Have your say on the books and movies in our Great Adaptations season - join our interactive discussion on the films that you think would've been better off left as books, and the adaptations that have outshone their literary counterparts.
was it from Trainspotting?
May 05, 2009 at 01:13 PM
In the 'Great Adaptations'/Film4 and Waterstones advert, what book are they referring to when it shows a blond man saying "I love you, I love you!"?
Jo Appsome |
April 30, 2009 at 07:37 PM
The Devil Wears Prada?
Could they have strayed further from the book?
Even her boyfriends name changes... why?
Danielle Steel |
April 24, 2009 at 04:53 PM
I work in a cinema and find that many of the people coming out of films based to books are disappointed because they go in and expect to see a word to word adaptation which almost never happens. Everyone has their own interpretations of a book even the director and actors so something must get lost in translation. That’s not to say every film taken from a book will be a disappointment, Children of men worked a lot better on screen, the plot strayed from the book but in doing so was much more entertaining.
April 21, 2009 at 12:35 AM
Hmmm. I think Keira Knightley managed to capture Cecilla's frustration, etc, quite well.
Perhaps there was just too much of her, and too little of Briony?
Rosie Smith |
April 20, 2009 at 11:19 AM
I agree about atonement but think that keira knightly is a bit of a terrible actress to be honest the remake of pride and prejudice was terrible to since when is Mr Collins the sexiest person in the film. Watchmen for me wasnt great but im not a fan of Alan Moore. Has there ever been a good version of wuthering heights either
caroline maston |
April 18, 2009 at 03:21 PM
Atonement may very well be an accomplished film with its stunning beach scene but Knightley's portrayal of Cecilia is completely underwhelming and unbelievable and the film spends more of a focus on her pouting than on the intricacies of the characters, mainly Briony in her younger years. The details of her character shown by McEwan are grossly overlooked but i always preferred Amsterdam personally anyway so may be slightly biased. In my opinion the best films to be adapted to the screen have to be the colour purple, to kill a mockingbird and a room with a view which i think are the best films to truly capture the irony of the characters and the details which make them unique and believable (and it helps that Gregory peck when looking back was quite a tasty piece). Also no country for old men is one novel where i thought the film far surpassed the novel but once again i thought Josh Brolin was quite nice eye candy even with a beard (just for reference i am a teenage girl so references to whether or not they are fit is allowed). But the idea of no soundtrack by the Coen brothers is officially a piece of genius, the silence put me on the edge of my seat all the way through it.
April 16, 2009 at 09:08 PM
Best screen adaptation ever? The Lord of the Rings trilogy without a doubt. How Peter Jackson made those films from the books I will never know. Although I have to say there was too much toiling up the mountain and the Ents were never my favourite characters and don't get me started on the Gollum back story. It will probably be regarded as heresy but I don't know how Tolkien ever got published, for me the books were just totally self-indulgent and needed some very strict editing,which basically was what Jackson did. I will admit that the creation of Middle Earth inhabited by Men Elves and Hobbits was a stunning vision if you could wade through the purple prose to find it,the films made it accessible.
Anne Williams |
April 16, 2009 at 05:46 PM
The Golden Compass / Northern Lights. What an utter disaster. I was expecting something at least slightly like Lord of the Rings. It turns out far too childish for a book that's far from childish.
Clueless is based on Emma, and is very funny.
April 16, 2009 at 05:20 PM
I loved reading The English Patient and think that the film version of it worked very well, particularly the scene in the church where she is swung round on a rope to look at the frescoes. The intercutting of scenes in the film reflected effectively the changes of time and place in the book.
Claire Senior |
April 16, 2009 at 03:42 PM
The Talented Mr Ripley is a great film adaptation, but my advice is to read the book first. It is far more chilling than the film and gives an in-depth insight into the mind of Mr Ripley. Anthony Minghella's film makes fundamental changes to Highsmith's narrative and introduces new characters.The notable one is Cate Blanchett's 'Merideth'. Dickie Greenleaf's (Jude Law) love of painting in the novel, is replaced with a love of jazz and there are some great musical moments. Mingella transports the 'American Dream' to Italy, with terrifying results. A great film but a superb book, well worth the read.
