Hiya everyone! 💞
For today’s post, I want to talk about something I’ve always loved — film. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a big movie buff.
Therefore, I really want to incorporate film into this blog. I thought a great way to start is to share my favorite book-to-movie adaptations with you all!
To talk a little about what I think makes a good film adaptation: I don’t believe it has to be exactly like the book. As long as the film succeeds in faithfully portraying the story, along with its characters and general mood… I’m happy. Additionally, I appreciate when filmmakers make an effort to include the author in the creative process — it seems foolish and cruel not to. So, super bonus points for that one.
Without further ado, here are my favorite book-to-movie adaptations and why they’re each on the list!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in high school and watched the film shortly after. The author, Stephen Chbosky, wrote and directed the film. How amazing is that?! As you watch the movie, it feels as if you are reading the book all over again. It’s wonderful. The stand-out for me in this adaptation is, of course, the protagonist. Logan Lerman is flawless as Charlie, playing him just as I envisioned while reading. I loved watching his journey in the film and how faithful it is to the book. I find myself going back to this one every once in a while, as it reminds me of reading the book for the very first time. And, yes, I cry with every single rewatch.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
There is not a single day I don’t think of the green dress from Atonement. The book by Ian McEwan follows a tragic story of love and war. As I read the book, I was amazed at how well the movie captured the novel. I love the performances in this one. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy are perfectly cast as Cecilia and Robbie — their chemistry is as strong as in the novel. Specifically, Saoirse Ronan is outstanding as Briony. In addition, I adore how the film brings every little detail from the novel to life with great filming techniques, costuming, and cinematography. The ending of this adaptation is slightly different from the novel. I understand why they did it, so it isn’t too upsetting, nor does it affect my opinion of the movie as a whole. All in all, Atonement is an amazing film and adaptation of the novel.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The minute that I watched the first trailer for Gone Girl, I knew I had to read the book. I read it in only a few sittings, hooked from beginning to end, eager to unravel the intriguing mystery. The movie felt no different. One thing about me: David Fincher is my favorite director. And, this is him at perhaps his best. The script, written by the author, is perfect. The cinematography is superb. The score is beautiful, yet chilling. And best of all is the lead actress’ performance. Gillian Flynn created an unhinged woman for the ages with Amy Dunne and Rosamund Pike delivers marvelously. She perfectly captures what makes Amy so terrifying, yet fascinating. This is one of those rare times when I struggle to choose between the book and the film. They’re both exquisite.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Let’s talk about Fight Club. The book and film adaptation are both iconic and rightfully so. Chuck Palahniuk created an original piece of literature that I think will continue to be discussed for years to come. Although at first, negatively received, the film has gone on to become a cult classic. It is masterfully shot and directed by Fincher (yes, he’s here again 😅). But most importantly, it stays true to its source material. Not only are many of the scenes nearly exact to the ones in the book, but the overall chaotic feel is also present. Plus, the performances are fantastic and pure fun, with Helena Bonham Carter being my favorite. Like the book, it is a great, unique work that cannot be replicated.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune is the most recent entry on the list, as the film was released only last year. I read the book around the same time when I heard Denis Villeneuve was directing the adaptation. Now, I won’t lie, this book proved a challenge. I think I spent most of the time flipping back to the glossary so I could understand everything. Still, I enjoyed reading Herbert’s sci-fi classic. And, I LOVED the film. Villeneuve gave us a visual masterpiece that brings the book to life with stellar performances and a killer score. The filmmakers also excelled in handling all the world-building. I can honestly say I understood the book a little bit better after watching this one. This film is unlike anything you’ll ever watch. My only issue with it is that I can’t take the unbearable wait for Part Two.
Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
My truest love — Interview With the Vampire. I talked about this book in my all-time favorites post so I’ll spare you the details. The film adaptation for this one is golden in my eyes. The author, Anne Rice, wrote the screenplay for the film, and it shows. The most important elements from the novel are flawlessly executed in the movie. Particularly, the dynamic between Louis, Lestat, and Claudia is done to perfection, thanks to great writing and exceptional performances from the lead actors. Tom Cruise as Lestat is one of my favorite performances ever. Some things differ from the book, yet, I think they were handled well and at times made the story even better. The costuming and visuals are all stunning. I love how they captured the gothic atmosphere of the book. I could talk about this adaptation for hours. And, I’ve definitely watched it way too many times. What can I say? To me, it’s perfect.
What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptations? And, what do you think makes a good film adaptation? Do let me know in the comments if you wish to share!
As always, thank you so much for reading this post. I wish you the happiest of days with lots of reading and some splendid films to keep you company!
Lovely list, Alex. I’m a fan of all of these. It’s hard to pick favorites I feel you ☺️ but off the top of my head 🤔 I have to go with Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. Keira is my Elizabeth and Matthew my Darcy (fainting) 😍 For Jane, I think Mia captured her to perfection as did Michael with Rochester. Film just has a way to make us love our favorite stories even more, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing 😉 I enjoy your blog very much. ✨
Oh, those are such great picks! Even though I haven’t finished Pride & Prejudice, I absolutely love that adaptation . I agree Mia is perfect as Jane Eyre. Thank you so very much for your kind words! Wishing you a lovely day and happy reading! 💞
Great list! Of these, I’ve only read and watched Gone Girl and Interview With the Vampire. Some of the others I just read or watched. Both of those were really good, though. P&P and Jane Eyre are my favorite adaptations. I’ve watched them over and over. And if we move off the big screen into TV series, then I’ll have to say that Shadow & Bone is my fave.
Thank you so much! I love both of those as well. I think they’re two of the best period pieces ever. And I haven’t read the Shadow & Bone trilogy but I adore what they’re doing with the series and enjoyed watching. I especially love how they included the Crows. Hope you’re having a lovely day! 💗
Yes! I’ve loved how they’re meshing Shadow & Bones with Six of Crows. And thanks! I hope you’re having a great day, too! 🙂