movie from a great book. It was perfect. Brokeback Mountain was amazing! I loved that movie and the short story by Annie Proulx was equally wonderful. Although a bit controversial, 2 gay cowboys falling in love, the love story was given the time and space to develop perfectly on the screen and the cinematography was beautiful.
And then there were some movies that weren't quite right... I loved the book Jurassic Park, and I do really like the movie, BUT the ending of the movie is so different from the book I was in shock while I was watching. The Reader was a moving, heart wrenching read, and the movie was wonderful UNTIL the ending. Why did "they" think they needed to change it? I don't know, but the ending in the book was perfect as it was, the ending of the movie was not. Memoirs of a Geisha was an amazing book, the movie was visually beautiful, but could not match the written word.
This year I did read one book-to-movie, a book I absolutely loved and a movie I was so disappointed with... Wild. If you did not read the book, the movie could stand alone and be good. If you read the book, you'd be wondering where half the book was. I thought the book was heart wrenching, sad, compelling, and I felt such empathy towards Cheryl Strayed, but the movie left me a bit empty. Her life was mostly told in small vignettes that just didn't have the power of the pages and pages that were devoted to how Cheryl became the woman that she was. I was doing a play by play afterwards to enlighten my husband as to the background of some of what was going on so he could better understand the circumstances.... Now, this is just one girl's opinion. My feelings may reflect my love of the book and how the movie did not live up to my expectations (which were low).
Here are a few books I LOVED that have been made into movies (and I haven't seen yet)... The Help, The Book Thief, Water for Elephants, Bridget Jones Diary, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Kite Runner, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
What books have you enjoyed that have been made into a movie? Are you excited to hear a book you loved is being turned into a movie? Have you read any of the books-to-movies up for an Oscar this year? I like to read the book before I venture out to see the movie, but maybe I shouldn't anymore!
Happy reading... Suzanne