Nicola Herington |
April 16, 2009 at 02:52 PM
I have come to the conclusion that only short stories really adapt to film without losing large chunks of the story. All the Stephen King short stories that I have both read and watched are equally as good especially Shawshank Redemption. Although I don't think any film can beat the imagination of someone reading a book.
P.s. Clueless was definitely a modern version of Jane Austen's Emma
April 16, 2009 at 02:33 PM
Clueless - if you mean the film from 1995 with Alicia Silverstone, I think it was an updated version of Jane Austen's Emma.
I agree that Northern Lights was a very poor adaptation to film. I think that the recent Twilight was very faithful to the written word and done well. Harry Potter Films have been okay but I agree with Caroline that quite a lot of these books are lost in the transfer to screen.
I found The Cider House Rules to be a very unsatisfactory film adaptation - even more disappointing when I think John Irving adapted his own book for the screen.
April 15, 2009 at 06:19 PM
I personally think Summit did a good job of twilight, A movie isnt going to ever be exactly like the book because everbody gets different pictures in their heads when they read the story and to pick such small problems with the movie means it was probably a good adaptation, i really have enjoyed the books and the movie and the kids i teach love the books to which is great because its inspiring people to read again. Harry potter is way better as a book to because the films tend to repeat themselves and miss out huge chunks of the storyline which means you miss out on some of the cleverer character development and plot twists that J K Rowling builds into her books. I think the Dresden files should be made into a movie because they are an awesome series of books but the tv show wasnt really allowed to work as an adaptation, again moving away from movies the dexter books and first season of the tv show are very good
caroline maston |
April 14, 2009 at 08:16 PM
At the moment I am doubting summit entertainments ability to pull off the rest of the twilight saga, yes there was a percentage of people that enjoyed twilight (the film) but the vast majority of that percentage had never read the book so they couldn’t compare it. I have read the book and watched the film and I believe that the film lacks much to be desired, though it was enjoyable. But a film like twilight and so many other films that are done on a small budged don’t hold a candle to the book. In twilight --the book-- Edward sparkles not sweats and he run elegantly in --the book-- but in the film its as if they --summit entertainment-- are using stunts from the 1970’s. I hope that due to the success of the film in the U.S.A the quality of the graphics and the script will improve, just from the change of director (not that I have a grudge against Catherine Hardwick, its just I think a new impute would be best) and the increase in the budget. Not all books are as good as the film. In my opinion Harry Potter the film is better than the book. I am fully aware that Harry Potter has a huge fan base and that it’s a modern master piece to some but its not my cup off tea. Ino im going against the grain in saying this but I found the book awfully repetitive and slow. Probably hearing that from a British person is not the norm but there’s something more to the movie that the book.
Naomi Collins |
April 13, 2009 at 10:40 PM
what book is clueless based on? does anyone know because i so want to read it.
caroline maston |
April 13, 2009 at 02:37 PM
i agree about northern lights too that was a terrible movie, while i like Chuck Palahniuk books i think fight club is better as a movie although the book is still worth a go as it is quite different. Personally i think American Psycho should only be a film as the movie is amazing whereas the book is atrocious
caroline maston |
April 13, 2009 at 02:35 PM
I have to agree with Helen as regards Northern Lights. The book was amazing, but the film departed from it on several important points. While an 'adaptation' does perhaps suggest a certain amount of change, I do prefer those that stick to main elements of the plot. Conversely, this can be taken to the other extreme; Fight Club, for example, reads like a script, which to me is not what a novel should be about.
Leah Veasey |
April 08, 2009 at 01:01 PM
Atonement is one of my favourite films, and one of my favourite books. The transition to screen was brilliant; it managed to capture the different viewpoints very well, adding a chilling tone at the beginning.
Northern Lights, was a huge disappointment. The parts they kept the same (the characters, the settings for example) were conveyed excellently... However, they changed the story around and missed out the huge ending.
I know this was aimed at children, and was therefore made more child friendly, but things happened in the book for a reason, and it was an awful shame to have left them out.
Helen Rowling |
April 06, 2009 at 01:48 PM
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