Top 10 Tuesday #78

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Hosted by the girls @ The Broke & The Bookish, today’s question:Top 10 Best/Worst Film Adaptations

Best:

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.

Worst:

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.

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14 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday #78

  1. Rory July 9, 2013 at 9:16 am Reply

    I know it makes me sound snarky, but I’m not sure anything can be done well with Katherine Heigl in the leading role. I was horrified when I heard she was supposed to play Clare in Outlander (luckily just a rumor, but still – yikes).

    Now I have to see Anne of Green Gables (I didn’t even know it had been made into a movie…).

    • daphne July 9, 2013 at 9:28 am Reply

      oh, no, not clare! that would be horrendous. but yes, you need to see Anne of Green Gables, I think the other two movies are Anne of the Island and Anne of Avonlea. There is a fourth one made years later with the same actors, but I didn’t like it too much because I hadn’t read that book.

  2. Lenore Appelhans July 9, 2013 at 9:50 am Reply

    Bridget Jones – good call! I remember devouring the book and really liking the movie.

  3. Brittany July 9, 2013 at 10:06 am Reply

    Harry Potter & The Hunger Games for sure!!!
    I agree… One for the Money was not done so well….. I felt like it wasn’t a very good adaptation and that was SO not my Morelli. Oh well!

  4. Ashling July 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm Reply

    I do love the Harry Potter movies, despite the changes, and I also love The Hunger Games. I’m also a fan of both the Emma Thompson version of Sense & Sensibility, and the 2008 BBC miniseries. Both of them are so good.

    And I love what you said about To Kill a Mockingbird. It really is one of the best book-to-movie adaptations of all time.

  5. terribruce July 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Oh Sense and Sensibility and Bridget Jones’s Diary! How could I have forgotten those (even though I never read Bridget Jones, I love the movie!)? I totally agree with you on the A&E version of P&P being awesome (and the better version!) 🙂

    • Daphne July 12, 2013 at 11:31 am Reply

      BJD is so funny and cute, you really must read it.

  6. Lisa July 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm Reply

    I agree about Sense & Sensibility! I adore Alan Rickman in that one. I didn’t think to include Perks, although I love both the book and the movie. As for The Notebook, I hated the book but didn’t think the movie was terrible — so does that make it a success for me? 🙂 Great choices!

  7. Ashley @The Quiet Concert July 10, 2013 at 7:52 am Reply

    We have similiar tastes 🙂 I loved Harry Potter and enjoyed The Notebook (I did not like the book very much)! Twilight definitely makes the worst list!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  8. Quinn July 10, 2013 at 8:36 am Reply

    Oh my goodness, I have so much to say! I agree with nearly everything you wrote.

    First, I felt the same way while I was reading Bridget Jones. I kept thinking “That’s fat? I must be a giant cow.” But I love that book and movie.

    Second, YAY P&P. I love them both, but probably love 1995 version more. I mean, it’s got COLIN FIRTH! Although, as I rewatch the 1995 version, I’m not so in love with Jennifer Ehle. I like her, but I don’t find her very charming. Just my opinion.

    Third, I cannot believe I didn’t include Anne of Green Gables!

    Fourth – I liked One for the Money, but wish they included more stuff from the books, too. I actually liked Katherine Heigl as Stephanie, but I agree, Jason O’Mara wasn’t the best Morelli.

    And Fifth – I couldn’t agree more with you about JCB as Jace. I think, based on the previews, that he has Jace’s attitude. So I’m super excited.

    • Daphne July 12, 2013 at 11:29 am Reply

      high five! i made my friend Shannon read the Hunger Games to watch the movie with me, then made her read TMI and now she’s pretty much my slave. cannot wait for this moive!

  9. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA July 10, 2013 at 9:18 am Reply

    I watched the BBC P&P on the 4th… I’d forgotten just how phenomenal it was! I love the KK version, but this one totally trumps it. I may disagree with you slightly about Twilight… while yes, the first one was total crap compared to the book, I think it managed to capture some of the angsty moments better than the other films. Although I don’t so much like Catherine Hardwicke… so there ya go. Also, I was totally bored with One for the Money. I didn’t even make it halfway through before stopping.

    P.S. YAY HUNGER GAMES!!! PEEEEEETTAAAA! 🙂

  10. Sharon (A Book Barbie) July 12, 2013 at 11:25 am Reply

    Oh, One for the Money! How did I forget that one? It could have been SO MUCH better. But everything was different, and I didn’t like either Ranger or Morelli’s casting at all. I mean, no one could be Ranger, really, but they didn’t even TRY with Morelli. I did like Katherine Heigl as Stephanie, though.

    Bridget Jones’s Diary didn’t quite make it onto my list, but I do love it! Both the book and the movie. It’s been entirely too long since I watched/read it, though. I need to get on that!

    OH YES. The “surprise” in BD 2? Holy crap. I didn’t pick my jaw up off the floor for like 5 minutes. Or however long that scene lasted, anyway. And a little longer to get over the shock, LOL.

    • Daphne July 12, 2013 at 11:31 am Reply

      oh yeah, i watched it with a friend and her daughter, both of whom had already seen it and I gasped and they looked over at me with glee in their eyes, like “she thinks this is the surprise!” but then it got SO MUCH BETTER. gah. i need to rewatch that.

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