Hosted by the girls @ The Broke & The Bookish, today’s question:Top 10 Best/Worst Film Adaptations
1. Harry Potter – Though, obviously, there was some tweaking of the book, a lot of things were left out that should have been included (Voldemort’s family, for one), and some things were included that didn’t make any sense (the burning of the Burrow). There were things that they completely left out that were important to me, but…overall, it was a very faithful adaptation while at the same time, it kind of made it’s own world. And the cast is perfect in every way.
2. Perks of Being a Wallflower – This movie was directed by the author and I actually liked it better than the book because you could see how people reacted to Charlie (Charlie being a pretty unreliable narrator). It was just amazing. I could gush all day, but go ahead and read my review.
3. Sense & Sensibility – Such a beautiful movie. Hugh Grant as a shy, quiet man of God? That’s good casting. Emma Thompson as a 20 something spinster? Totally pulled it off though she must have been at least 15 years too old. Alan Rickman as a good guy and the love interest for someone half his age? Phenomenal. Everything about movie is amazing.
4. The Notebook – I haven’t read the book, but Kristina says the adaptation was very well done and even though the book ended differently, she preferred the movie ending.
5. Bridget Jones Diary – I loved this book. I thought Bridget was a little off her rocker because there was no way she was fat according to her diary entries, unless she was a lilliputian, and I think the movie made her bigger than she was supposed to be for comic effect, but the casting was spot on. I think Renee Zellweger is unattractive, but when she gained the weight for the movie, her face was comically hideous. I don’t see how either Colin Firth or Hugh Grant would have been attracted to her, but it made for a fantastic movie. Colin Firth, in particular, was spectacular casting because Colin Firth is actually mentioned in the book, which I’m not sure many people caught. And Colin made Mark Darcy more sympathetic, when in the book, he seemed more like a dick. Though it is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which is probably what Helen Fielding was going for.
6. Pride and Prejudice – Kristina will say she loves the Kiera Knightly version, but I’m married to the 5 1/2 hour BBC adaptation that really captures the book so much better. The KK version was visually very pretty and the cast was pretty good, but I was more sympathetic to the BBC version. The characters were much more refined and it was harder to tell the differences in their social classes, so their social standing was harder to define, which I think is the point. In the BBC version, you see Longbourne, the Bennet’s home and think what a beautiful, expensive place that surely must house a very rich family, but then you see Pemperly and Longbourne looks like a chicken shack. I think in the KK version, the vast difference in the two houses is comically overdone (what with the farm animals running around and Elizabeth playing on a swing). Also, I think that Jennifer Ehle did a much better job of portraying Elizabeth as a proud, respectable woman who could have graced Pemperly’s halls and she had a subtlety to her rebelliousness, whereas Kiera Knightly was more in your face rebellion, and I don’t think that is a very accurate portrayal. Though Matthew Macfadyen is hot and did a superb job of being the somewhat dispassionate Mr. Darcy.
7. Hunger Games – Okay, granted, some of the casting had us scratching our head before we actually saw the movie. The dark haired Katniss & Gale are portrayed by blonds, the actor cast as a blond Peeta is a natural brunette. But this is easily overcome with hair dye. But the rest of the cast is impeccable, particularly President Snow. The setting is also very well done, especially District 12. The setting in the book was did not really stick out in any way to me, but when I saw it rendered on film, I suddenly understood, especially in contrast with The Capital. Just wow. But the acting and the additions to the movie that we weren’t privy to in the book (the directing of the action in the arena, Seneca Crane’s punishment) really added to the movie. Let’s hope that Chasing Fire is just as well done, though I’m not worried.
8. Anne of Green Gables – This movie made me fall in love. I saw it the summer I was 13 and when school started I had to find and read the book. Such a beautifully rendered adaptation. There is so much about it that I love, but the tone and the characters are just right. I particularly loved Matthew Cuthbert. And Gilbert. I fall in love again every time I see it. And I cannot just watch the first part, I have to watch all three, until Anne realizes that Gilbert is who she should be with.
9. To Kill A Mockingbird – I had to add this because this is the standard by which all movie adaptations should be measured. Everything about it is perfect, though I wish they would have/could have added more story to the movie, which I am sure had to be cut for time. If they added everything, it would be hours long. But the casting is impeccable and the tone is JUST RIGHT.
10. One for the Money – I liked the movie, but it wasn’t entirely faithful to the book. I didn’t like that they took out the attempted rape of Stephanie, though I can understand why, I just think it would have made Benito Ramirez more scary. I liked Katherine Heigl as Stephanie & Daniel Sunjata as my man Ranger, but I think Jason O’Mara, though he did a very good job, was not Joe Morelli. This is a case of the actors not fitting the images in my mind of my beloved characters. Kristina didn’t like the movie. I just think it could have been done better. If I hadn’t read the book, I think I would have been confused.
11. Twilight – The first film is SOOO BADLY DONE. I blame it entirely on the director, Catherine Hardwicke. I don’t know what the hell that woman was thinking in regards to what the characters, particularly the Cullins, looked like. To me, they looked like they painted themselves every morning. And don’t get me started on my boy Jasper’s hair. I think, also, with the exception of Charlie (who was perfect in every way), most of the cast was chosen for their looks (ahem, the Cullins). Again, I blame Hardwicke because I know these people can act, I’ve seen other movies they’ve been in. But here, they look constipated. Though both Kristina & I agree that Breaking Dawn pt. 2 was very well done, as much as it could be, especially considering the “surprise” that really blew my mind. I am glad they added that because it made the whole movie and it would have been difficult to understand why the Vulturi suddenly turned around and left if they hadn’t added it. It was unexpected, to say the least. I gasped out loud in the theater.
Honorable Mention (because we haven’t seen it yet)
City of Bones – Kristina & I agree that the casting in this seems to be the best that we’ve seen in a while. At first, we were both very against Jamie Campbell-Bower for Jace, but seeing the previews, I completely rescind my first opinion (his voice alone, gah). And I cannot wait for this movie.